Choosing a College

Choosing a School

You have a variety of college options, from two-year community and junior colleges, to four-year colleges and universities, to technical, vocational, and trade schools.

How do I find the right college or career school for me?

Understanding your career goals and options (and their earning potential) will help you find a college or career school that meets your needs. The Career Search will help you match your skills and interests with potential careers.

Once you’ve used the Career Search to find out how much and what type of education is required for a particular career, you might want to use our college search tool, College Navigator, to find schools that may meet your needs. You can search for colleges based on their type, location, and degrees and programs/majors offered.

Attend College Fairs

College fairs give you the chance to talk to representatives from multiple colleges and career schools. You can learn about various schools, and their representatives will answer your questions. If you’re in high school, ask your school counselor about college fairs in your area.

Check out Schools (In person or remotely)

To help you narrow down your college or career school options, try the following:

  • Check out the school’s website. Lots of colleges and career schools now offer virtual tours, so you can still “see” the campus, even if you can’t visit in person. You also can get information about programs and classes offered at the school, find out if the school participates in federal financial aid, and learn about campus life.

  • A great way to get a feel for a school is to contact the school and schedule a visit, preferably while classes are in session. Make sure you’re comfortable with the facilities, equipment, teachers, and students. Be sure to bring a list of questions to ask. Our Things to Consider page will help you identify questions to ask.

  • Talk with students who currently attend or have attended the school you’re considering to get their opinion of the school. If you are visiting a school in person, ask the campus tour coordinator if you can talk students who are currently attending the school. If you can’t visit the school in person, contact the admissions office staff to see if they can connect you with current students or alumni.

If you’re in high school, ask your school counselor what information he or she has about the schools that interest you.

Here are some useful links to find out what college might be right for you: