College Search and Selection

To begin your college search, you should start by getting to know yourself. Take time to consider your individual needs, strengths, goals, interests and abilities. College selection is a personal decision and requires that you establish your own priorities. The college search is about finding the college and university that is the right fit for you. Consider these questions to help you determine what you are looking for in your future college:

  • What values are important to you?
  • What are your academic strengths and interests?
  • In what environment do you learn best?
  • How much structure do you need?
  • What degree of academic challenge is right for you?
  • What activities do you enjoy? Do you want to pursue them in college?

Once you have thoughtfully evaluated what is important to you, you can begin to research colleges. There are some additional factors to consider as you  make your decisions.  You can use the SuperMatch College Search on Naviance to assist you  with this process.  Click here to login and get started.

After researching, you should build your college list. The goal is each student builds a balanced list of colleges.  A balanced list includes Reach Schools (Highly Competitive), Probable Schools (Competitive) and Safety Schools  (Likely Admitted).

 Reach School

  • A campus you dream and can only hope to get into. Any campus that is extremely selective (admissions rate at or below 20%) and/or requires an academic profile higher than what the applicant has.
  • Apply to as many as you’d like. College admissions can be a gamble! 

Probable School

  • A campus where you are “on target” for admissions. Your academic profile falls in the median for the school.
  • Apply to at least 2 or 3.
  • Only apply if you’ll attend.

Safety School 

  • A campus where you’re almost definitely going to get into.
  • Apply to at least 2.
  • Only apply if you’ll attend.
  • Select safety schools that have similar traits as your “Dream”/Reach school


Click here to access the fillable College Application Organizational Chart to help you organize your college list.

**You must download the chart first, and then you will see the options to fill the chart where applicable.