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Discovering Colleges

Why go to college?

Which college is best for you and why?  What if you don't know what to study?

How expensive is college? How do you pay for college?


By applying to college, you're opening doors to more opportunities.

Each college is full of life-changing experiences you can't replicate anywhere else.

Associate's and bachelor's degrees provide access to jobs and networks that will help you become financially and professionally stable throughout life.

Let's get after it!

Important Factors to Consider 

Academic Offerings

Does the college offer your major?

Review the college's list of academic majors to learn what educational opportunities await you.


What courses are offered in your major? Research the course offerings to compare how the same major can look differently between colleges.

School Size

How many students attend?

Learn how many undergraduates attend the college to better understand

day-to-day campus life.

What is the student-to-faculty ratio?

Research how many faculty members there are on campus in comparison to the number of students to envision your day-to-day academic experiences.

Cost / Financial Aid

What is the cost of attendance? 

Learn the total cost of attending the

university, from tuition to room and board to personal expenses.

How does financial aid work?

       Learn what is included in a standard financial aid package from the college,

such as grants and loans.

Retention Rate

What is the retention rate?

Research the college's retention rate:

the percentage of first-year undergraduates who continue their education at that college next year. 

Why is the retention rate?

Discover the primary reasons why freshmen students don't return to the college after their first year.

Geographic Location

What does the location mean for you?

Discover the city or town you will be attending college in. Learn what day-to-day life will be like in this new location.

What does housing look like?

Research housing options in the college city or town. Compare dorm rates with apartment rents.

Professional Development

How do I prepare for post-college?

Learn about the unique internship opportunities and career networks your college offers to undergraduates. 

What resources does the career center provide?

Research the career center website to gain insight into the support and services it offers to students and alumni.

Type of School


At public colleges and universities...

  • Funds primarily come from state governments.

  • Cost of attendance is generally lower.

  • Financial aid will charge in- or out-of-state tuition based on state residency.

  • There are more students and majors.

  • There is no formal affiliation with any religion.

  • Admissions rates are generally higher.


​At private colleges and universities...

  • Funds primarily come from endowments and donations.

  • Cost of attendance is generally higher.

  • Financial aid packages are generally more generous based on household income.

  • There are fewer students and majors.

  • Some can be religiously-affiliated.

  • Admissions rates are generally lower.

Free Fly-In Programs

Fly-in programs enable students to visit colleges before they're admitted. Some are even free!​​

College Greenlight's List of Fly-In Programs is updated annually with a diverse range of fly-in programs for high school juniors and seniors.

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College Board's Big Future Tool helps you find colleges

that fit your needs! Find the right fit by filtering colleges

according to factors important to you.

Search For Colleges With Big Future

College Discovery Resources


Use the filters to find colleges that are the right fit for you!

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