Monday, February 29, 2016

The Importance of College Traditions

Happy Monday, everyone! Today I wanted to write a (rather lengthy) post  for you all on the importance of finding a college that has traditions. Traditions aren't really something you think of when you consider the facts and figures about a university, but they really should be!

So, traditions on college campuses can range from Homecoming Weekend, to Athletic Alumni Weekend, May Days, anything that has lasted for a long time on campus and that brings the student body together. Also, these traditions usually incorporate alumni somehow - whether they be on campus during it or whether they took part during their undergraduate career. Mainly though, traditions help bring a lot of pride to the university's campus and among the student, faculty, and administrators!

Why are they important, you ask?? They are important because they will provide you with amazing memories of your time on campus and they will help you feel even more connected to your university. These events get you excited to be going to school there and to be surrounded by your fellow students. They help increase morale and give you amazing experiences to be part of and impact. They also help you immensely with gaining friends and meeting new people. My friend Sarah talks about it here, but also at my Orientation experience (which is in itself a tradition at each university), we gained so many friends and were able to meet many new people just by taking part in the Orientation program and the activities they promoted.

Transfer Orientation

You will most likely not learn about these traditions until you go and take a tour of campus by a student of that university. They usually share when these events take place and why they make that university special. Oftentimes, you may learn that your tour guide chose that university specifically because of the traditions and the on-campus events that connect them to the university as a whole. Definitely don't hesitate to ask the tour guide what their favorite tradition on campus is. DISCLAIMER - If they answer this question with, "My roommates and I always go to Denny's for breakfast the Saturday after Finals," or something like that, that is not a college tradition. That is a personal tradition that is not guaranteed to you when you attend that university. The traditions I'm talking about are college-sanctioned and advertised events that typically all or most students take part in large numbers.

What do these traditions look like? Well, what's unique about each university is unique about each university's traditions. My alma mater had so many traditions that varied throughout the year, but my favorite was the Candlelight Ceremony. During Freshmen Orientation and the night before Commencement our Senior year, we process around the small pond on the campus carrying candles. It sounds kind of silly, but it is something that is very sentimental and the fact that we did it on one of our first nights on campus and on our last night on campus was a great way to round out our four years on campus. Some other universities may have a highly anticipated Homecoming Weekend where alumni come back to campus, there is usually a high-profile football or soccer game against a rival team, with lots of people around and just fun being had by everyone! Some other universities have traditions for individual class years to celebrate where they are in their journey on campus and what the future holds for them, like a black-tie dance for family and friends. It also might be as simple, yet amazing, as a Midnight Breakfast the morning before Finals Week begins.

The great thing about these traditions is that they are usually sentimental and carry a lot of value with administrators and alumni of the university. When you start networking across campus and meeting alumni, discussing their favorite campus tradition is a sure-fire way to gain a connection with them ... especially if theirs and yours are the same tradition! Traditions will help make your four years as an undergraduate student the most amazing four years of your life, so as you are looking at universities and making your final decision on which to enroll at, don't count campus traditions as being unimportant! 

enjoy the chase,

P.S. Next week I plan on doing a Commuter Series for the blog. If you have questions or things you want to know about being a commuter, comment below, e-mail me, or tweet me and I'll be sure to give it a shoutout! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Celebrities: College Edition

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a great weekend so far and enjoying working on school projects or just relaxing with friends ... remember life is a balance so both is okay!! For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you saw that I shared a video of Jenna Bush-Hager discussing her decision to attend the University of Texas-Austin and I thought that it would be cool to share with you all where other celebrities attended college and what they studied! Also, if you don't follow me on Twitter yet, be sure to follow me at @Chasing_College. Let's get started!!

