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5 Steps to Creating a College List

How do you figure out which colleges to apply to? Finding colleges that fit you best begins with self-discovery — that means getting to know your interests, your goals and what’s most important to you. The following five steps will get you started on the right path.

1. Ask yourself some questions
Answering questions like these will help you focus your college search:
What am I interested in?
How do I spend my free time?
What do I feel passionate about?
How do I learn best?
What do I think I want to do in the future?

2. Get to know the options
Visit College Search Step-by-Step on, where you can learn about basic college categories and answer questions about your preferences. You’ll also find in-depth information about searching for colleges, along with advice from college students and educators.

3. Decide what matters most to you
For some students, sports and activities are very important. Other students want a challenging academic environment. Look at your answers to the questions in Step 1. What do they say about you and what you may like in a college?

4. Search for colleges
Use College Search on to find colleges that match your preferences. Search for colleges by location, majors, size and more. There’s guidance to help you along the way.

5. Add colleges to your list
Check out individual profiles of the colleges that come up in your College Search results. When you see a college you like, add it to a favorites list. You can return to it later and refine your list as you go along.

*Information from the College Board and

In the photo: photo courtesy of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College