...from GuidedPath Edge Guru

Underclassmen: Comparing colleges for quality

compare colleges

There are over 2800 four-year colleges and universities in the United States alone.  How do you search for and compare the qualities of a college? How do you find one that fits you best and offers you value?  As you search the web and visit colleges, ask yourself these questions: 

  • What is the academic atmosphere like at the college?  Is it the right level for me? 
  • Does it offer my major?  What special highlights does the school offer in my major? 
  • What is student life like at this school?  Where would I hang out and who with? 
  • What is the cost of the school?  Can my family afford it? 

It takes time to explore and compare the quality of different schools. Start early.  Make your list of essential qualities a college must have. This will help direct your search. 

Take Action 

GuidedPath has the most powerful college search tool you can find. Use it to find the best colleges for you. Here are some things you can do in GuidedPath to organize your search: 

1) Complete the Design A College Survey.  

2) Review My Matches. We have already done the work to make matches for you using your: 

  • ACT scores 
  • SAT scores 
  • GPA (unweighted) 
  • Find My Spark College Style 
  • Fields of Study 
  • Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) 

3) Custom Searches. Start with a My Match survey and add qualities, or start a search from scratch.  Once you have a search you like, you can save it.  

4) View the FISKE Guide ratings. FISKE compares colleges based on the following criteria, using a scale of 1-5 stars, with 5 being the top rating. 

  • Academic: How strong are the academics at the school? 
  • Expense:  What is the cost of the school? 
  • Quality of Life: Overall quality of college life at this school? 
  • Social:  What is the social life like at the school? 

Finding the qualities you need in a college is easy using Guided Search.  Start early and build your dream list of colleges.