•   College Search College Planning   

    Which High School Students Are More Likely to Graduate From College - find out here!
    View the College Night Presentation (courtesy of Cappex.com)

    Chicago Area Regional Representatives (CARR) Membership Directory
    See an overview of many of the colleges and universities most applied to by Chicago area students.  The directory gives you a brief overview of who the admissions rep is for our area and details about the school - very useful!

    These college scattergrams allow you to see which students are getting accepted to colleges and universities based on their GPA and test scores - compare yourself in these charts to get an estimate of where you may fall in their list of accepted and denied students.  Seeing where you fall on the charts will help you create realistic goals and expectations for your admission opportunities.

    On College-Admission-Profiles.com you will find the profiles of the most recent incoming classes of colleges and universities.  By reviewing the class profiles on this site, students will be able to compare themselves with those admitted to the colleges in which they are interested.  They may also be able to identify colleges and universities for further consideration.  in addition to class profiles, you can view artilces and links to websites with information on college preparation, college and university admission, scholarship, financial aid, and related subjects.

    college countdown
    Find answers to commonly asked questions at College Countdown, and see what researchers, educators, and current college students have to say about the college process and preparation you will need! 


    Big Future
    Big Future is a college planning website hosted by collegeboard.com.  Many resources,
    handouts and information to help you in your decision-making process to find out the
    right fit for you.

    Utilize a College Planning Checklist to help organize your plans and manage your decisions.  This checklist is courtesy of
    OfftoCollege.com.  Here you will find many useful tools, guides, articles and more to help you with your planning.  You may also
    use the Countdown to College Checklist provided by Charter One.
    Another great college planning checklist and worksheet is offered by Cappex.com - called the Cappex College Fit Kit.  This
    checklist is highly recommended and covers all the tasks, considerations, and responsibilities you will have when planning
    for college!


    Better Love Yourself is committed to nurturing and supporting young college bound women and men. Our goal is to provide financial assistance, dorm starter trunks and mentors for students needing a helping hand. Though the generous support of our donors, we are able to provide supplemental scholarship for daily living, special projects and emergency funds. Our Dorm Starter Trunks are filled with supplies that come in handy for students. They include supplies such as detergent, towels, pens and paper, back packs that help students on a rainy day. Through our mentoring program, students are paired with adults who have been through the college experience. These individuals provide young students with advice and guidance on issues such as learning to cope with living on their own.


    Look here to find College Majors & Programs across the entire United States.  Choose the major you are interested in, then
    choose the state(s) you are interested in going to college in - you will receive a list of all colleges and universities offering that
    major in the state(s) selected, along with a link to the college website!  Convenience of research at your hands!

    At NextStepU.com, students find several interactive tools to help them through the college-planning process. Our Step by Step
    college-planning timeline guides users through each to-do before college. The site also features a College Match tool, scholarship
    search, vibrant college-planning community and free handouts for school counselors.
    Also register for the free e-Mag where you can receive lots of helpful information directly to you!

    What Will They Learn
    The search for the right college can be overwhelming. So many guides, so many rankings. There is one thing none of them will tell
    you: which universities are making sure their students learn what they need to know.  This free resource does just that, focusing on
    seven key areas of knowledge. It's designed to help you decide whether the colleges you're considering prepare their graduates to
    succeed after graduation. Explore What Will They Learn!

    Read High School vs College - Know the differences and similarities to increase your confidence upon your transition!
    Here are a few Key Points to Know About College before you start.

    Use this College Interview Form when you go on a college visit to collect the most vital information about the school onto one
    sheet.  Have it handy for when they ask you if you have questions - these are important items you really should know before
    making your decision!
    Here are 11 Tips to Prepare for a college interview!

    Cappex.com—the College Application Exchange—is a safe and effective tool for finding the right college for you and knowing
    which schools want you
    before you apply.  Students go through a process of submitting their information (GPA, test scores, school
    type interests, etc), and then receive a list of schools that would accept the student if all the content is verified and the student
    applies.  There is also a section for parents to understand the process.


       My College QuickStart (hosted by Collegeboard.com) is an online college and career planning kit available free of charge to all
       students who take the PSAT/NMSQT. It is personalized based on your test performance and is a valuable part of your
       PSAT/NMSQT experience. You will need a College Board website account and the access code printed on your PSAT/NMSQT
       paper score report.


    The Barron's website will give prospective college students not only the opportunity to search for schools that fit their particular criteria, but will also give them a wealth of information and the tools they need to make their college search as painless as possible.


    Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is a Federally-funded program that prepares students for success in higher education.  Check out the many resources available.

