Mira Costa High School

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College Search Process » College Search & Selection

College Search & Selection

To begin your college search, you should start by getting to know yourself. Take time to consider your individual needs, strengths, goals, interests and abilities. College selection is a personal decision and requires that you establish your own priorities. The college search is about finding the college and university that is the right fit for you. Consider these questions to help you determine what yu are looking for in your future college:
  • What values are important to you?
  • What are your academic strengths and interests?
  • In what environment do you learn best?
  • How much structure do you need?
  • What degree of academic challenge is right for you?
  • What activities do you enjoy? Do you want to pursue them in college?
Once you have thoughtfully evaluated what is important to you, you can begin to research colleges. There are some additional factors to consider as you  make your decisions.  You can use the College Research Checklist to assist you  with this process.
 
After researching, you should build your college list. The goal is  that each student builds a balanced list of colleges.  A balanced list includes Reach  Schools (Highly Competitive), Target Schools (Competitive) and Likely Schools  (Probably Admitted). 
  • Reach Schools (Highly Competitive) - schools where the chances of your    
    being admitted are probably less than one in three, but where you have some     
    chance of being admitted.
  • Target Schools (Competitive) - colleges that match your profile. Here you
    should have around a 50/50 chance of admission.
  • Likely Schools (Probably Admitted) - colleges where you are likely to be  
    admitted based on your credentials. At these schools, the odds of admission are 
    strongly in your favor.  
Resources

Students should be utilizing resources to help them build their college list. You can use the College Search Resources to assist you  with this process.

 
Internet Search Engines - In addition to Naviance, we recommend that students use other search engines to explore college options.  A detailed list of search engines is available in the CCC.