• Starting your Search   

    The more specific you become in the characteristics you want, the more limited your search will be. One good way to start your search is to choose one or two characteristics and find the colleges that have them. Stay flexible. The intention of this section is to make the student aware of both personal and academic factors that might play a part in his or her college decision.

    Location (state, city, region)
    Campus Environment (metropolitan, rural)
    Type (University, College, Technical School, etc.)
    Enrollment by Sex (female only, male only or coed)
    Religious Affiliation, if any
    Size of College (undergraduate enrollment)
    Courses, Majors or Degrees Offered
    On-Campus Programs
    Tuition or Cost (don't eliminate because of cost until you find out whether you qualify for financial aid.)
    Financial Aid (scholarships, merit aid, need-based aid, work study)
    Student Activities (ex. Greek life, honors programs, or extracurricular)
    Academic Caliber of Students
    Social Life
    Competitive Atmosphere of the School

    Types of Schools

    Start your search by recognizing the many different types of schools. Although a majority of students go to a four-year college or university, you should consider all alternatives.

    UNIVERSITIES offer a broad range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. They can vary in size and in the diversity of the programs they offer but are generally larger than other types of colleges. They typically offer more majors and have more research facilities than do other colleges.

    COLLEGES are divided by departments and usually offer one or two degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science) in many academic disciplines. This would include a major in departments such as math, English, literature, science, foreign languages, politics, history, or engineering. There are various types of Colleges (for ex. Liberal Arts, Technological, Military, or Education) They usually have smaller enrollments and offer fewer degrees.

    JUNIOR OR COMMUNITY COLLEGES award associate degrees at the completion of two years of full-time study. They frequently offer technical programs of study that prepare students for immediate entry into the job market. In addition, many offer general education programs that are the equivalent of the first two years of a bachelor's degree program. These are called transfer programs; upon completion, students may enter a bachelor's degree program at the third-year level at a four-year college or university. The majority of two-year public colleges have open admission policies, although some individual programs like Nursing may be selective.

    TECHNICAL SCHOOLS specialize in one or more of the branches of engineering technology, aeronautics, air conditioning, heating and refrigeration, automotive diesel, and steam technologies, construction, chemical technology, electronics, mechanics and metallurgy, tool designing, computer technology, and others. One of the greatest occupational demands in the future will be for technicians.

    VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS offer additional training in a large number of fields. Courses run from a few weeks to several years. Business and secretarial schools offer typing, stenography, bookkeeping, data processing, and other business-related courses. At other schools, you can learn acting, police work, dressmaking, court reporting, mortuary science, cosmetology, upholstering, welding, modeling, selling and other specialized careers.

    CAREER COLLEGES A new name for a new breed of vocational/technical schools. The main purpose of a Career College is to train for a particular career, trade or profession, usually in two or fewer years.

    SERVICE ACADEMIES include the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Merchant Marines, and the Coast Guard. Acceptance to the Army, Navy and Air Force academies requires a congressional nomination and acceptance from the academy. The student must contact a State Senator, Congressional Representative, or the Vice President of the United States for the proper forms for nomination. The Coast Guard does not require a nomination. See our Internet Resources Page for links to the various academies.

    Resources in Your Search for a College

    A valuable resource for students and parents when searching for college and career information is the Colts Success Center located in Room 101. Students, parents, and the community are invited to visit during the school day. Resources available are career books, college catalogs and bulletins, directories, scholarships, and financial aid information and more. 


    Once a year Worthing hosts a college fair. You are encouraged to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to speak directly to college admission officers and to find out more about scholarships, majors, financial aid, and admission procedures. It is a good time to sign up for further correspondence from the colleges of your interest.


    The campus visit is a helpful resource in your college investigation. Not only does the visit enable you to see the physical setting and facilities of the school, but it allows you to observe the students, faculty, and staff. The best time to visit a college is while it is in session. If you plan a visit, call or write the Admissions Office to request an interview and tour of the campus. Addresses and phone numbers can be found in directories in the College/Career Resource Center or on each college's website. It is your responsibility to make the visitation arrangements. Many schools sponsor visitation weekends that are geared to the prospective student. This is an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about the school, and its procedures. Usually there is an orientation, tour of the campus, tour of the dorms, presentations about admissions, programs of study, student life, and financial aid. You can learn about campus sponsored College Tours by watching the Colts Success bulletin board, or by inquiring within the center.

    The Internet is a great place for information. Most schools have web sites. Search using the college's name. Some of the information you can find is Admissions, Financial Aid, Majors, Departments, and Course Offerings. Each site is set up differently, so explore until you become familiar with it. Some have a section for prospective students, and some have most of the information for prospective students under the Admissions category.