Learning About Colleges

  • To gather information about colleges:

    • Come to the College and Career Center (CCC) to begin your search and ask questions about how to get started.
       
    • Consult college guidebooks such as Barron’s, the Fiske Guide, Rugg’s Recommendations, and The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges, for general information.
       
    • Use the Internet to search for colleges and gather information. Naviance has access to extensive information about all colleges. Register for Naviance and visit the site regularly. Click here to learn more about what Naviance is.
       
    • Study course catalogs, college directories, and college websites for admissions procedures, application deadlines, courses of special interest, campus climate, etc.
       
    • Attend college fairs and college information nights around Portland.   For help navigating a college fair, here are two resources:  Faring Well at College Fairs and What to Do Before & During a College Fair.
              These organizations have college fairs, often in the spring and fall.  Check their websites for more information:
    • NACAC - National Association for College Admissions Counseling
    • PNACAC - Pacific Northwest Assocation for College Admissions Counseling
    • CTCL - Colleges that Change Lives
       
    • Attend college visits at Cleveland High School. Pay attention to the Daily Bulletin or Naviance for dates.
       
    • Consider visiting local colleges to get a sense of their differences. There are large public universities (U of O, OSU), smaller public universities (PSU, Western Oregon, Southern Oregon, etc.), small liberal arts colleges (Reed, Lewis & Clark, Linfield,), and community colleges (PCC, MHCC, etc.) located around the state.  For example, if you like the feel of Lewis and Clark, then there are liberal arts colleges all over the country that are similar and you could focus on those.  If you don't like it, that gives you information too.  Junior year is a good time to start making these visits.  Use this Campus Score Card or make your own to help you record your thoughts.
    • Contact the admissions office of the schools in which you are interested. If you are visiting that college, arrange for a tour. Make sure a college knows you are visiting and interested in their school; they keep careful records so they know who is really serious about their school! 
       
    • Set up a folder system and a calendar for your self. Every college has unique characteristics that you will want to remember — you will need an organizational system to collect all of this information. Collect applications, financial aid forms, and course catalogs, either through a college’s website or by calling the college’s administration office.
       
    • By the fall of your senior year, your long list of potential colleges should be reduced to 4–8