    College Living Experience, is program designed to help students with learning disabilities transition into a life full of opportunity, independence and success. It’s the only program of its kind!  CLE helps parents and students realize that going to college and living independently is possible. The College Living Experience is a post-secondary support service program. They are a residential program that helps students while they attend one of several typical colleges or universities right across the street from our tutorial facility. CLE offers intensive academic, independent living skills, and social skills support to students while they study and live in a normalized college environment.  Browse their web site:

    If you see colleges present during your lunch – introduce yourself!  Get information!  Get on their mailing list!  Listen to
    announcements for representatives visiting TR, or check out our Counseling Calendar to see who is coming!
    Be prepared - know Questions to Ask College Representatives when you meet them.  Get good, relative information to help you
    make your decisions!

    Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a
    student-centered college search process. We support the goal of each student finding a college that develops a lifelong love of
    learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college. The program is based on the book written
    by Loren Pope.
    CTCL collaborates with colleges they specifically review to meet a certain criteria they feel deems the college as a college that
    changes lives.  These schools share two essential elements: a familial sense of communal enterprise that gets students heavily
    involved rather than competitive learning, and a faculty of scholars devoted to helping young people develop their powers,
    mentors who often become their valued friends.


    Upward Bound and Talent Search offer College tours in the Spring.   Contact the Career Center for more information, and/or see
    the TRIO brochure
    PUSH Excel takes college bound high school students to visit 10 historically black colleges and universities to inform and expose
    the students to institutions of higher education.  The purpose of the tour is to promote increased college attendance amongst
    minority youth through a mode of early preparation.
    Take a look at a listing and map of ALL HBCU websites!  You may also be interested in a HBCU Quick Reference Guide for the address, phone, enrollment and tuition of each school, for a quick glance of all of them.

    "University World: Find Universities & Colleges" has put together a collection of links to all colleges,
    schools and universities in the US, Canada, Australia & Europe offering either undergraduate or
    graduate programs. We have done all the preliminary work for you, so all you have to do is simply click
    on the State you want, and you will immediately find the links to all the websites concerning colleges
    and universities located in the selected State.


    Universities, Colleges & Trade Schools, the leading online educational portal, helps you acquire information from
    education institutions across the US and Canada.  You can find a program to advance your career, whether you
    are looking for an online degree or training for a college or university.  Prepare yourself for success!

    The transition from high school to college and the workplace can pose special challenges for students with learning disabilities.  
    Careful planning and cooperation among parents, educators and students with LD is essential to overcome the many barriers that
    arise when these students leave high school for post-secondary education, vocational training, and other options as young adults in
    society.  Check out the NCLD web site to access information that can help.
    The CHOICES fair is the premier college event for high school students with special needs.  This program helps prepare students with disabilities for their transition to post-high school education.  The fair is on October 25th from 5:30-9pm.  However, if you miss the fair, please look at the brochure by clicking "CHOICES fair" above to see contacts with whom you can follow up with to get more information - very helpful!  You can also view the Choices website for general information.


    Regular Decision - is a plan in which institutions review most of their applications before notifying the majority of candidates of
    their admission.  In this process, colleges set a deadline for completing applications and will respond to completed applications by a
    specified date.  If you are applying for financial aid you will follow aid application deadlines set by the school.  You may apply to
    other colleges.  You will not be required to make a decision regarding enrolling before May 1, which is considered the uniform
    candidate reply" deadline.

    Rolling Admission - is a term used to describe the application process in which an institution reviews applications as they are
    received and offers decisions to students soon after they are made.  If you are applying for financial aid you will follow aid
    application deadlines set by the school.  You may apply to other colleges and you will not be required to make a decision regarding
    enrolling before May 1.

    Early Decision - requires you to commit to a college or university at the time of application that, if admitted, you will enroll. 
    You should apply under an Early Decision plan only if you know you can make a well-reasoned, first-choice decision.  Upon
    admission the institution will require a non-refundable deposit well before May 1.  You may apply to other colleges but may have
    only one Early Decision application pending at any time.  Colleges will respond to requests for financial aid at or near the time
    admission is offered.  If admitted, you must enroll unless your financial aid award is inadequate.

    Early Action - permits you to apply to a college or university of your choice and receive a decision early in the senior year, well in
    advance of the normal spring response dates.  Though you will hear early regarding your admission, you are not committed to
    attend and you may apply to other colleges.  If you are applying for financial aid you will follow the aid application deadlines set by
    the institution.  You are not required to make a commitment before May 1, but you are encouraged to do so as soon as a final choice
    is made.  Special note: A very small number of colleges and universities may restrict the freedom of students applying under their
    early action program and require that they not apply to other institutions through either early decision or early action programs. 
    Check the "fine print" if you are planning to apply early action.
    See Early Decision vs Early Action explained in more detail!

