Selecting Colleges

  • Selecting which schools you are going to apply to is personal and individualized process. Your own goals, plans and preferences should be used in combination with outside information and resources or rankings to create a list of schools that have what you are hoping your college or university will have.

  • Students start this process at different times based on their own interest in planning for the future. Every IHS student will be required to complete a High School and Beyond Plan including some thinking and activities designed for post-high school planning. There are many more activities and resources available than what is required in this plan.

  • Student plans will vary based on the goal each student creates for themselves. They could include 4 year college, 2 year college, technical schooling, certificate programs, military involvement or direct entry into the workforce.

  • The information provided here on how to research colleges for your application list can help anyone get started!

Research colleges for your application list:

  • Start with your formula in mind. You need one or more colleges to fit three categories:
    1. Match Schools are colleges that are ideal fits for you and your selection criteria
    2. Reach Schools are colleges that are a little more of a dream school for you
    3. Safety Schools are college with admission criteria that virtually assure you of admissions.

  • Typically we see students apply to anywhere from three to seven schools in total.

  • Next determine your selection criteria
    1. Degrees and Academic Programs of interest are the most important
    2. Logistics: location (proximity on the map), environment (urban, rural, warm), size (small, medium, large), living arrangements (dorms, Greek system)
    3. Student profile match…colleges have cultures in their student bodies, college affiliations can affect this (private or public schools)
    4. Costs (housing, tuition, public, private, in-state, out-of-state)
    5. Admission Requirements and selectivity (should be based on student academic profile (see #3) compared to data published by the school).

  • Then determine your academic profile
    1. GPA
    2. SAT/ACT
    3. Rigor of coursework
    4. Extra-Curricular Profile (resume) with experiences, talents, traits
    5. Recommendations from school staff, community organizations, coaches

  • Now research your options

    Consider these typical methods of research, mostly internet based (will ask you profile questions about you and what you are looking for to suggest matches)

    2. College Representatives visit our high school to promote their school*
    3. College Reps come once a year to national college fair in Downtown Seattle*
    4. Highly selective colleges send Reps out to hold community social events to interact with potential applicants (contact colleges directly for info)
    5. College campus visits (either campus visit day or arrange a drop-in tour)
    6. Bookstores and Public Libraries have guide books to help learn more about colleges*