Kourtney Kardashian
University of Arizona for Theatre Arts and Spanish

Willie Robertson 
Harding University and University of Louisiana at Monroe for Business

John Cena
Springfield College for Exercise Physiology 

Lady Gaga
New York University for Musical Theatre

Payton Manning
University of Tennessee for Speech Communication

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Morehouse College for Sociology
Boston University for Ph.D. in Systematic Theoloy

Emma Watson
Brown University for English Literature

Matthew McConaughey
University of Texas at Austin for Radio-Television-Film

Matt Lauer
Ohio University for Media Arts and Studies

Luke Bryan
Georgia Southern University for Business Administration

Vera Wang
Sarah Lawrence College for Art History

John Heder
Brigham Young University for Fine Arts 

Garth Brooks
Oklahoma State University for Advertising

Giuliana Rancic 
University of Maryland for Journalism 

Stephan King
University of Maine for English

Is there a favorite celebretary of yours going to your dream school? Feel free to share in the comments! 

enjoy the chase,

P.S. All pictures and information are from each celebrity's Wikipedia page.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

College Rankings: Are they Important?

Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to talk to you all about college rankings and what they mean. These rankings are put out by different magazines and newspapers that use a variety of criteria to gauge the prestige of each institution. They can be useful for getting ideas and researching different universities, but you ultimately should not read too hard into them.

The most popular website for giving out college rankings is the US News and World Report (they rank other things too, like cars, hospitals, and places to live). In terms of colleges and universities, they rank schools by major, location, subject area, and money (Best Value Schools). You can also search the rankings based on their location in the United States as well. You all should definitely check it out because the rankings are interesting and some of them are actually quite surprising!

So, are they important? In my opinion, no they aren't important, but if you are looking for that prestigious institution, then by all means listen to the rankings. However, rankings do not determine how nice professors are, what the campus atmosphere is like, or what study abroad trips are available. This is where the rankings fall short.

When choosing a college or university to attend, it is more important to find the right fit for you, than it is to find a top school with five #1 rankings. Chances are, your perfect college will not be in the top 10 in any category or will not even be on the list ... and that is okay! These rankings are great for initial research and getting ideas on where to visit colleges, but don't rest your decision on where a college is in comparison to another.

For my alma mater, which was the perfect school for me, they are ranked #11 in Regional Colleges, #4 in Best Value, and #7 for Best Colleges for Veterans. They were not ranked in the top list of liberal arts colleges, nor were they listed as a top college for Study Abroad opportunities. The other university I applied to, however, was ranked on the National Rankings for Liberal Arts Colleges ... it was not the perfect fit, though. This shows just how unimportant those rankings are for making a final decision. You need to find a university that best fits your needs and that will provide you with all of the experiences you want!

So, when your friends are talking about getting accepted into this ranked college or that ranked university, that's great for them, but just remember it's about finding your perfect fit, not your perfect ranking!

enjoy the chase,

P.S. I am planning a series on commuting to college and that lifestyle, if you have suggestions, ideas, or questions about what I should include, please comment below or tweet me @Chasing_College

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Student Perspective: Small Town to Large University

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and are getting prepared for an amazing week ahead!

When I was writing the post from last week about getting involved on a large college campus, I had the idea to ask one of my best friends from high school talk to you all about her transition from a small high school (we graduated with 75 students) to the University at Buffalo (SUNY), which boasts a population of roughly 30,000 students. She survived and thrived through her transition from a small high school to a large university and here is her advice to help you through yours:

Getting involved on a large campus can be really challenging. I was used to my high school where I graduated with 75 people; when I graduated from college it was 3500 just in my class. Now, I was never the most outgoing of people so this was a huge transition for me. When I started out freshman year I knew one person, whom I had met at Orientation. But from there she and I started going to club meetings and activities around campus so we met more people every day.

UB made it so you have the same classes and get put in the same arena with people of the same major. So even though the campus was so large, you saw a lot of the same people every day. I started out as a pre-pharmacy major, so right away I joined the pharmacy club to try to meet some like-minded people, which then led to joining the Honor Society. During my sophomore year I then started working with a catering company on campus. We were the ones to work all the football games and feed the players afterwords. I met a lot of really amazing friends working those crazy long hours!

