Tag Fiske Guide

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?  The goal is to find a college that fits you and offers you a good 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 with who? 
  • 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 

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) Create a custom search.  Start with a My Match and add criteria, or start a search from scratch.  Once you have a search you like, you can save it.  

4) View the Fiske Guide ratings.  The Fiske Guide 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? 

Using Guided Search, you can build a list of colleges that balances academic, social, and financial fit. 

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