    Wait List - is a term used by institutions to describe a process in which they may initially delay offering or deny you admission. 
    Rather, the institution extends to you the possibility of admission in the future.  Colleges offer admission to wait list candidates if
    insufficient numbers of regularly admitted candidates accept their offers of admission.  August 1 is the date by which all wait list
    offers should be made.

    Early Admission - is a plan by which colleges admit students, usually exceptionally strong ones, at the end of their junior year.

    Deferred Admission - Many colleges will allow a student to begin a semester, a year or longer after the date for which he has
    been accepted.  It is usually best and easiest to apply during the senior year and notify the college of plans for deferral after

    (c) Hoganson & Rodkin

    - Academic programs?
    - Alumni mentors provided?
    - Application deadline?
    - Average ACT/SAT/GPA?
    - Average class size?
    - Average financial aid package?
    - Campus life?
    - Classes taught by professors (no TA's)?
    - College visit dates?
    - Community breakdown, activities, hot spots, attractions?
    - Computer resources?
    - Diversity?
    - Enrollment Size?
    - Ethnic breakdown?
    - Extracurricular activities/sports/clubs/organizations?
    - Gender ratio/numbers?
    - Graduate programs available?
    - Graduation rate?
    - Housing set up? Percent of students living on/off campus?
    - Internship set up?
    - Job placement rate?
    - Location?
    - New facilities, programs, features?
    - Number of application received and accepted?
    - Personal resources?
    - Prerequisites needed to graduate?
    - Religious affiliation?
    - Retention rate?
    - Scholarships - requirements and deadlines?
    - Strongest programs/majors?
    - Student-faculty ratio?
    - Tuition cost? Including room, board, books?
    - Who is the admission rep? (Get to know them)

    virtual tours
    Here is a great way to "visit" a campus without traveling - virtual tours!  Select from hundreds of colleges who bring their campus
    to life with digital 360 degree video. 

    Cheapest Colleges: 13 standup schools that cost less than  $5,000 a year - provided by Wallet Pop and author Jason Cochran.

    Find out more about your rights with Undocumented Student Resource Guide.  You can also look at
    the CPS guide for undocumented students provided by the Chicago Public Schools.

    The 100 Best Colleges for African-American Students - by Wilson
    100 Colleges Where Average Students Can Excel - by Joe Anne Adler
    2 Year Colleges - Petersons
    America's Black & Tribal Colleges - by J. Wilson Bowman
    Barron's Best Buys in College Education - Barron's
    Barron's Profiles of American Colleges - Barron's
    The Best 311 Colleges - Princeton Review
    The Black Student's Guide to Colleges - by Barry Beckam
    Book of Majors - Petersons
    Cass & Birnbaum's Guide to American Colleges - Harper Perennial
    Christian Colleges and Universities - Petersons
    The College Admissions Mystique - by Bill Mayher
    The College Handbook - College Board
    CollegeMajors That Work - Octameron
    Colleges That Change LIves - by Loren Pope
    The Fisk Guide to Colleges - by Edward B. Fiske
    The Gourman Reoport - by Jack Gourman
    Handbook for College Admissions, A Family Guide - by Thomas C. Haydon
    The Insider's Guide to the Colleges - St. Martin's Griffin
    The K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD - by Mary Beth Kravets & Imy Wax
    Kaplan's College Catalog - Simon & Schuster
    Let Go - A Parent's Guide to Today's College Experience - by Karen Coburn & Madge Treeger
    Lovejoy's College Guide - Macmillan
    Making College Count - by Patrick S. O'Brien
    The Multicultural Student's Guide to Colleges - by Robert Mitchell
    Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions - by Sally Rubenstone
    Peterson's Competitive Colleges - Petersons
    Peterson's Four-Year Colleges - Petersons
    The Princeton Review African-American Student's Guide to College - Random House
    The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities - by Howard Greene
    Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges - by Frederick Rugg
    Smart Parents' Guide to College: The 10 Most Important Factors for Students and Parents When Choosing a College - by Ernest L. Boyer & Paul Boyer
    Winning the Heart of the College Admissions Dean - by Joyce Slayton Mitchell
    Writing your College Application Essay - by Sarah Myers McGinty
    Your College Application by Scott Gelband, Catherine Kubale, and Eric Schorr

Last Modified on January 13, 2014