Sarah at work with the UB mascot

I had a really hard time the first few weeks being away from home. My freshman year I was in one room with three other girls, so as you can imagine it wasn’t the best situation to be in. So yeah, you may have a pretty crappy living situation but you end up learning so much about yourself and the people around you that it’s hard not to have fun! To get out of the room though I got really involved at the gym on campus and started taking Tuesday night yoga classes. Just put yourself out there and make sure you have fun doing it!

Remember it really helps that everyone is in the same boat as you! Most people that go to college don’t know many people there either. It can be really hard starting out at a huge school not knowing anyone. Now is the time to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. You will meet people from all walks of life that have so many interesting things about them, so make sure you ask questions. Enjoy the time you have in college but also remember you are paying for it so keep your priorities straight. It will definitely help out in the long run. :)

I hope this post has helped you guys a little in planning for your transition to a larger university or for changing the way you are doing things there now. Just remember, getting involved is essential on any college campus, so find your niche and go with it!

enjoy the chase,

P.S. Sarah has just ventured out and become a presenter for the Cosmetic company Younique, feel free to check out her page here

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I was Accepted ... Now What?

Hi everyone! We are entering a very exciting time in the next few weeks ... COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE LETTERS are mailed out! Some universities do rolling admissions, so you may have already heard your decision, which was hopefully favorable for you! Because of this exciting time, I wanted to provide you all with some advice on what you should do once you learn that you are accepted to a university!

First things first, CONGRATULATIONS!! Getting accepted to college is a dream come true, whether you are applying to community colleges, state schools, small private colleges, or the most elite universities, it is a-okay to be excited about your acceptance! I cried when I got the phone call that I was accepted to my undergraduate alma mater because I was so happy and so excited about what was to come! This is an accomplishment in its own right, so be proud of it!

You may also want to celebrate with your family and your friends about your acceptance to college. Bake a cake, go out to a nice restaurant, blow up some balloons, and throw some confetti! You are entering the next phase of your life and it is a cause for celebration. It doesn't need to be outlandish or ridiculously expensive of course, just make it a great time to recognize where you've come and where you are possibly going!

Once you go to school the next day or a few days following, you will want to update your school counselor and the teachers/administrators who wrote your letters of recommendation. They will want to hear the update and this also gives you the opportunity to thank them for their help and support of your college application! If you want to tell your friends and other teachers, go right ahead, but don't feel obligated to inform the whole world. --This is the same for updating on social media. Obviously, if you want to update your Facebook status or post a picture of your acceptance letter to Instagram, then definitely do it, but don't feel like this is an obligatory aspect of your college acceptance!

Follow me on twitter @Chasing_College 

Plan to visit campus one more time! You can check out my post here on the difference between your first and last visit to campus, but you really should try to see campus once more before making your final decision. You can take a more in-depth look at the major you want to study and possibly talk with some administrators in the functional areas you are interested in, e.g.: Campus Ministry, Athletics, or Study Abroad Office. Most universities have Admitted Student Days, so that would be a nice chance to visit too.

At this point you should have already filed your FAFSA, but if you haven't, make sure you do that! This can give you access to more financial aid opportunities, federal loans, grants that you don't have to pay back ... so many things to help make college a little more affordable. You should also check out even more scholarships that you can apply for on that campus and throughout your community. If you have any questions or concerns about your financial aid packet once it is sent to you, be sure to call the Financial Aid Office or make an appointment to discuss particulars in person. DISCLAIMER: Don't be upset when they can't offer you any more money, a lot of times there is no amount of begging or pleading that can be done for them to find available money and give you an extra $5,000 a semester.

Without a doubt, something you should do is join that university's Facebook page for your class year. There will be administrators and upperclassmen already on that page to help answer your questions and you can also meet potential classmates of yours! Some of my first "Facebook Friends" from college came from the Class of 2014 page I joined once I was accepted and really interested in going to my alma mater. You can find people in your major or who are interested in some of the other extra-curriculars in your life, so definitely don't blow it off as something unimportant.

Finally, my advice to you is RELAX. The first and most draining part of the process is done, you have been accepted somewhere and you do have a future in college, so don't stress out. Enjoy the rest of your senior year and make sure you still keep your grades up, the university will request your final transcript!

