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The first and most important step in preparing for college is to work hard and do as best you can in the most academically rigorous courses you can handle. The grades you receive in high school will have a significant impact on your college opportunities. In addition, your performance on college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT are factored into your acceptance to college.

With over 3,900 colleges and universities in the United States, finding the school best suited for you will be challenging. There are specific criteria you will want to pay special attention to when finding the colleges which best meet your needs. These include the college’s geographic location, the size of the school, the type of school, the cost of the school, the majors which are offered, and any athletic programs or activities you may want to join. It is highly recommended that you share this information with your parents and guidance counselors.

Once you have narrowed down the number of colleges that really interest you, visit them online first. Colleges have very comprehensive sites which will be a tremendous value to you. Follow up with first-hand campus visits/tours. The impressions you gather on your campus visit will help you decide if you and the school are a good match.


Choosing a college is a big and exciting decision. Explore your interests and take the time to find a college that will put you on a path to a bright future.


Some students opt to earn their college degrees online. This link provides a comprehensive list of accredited online colleges.