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How To Research and Compare Colleges

It's crazy to think that my freshman year of high school is coming to an end, and pretty soon I'll be heading off to college. Although it may seem a little early to start researching colleges, I've begun to do a little research and narrow down my list over the past year. Today I'm partnering with Her Campus Media and College Board to share some ways that you can start researching colleges, even if you're only a freshman or middle schooler!

The main colleges I'm interested in are the University of Texas, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, and the University of Arkansas. I've visited the three Texas schools (see their respective blog posts here, here, & here) and my mom and I are trying to figure out a time to head up to Fayetteville to see the University of Arkansas. Since I'm only a freshman in high school, we've done very informal visits to the campuses (just walking around and getting a feel for the place) but as the time gets closer, we're going to do guided tours. I highly recommend going to visit college campuses that you might be interested in, because walking around the campus really helps you get a feel for the place and see if you can picture yourself there.

Another tool that I've found really helpful is the BigFuture search engine by College Board. BigFuture is an interactive tool that helps you discover potential colleges based on the criteria that you want: majors, college size, demographics, housing, environment... the list goes on and on! You can also compare all the colleges you're interested in and see how they stack up against each other in terms of tuition, admission, size, and more. There's also tons of articles and resources available to you if you're trying to determine what type of college is best for you. I could not recommend this site enough! It is so thorough and helpful, and I'm so glad to have discovered it.

Another thing I recommend is going to any college fairs your school might have. This is a great way to discover new colleges you might not have known about and get statistics and brochures for colleges you're interested in. My school had a college fair last fall, and that's actually what got me interested in the University of Arkansas - the lady at their table was really nice and told me a lot about the school! If you discover any new colleges this way, you can go onto the BigFuture website and research them more thoroughly to discover more facts about them.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Her Campus Media and College Board. All opinions are my own.

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