Have you already been accepted? How did you celebrate? Share in the comments your acceptance stories :)

enjoy the chase,

Monday, February 15, 2016

How to Get Involved on a Large Campus

Hello all! I hope you all had a great weekend full of love; for yourself, for your family, and for your education! Today, I want to talk to you all about ways that you can get involved on a large campus. Large campuses are "large," because they usually have a lot of students, they cover a large campus area, and have great diversity. If you're thinking about attending a large university, then keep reading to learn about ways that you can get involved in campus!

1. Join Greek Life - I feel like this is what you may automatically think of when figuring out how you're going to make friends on a large campus. While this is obvious, it is a definite option and it is perfect for certain types of students. By no means is it for everyone, but if it is something you're leaning towards then definitely research your university's Greek life organizations and ask some upper-classmen about it when you get on campus. No matter what though, you want to make sure you go through the process because it is something you want to do, it is a four-year commitment.

2. Get Involved with your Major - Immersing yourself in your major group can provide you with great opportunities for getting involved on campus. You can find research opportunities, on-campus jobs, potential internships, and a group of like-minded friends that champion for the same things you do. If you're taking a lot of the same classes with students, you all can probably find things to get involved with, like on-campus events, speakers, conferences ... etc. Your professors might even have ideas or maybe they advise a student organization for your academic program!

3. Find a Student Group you Like - When you attend the Activities Fair in the Fall, you will be gravitated towards certain groups and populations of students -- usually they have similar values as you. If this is the case, then pursue those groups. Attend their meetings and try to get involved with their special projects. Whether it is the Black Student Union, College Republicans, Diversity United, International Student Organization, or the Jewish Student Group, find an organization that you align with and would like to be associated with for your years on campus! They will have events hosted throughout the year, so it is a great way to gain leadership experience too as you become an upper-classman.

4. Commit to an Athletic Team - So, at larger universities, being on an athletic team is a HUGE commitment, practically a full-time job in addition to your school work, so if you feel that you have the talent, the drive, and the desire to make that commitment, then you should really pursue that. However, if you love the sport, but don't necessarily have that D-1 talent, then look into becoming a student manager or equipment manager for the team. You can still be involved in that atmosphere and be connected to the sport you love, without the full commitment of workouts, one-on-one sessions with the coaches, and the study hall hours.

5. Become a Student Leader - Another great way to get involved on campus is to become a student leader with your student government association. Each university's is structured differently, but if you loved being a leader in high school, why not jump into it at the university level. You can join as a representative for your class year (e.g. Freshmen, Sophomore) and then rise through the ranks as you grow and learn more about the student government. This leadership can also help you gain access to student committees and student chairperson positions on administrative and faculty committees as well!

6. Talk to People - As silly as this may seem, talk to your classmates, people that live on your floor, administrators, bosses, professors, upperclassmen you see at lunch. Talk to them and see how they are getting involved, what they have going on. Who knows, they could be started a new club that is right up your alley and something you would love to work on! Talking to people and learning about others is a great way to learn about opportunities on your campus, so definitely put yourself out there and meet some new and interesting people!!

I hope this post has helped you guys a little in planning for your transition to a larger university or for changing the way you are doing things there now. Just remember, getting involved is essential on any college campus, so find your niche and go with it!

enjoy the chase,

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!!! I haven't done a 'Friday Favorites' in a little while, so I thought I would do one today and just share some of the things that I am loving lately!

Jeopardy - College Championship!
I'm quite happy I flipped the TV to Jeopardy at the beginning of the week because it was the College Championship for 2016! It was really great to see people our age going out there and competing for the equivalent of a year's worth of tuition money! Also, the questions are geared a little more towards our generation, so I felt like I knew a lot of the answers too, which is always fun! The final round is on tonight, so check your local listings to see students from the University of Pittsburgh, University of California Berkeley, and the University of Southern California compete for the final prize!!

