Skip Navigation

Any advice for high school students on their college search?

  • Emily Balczewski '16
    Unless you are certain of the type of school you want to attend (hint: small, liberal arts, starts with "C," and ends with "ton"), apply to a range colleges of different sizes, locations, teaching philosophies, and social atmospheres. The college application process makes you realize things about yourself and your expectations for college that you may not have known when you made your first "short list." Keeping your options open is a valuable thing!
  • Caffi Meyer '15
    Don't stress out! The college search can be nerve-racking but it doesn't have to be a scary decision. I tried my best to relax throughout the process and reminded myself that every school has redeeming qualities.
  • Sam Chao '16
    Unless you have to stick to a certain region of the world, cast a wide net - look at schools on the east coast, the west coast, the midwest, or around the world. It might be a little more work to research schools, but it'll pay off if you find a school that suits your needs (even if it ends up being a school somewhere in Minnesota).
  • Anna Chance '15
    Listen to your parents, listen to your peers, listen to your counselor—but also listen to yourself. If you find a school that fits YOU, then follow that intuition. I was hard-pressed to go to Vassar or Cornell by my family—and, even though they are great institutions, they were not the right fit for me.
  • Owen Solis '17
    When I was going through the application process, I was looking for stuff that has no relevance to my life now. I would really try to picture yourself on campus. Not in an academic setting, because you’re probably applying to a group of schools that are Tier A, Tier B and offer the same kind of rigor. Instead, imagine yourself in your dorm room. Look out the window. Are you happy where you are?
  • Nate Livingston '16
    The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. It’s a time in your life with a lot of pressure around you -- from parents and friends, especially -- to apply to XYZ school because you should, without any sort of rational explanation. But then you go to visit, and for me at least, it was clear the ones I did like and the ones I did not like. That’s your decision. You have to be the one at that school for the next four years. Not your parents. not your friends. A good college fit is really important. I certainly made a good one coming here. These are my people.
  • Marielle Foster '16
    It's hard to have perspective in those years, because high school is a quintessential bubble. Think about the academics, the level of interactions with professors, how kind and helpful people are when you visit. When I visited Carleton, everyone stopped to give me directions, share anecdotes or make suggestions about things I should try. That sort of welcoming and inclusive attitude is rare, and special. Also, taking a year off was the best decision I made before coming to college.