College-logos 2 - Brainerd Memorial Library

College Search

There are over 2,000 four-year colleges across the country, it can be hard to search for the best one. Here are three good college search tools:
It's important to choose non-profit colleges and avoid the for-profit ones. Students who attend for-profit colleges will likely end up with much more debt (see 'student debt' below) than if they had attended a non-profit college. However, it can be hard to figure out some of these important details. The 'for profits' document (below) can help shed some light on that topic.


The Common App is an important tool to use when applying to multiple colleges on the mainland. Over 800 colleges use the Common App so use this application to make life a little easier. Check out the website for more details.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) offers reduced tuition at participating colleges. Some colleges use it as a scholarship and some limit the majors that are open to WUE students. The best way to search is to use the WUE website then direct specific questions to the college you are interested in.
The FairTest website has alot of great information about colleges that are moving away from using the SAT and ACT in their admissions decisions. What this means for students is that high school courses, grades in high school classes and participation in sports and other activities will be more important in getting into college than a test score.
College Fairs - each year there is a college fair in November and April in Honolulu and it's a great way to get info on colleges. A field trip is arranged to take students who sign up to go but not all students participate. Parents can visit the fair in the evenings. 
College Representative Visits - a great way to get info about a college is to hear what the representative has to say when they visit a high school. Sometimes they even give application fee waivers to the students who come to the meetings.
Creating your "Apply List" for College
  • Should consist of AT LEAST 5-10 schools. 
  • Safety Schools: Colleges to which you are almost guaranteed of admission based on your qualifications (greater than a 80% chance).
  • Good Fit Schools: Colleges that you have a decent chance of gaining admission to (a 30%-80% chance).
  • Reach Schools: Colleges that are unlikely to offer you admission (less than a 30% chance).
  • If you never apply, you will never get accepted!
Applying For College
Points to consider while applying:

*Application opening/closing times: Reference school websites

*Admission Requirements: Cumulative high school GPA 

(Gr. 9-12), test scores (ACT or SAT), and an essay requirement (depending on college).

*Programs of Study/Sports offered: Majors/minors/opportunities for advancement; sports differ by school  

*Fees of the application and tuition of the schools 

*Scholarships each school offers: Applying for tuition support often requires a separate application.