Youtube Vloggers 
So, since a little before Christmas, I have been obsessed with watching fashion and beauty vlogs on youtube, as well as, ones about Pinterest hacks and organization/lifestyle! What's great about youtube though is that you can find almost anything that suits your interest areas and can keep you entertained. My favorite right now is Alexandrea Garza's channel on youtube, where she makes videos on make-up tutorials and a whole bunch of lifestyle topics too. Watching youtube videos is a great way to de-stress for a half an hour or stay entertained while you're on the treadmill or riding the bus to school!

Graduate Hotels - College Town Hotel Chain
I read about this company through a newsletter I'm subscribed to for college administrators and faculty and they build and manage hotels in college towns across the country. They are relatively new, but their purpose is to provide a partnership with the university in terms of accommodations for visitors, alums, and other important people. They try to bring the history and the culture of each university into the decor and structure of the hotels, which is really neat. You can check out their website here, but I think it is a really cool idea! 

Harvard Tours Yale
This is a video that I found my Senior year of undergrad and thought was hilarious ... I still find it hilarious now. It is a Harvard student pretending to be a Yale student and giving out tours to people. During these tours he says mostly untrue facts about Yale, just to make Harvard look better to the visitors. Disclaimer: This video was meant as a joke, as something that would be funny, not to genuinely hurt the universities in anyway. If you are seriously considering Harvard or Yale University, good for you, they are obviously great universities to attend ... but this video just provides a good laugh!

Valentine's Day
So this weekend is obviously Valentine's Day weekend, so happy that to everyone! I personally really do like this holiday, most people are like, "Oh, it's just a holiday created by Hallmark" or "You shouldn't dedicate just one day to loving someone, it should be all year round." While all of those may be accurate, it should also be a celebration of the love in your life. Your love for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for your significant other, for your pets, for your education, for your hobbies ... etc. I feel that in life, college especially, we can get bogged down very easily and lose track of the things we love because we are so busy, so why not use this day to call our parents, go out for coffee or lunch with our friends, watch a movie with our boyfriend or girlfriend, and take some time to ourself! So enjoy this day and celebrate all the love you have in your life!

I hope you guys find something interesting here within my Friday Favorites or it inspires you to look around for the things you've been loving lately! I hope you all have a great and safe weekend and enjoy some time to relax!

enjoy the chase,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Finding your Study Spot

Hi everyone! With the semester gearing up and getting more and more jam-packed, I wanted to talk to you all about finding your study spot on campus, in your room, or at home. As simple as this is, finding a place to read a book, it is almost a make-it-or-break-it component to your scholastic life. Here are my tricks of the trade when it comes to finding your sweet spot!

Figure out your ideal time of day! Every student has an ideal time when they are their most productive, so channel that time to make your study spot ideal. Some students, they focus best in the early mornings, some in the afternoon, and some at 2am. Everyone is different, so make sure you are doing what is best for you!

Pick your distraction level! You may be one of those people who love being around people and study best when you're surrounded by others, or you may be someone who can have zero distractions while studying, reading, and writing. Because of that, you need to find a place that fits that need. In a library, usually the higher you go (number of floors), the quieter it will be. If you are working on the main floor of the library or student center, you will get a lot of traffic for people trying to print things, order food at the cafe, or chat with others. Also,  different areas will have different distraction levels at different times of day.

Examine your comfort level! Again, depending on your personality and what you need, you have to find your level of comfort when it comes to writing papers and studying for exams. This could be wearing sweatpants and not having showered in a day or it could be that you need to be freshly showered with jeans and a nice top on. It could also be the type of chair or couch you could be sitting on while studying. Find out what works best for you by trying a bunch of different surroundings.

Make sure you bring everything you need! This goes without saying, but make sure you have all you need when studying. A study spot won't be a productive place for you if you can't get work done because you forgot something. Whether it is your computer charger, a highlighter, a notebook, your flashdrive, and your textbooks, make sure you have what you need so you don't waste a ton of time going back and forth from your room to your study spot. Don't forget to bring a snack and some water or juice to keep your energy up!

If it is not working, switch it up! Your study spot does not need to be the same for each of your classes. When I was in undergrad, I had one spot in the library where I wrote papers, there was my Res Life Office where I worked on extra-curricular projects, and then on my bed I read for all of my classes. Each of these study/work spots worked perfectly for what I needed to do in them. When something wasn't working or I needed inspiration, I would try a different classroom or a different computer in the library.

Overall, surviving academic life in high school and in college is essential and finding a great study spot for yourself can really help you achieve your goals. Once you have it figured out, definitely try to keep it up and don't sway, unless it is not helping you be productive. Productivity is the name of the game when it comes to studying and working on homework! For myself, I love to read for class at a specific spot in our library in the mornings or on my bed when I am home on the weekends. Everyone is different, so make sure you are doing what is best for you and if you have a great spot for studying now, feel free to comment below! I'd love to hear!!

enjoy the chase,

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Finding a Job On Campus

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great and productive week! I can't believe that we are already a week into February ... before we know it, it'll be Spring Break! Today I wanted to talk to you all about finding jobs on campus, whether you're a student there now or just getting ideas for the future!

I know for a lot of students, affording a college education is a challenge, so working through college is a must. Without a doubt, my suggestion is to find a job on campus. While it may be appealing to work at PacSun or Ulta for the employee discount, off campus employment opportunities won't always understand if you have academic commitments. By no means should it be your goal to call off of work ever, but assignments come up, things you need to be home for, and group projects all happen and usually a job at the college will understand and be able to work around your absence.

Now, the opportunities may change due to your university's rules on work study and the availability of student positions, but here are some places you can look to make some money while on campus!

Financial Aid - My first stop would be the Financial Aid Office because they may have leads on what offices are hiring or when there will be openings in the future. When I was a Sophomore, I went to the Financial Aid Office the first week of classes to see what offices needed a student worker and from there I was hired in the Admissions Office as a student phone caller and the rest is history! But seriously, the Financial Aid office should have a good idea about who is hiring and who is not!

Information Desk - This is a great opportunity to get paid to socialize and possibly do your homework, depending on your college. The Information Desk is where you provide information to visitors, lost students, or people who just want to know more about an event. It is usually in your college's Student Center. It is typically a pretty low-key job where you get to interact with new and different people and get paid to talk with them.

Dining Services - A major employer at any university for students is the dining hall and the catering services. Especially at larger universities who have a variety of dining establishments and host a lot of conferences and events throughout the year, working in dining services is a sure way to make some extra cash. They usually will have shifts available throughout the day working at a cash register/swipe machine, serving on the lines, preparing dishes, or waitressing at the on-campus diner. There is also the availability to work weekends, unlike most student jobs at universities.

Tour Guide - Being a tour guide might not be incredibly lucrative, but it does give you some good experiences and can open the door to other earning opportunities. If you plan on staying on campus during breaks and even over the summer, I would suggest looking into it because of that. If you are on campus during the summer, there's a possibility that you could give a tour every day, twice a day if there aren't any other tour guides on campus. You also get to work Open House events on the weekends which also opens up the door for more money!

Phonathon - Working for Alumni Relations/Development can have its perks! Yes, you have to call and ask people to donate to your college, but you also get to connect with alumni (sometimes prestigious ones) and you can learn even more about the history of your college. Making connections with alumni can be crucial for your post-college life, so why not find a job where you can network, talk about your love for your college, and get paid to do it?

The Library - Typically, libraries rely on students to put books back on their shelves, help students with their researching methods, and just keep a general watch of the library (especially at night and on weekends). This can be a fun job, especially if you like books, but it also offers an element of social interaction by getting to work with the students and faculty that come into the library looking for books, magazines and articles.

Offices - This is pretty normal, but you can always ask around different offices to see if they have spare hours or need an extra hand on certain days. Think about the Business Office, Registrar's Office, Faculty Offices, Academic Affairs Office, Student Affairs Offices ... etc. There are a lot of great opportunities to serve administrators and their secretaries so definitely look into it.

Career and Resident Assistants - Some colleges and universities hire student assistants in their Career Services Office to help with resume critiquing and practice interviews. They usually have an application process, but if it is something you are seriously interested in doing, look into it and see if the Career Services Office has any openings. Being a Resident Assistant is not very lucrative at all considering the amount of effort you put into it, but you also reap some great rewards too; room to yourself, leadership experience, great references, and oftentimes your room is paid for in addition to a stipend of some kind.  Disclaimer: Becoming a Resident Assistant is not for the faint of heart, it is a lot of work and you keep some weird hours and schedules, but it is also incredibly rewarding of an experience and can definitely help your wallet if you feel committed to helping students throughout college.

I hope these suggestions have helped spark some ideas for you about finding a job on campus! Working on campus is a great way to earn some extra money or offset your tuition bill, while still being integrated into your college community! And who knows ... it may lead to even more opportunities in the future!

enjoy the chase,

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wish I Knew Wednesday

"I wish I had known which college search sites were really good resources. All I did was Google at first."
Adrianna P., 25, Peterborough, New Hampshire 

A college search website is like the gateway to a million possibilities! They have so much information and resources condensed right into a single website with easy-to-use menus! For my college search, I relied heavily on college search sites to find different colleges that fit all of the criteria that I wanted. Here are some great sites that you can use either as you begin your college search or if you are trying to find other options for yourself!

This is the website that I used religiously from my 8th grade year pretty much until I graduated from high school. I used the search section where I could select all of my non-negotiables that I knew I wanted in a college, then it popped up with all of the colleges and universities that matched that criteria. It also has some great articles and sections about things such as Financial Aid, college majors, and even about visiting colleges. It is a really great resource and I definitely suggest checking out the matchmaker search part of the website!

Every year, the US News and World Report puts out rankings of universities and colleges on so many bases. So, they have lists like the best online universities, the best colleges for Business majors, the best colleges in the Northeast region ... etc. SO MANY LISTS!!! I'd suggest using this more as a way to see what universities are out there and what they are known for, so to speak. Disclaimer: Rankings are not everything!! You can love a college and university that is listed as 30 on a regional ranking and absolutely hate one that is listed 5 nationally. It all depends on your preferences, but if you are looking for prestige or for a ranked university, then check out the US News and World Report rankings! 

This website, put out by the United States Education Department, has some really great features to help the college search as well. One is the Navigator portion, this allows you to search for a university, much like the Collegboard one, but it is a little simpler and fit for a certain geographic location. So, I was able to find all of the public and private universities in a 20 mile radius of New Orleans, LA by doing this search. If you know that you really want to be near a specific city, then this would be a good tool as well.  You can also find information on college affordability and preparing for a college education. This is put out by the government, so it has some really good information specific to national guidelines and standards!

This is a really great resource if your parents didn't attend college or if they attended a long time ago or if you just want more guidance than what they are providing to you. Much like Chasing College, this website also provides information on the admissions process, transitioning into college, and on campus lifestyle information like looking for a job, but is geared more towards the first generation student. You could click around this site for hours, that's how much great information it has! So, whether you are a first generation student or if you just want more guidance, this website has some great information that can help you with all aspects of going to college!

Late in the summer I attended a virtual college fair through this website and you can see my post about it here, but this website has so much information about a ton of different colleges and universities. What's great though is that from time to time those universities will have admissions representatives on hand to answer your questions about their campus. They also have virtual events that take place throughout the year, like college fairs and information sessions, so if you create an account with them, you can be notified of which universities have representatives when and when their virtual events will take place. It is all virtual so you can attend college fairs and chat with representatives all from the comfort of your home and in your pjs!

While you can always google to find information about colleges and universities, I really suggest using one of these websites, specifically a match-maker one to help you determine the colleges that fit your needs! Even if you've already done one, go back and do one again, you never know if your non-negotiables have changed or if the universities that match your needs change, so you can alter your college search! 

Is there another college search site that you've used or a website that is your go-to for the college search? I'd love to hear, so feel free to comment below so that we can add to our resource list! Have a great rest of the week everyone!

enjoy the chase,