Starting Your College Search

Tips to stay on top of your college search

Creating a plan is a great way to prepare for college, and it doesn’t have to be difficult! As you approach your college search, we’ve provided you with tools, resources and advice to help with your next steps. 

9th Grade - 10th Grade

  • Talk to your high school counselor about starting your college search. They’ll be able to provide advice on which courses to take, what to consider while exploring college choices and how to get started.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities. This will help you explore new interests, develop skills and gain leadership experience.
  • Start a list of schools to consider. Think about what is important to you—size, affordability, a specific major, research, athletics, distance from home, internship opportunities, etc.—and begin to research which colleges might be a fit for you. Make sure to include your family in the conversation. 
  • Request more information from the schools you are interested in. You can use Coe’s information request form to learn more about scholarships, admission requirements, majors, life as a Kohawk, visit options and important deadlines. 
  • Browse majors at the schools on your list to see what interests you. Coe offers 60+ majors and areas of study to choose from. 
  • Attend college fairs. Both virtual and online college fairs are a great way to explore colleges, ask questions and connect with admissions staff. Your high school counselor can help you find college fairs that might be a good fit for you.
  • Take a virtual tour! Before you start to schedule college visits and make travel plans, it may be helpful to take a virtual tour of the schools you’re interested in. Coe offers both a virtual reality tour and a guided campus tour video
  • Schedule a virtual visit. Virtual visits are different from tours because you can connect directly with an admission counselor to ask the questions that matter to you. Coe provides different virtual visit options through the year, but you can always set up an individual virtual visit that is personalized to fit your unique needs and interests.

11th Grade

  • If you’re just starting your college search at the beginning of your junior year, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to find the right college for you. Start by going through the 9th-10th grade list above and completing the tasks you haven’t accomplished. 
  • Review admission requirements for your top schools. Determine which of the schools on your list require test scores and whether or not you would like to take ACT or SAT. Coe is test-optional, meaning scores are not required for students applying for admission. 
  • Find out about scholarships and financial aid offered by schools on your list. You can use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your financial aid options for Coe College and get an idea of what your true cost of attendance might be. 
  • Work with your high school counselor to make sure you are signed up for the right classes to help you meet admission requirements for the majors you are considering.
  • Begin to think about college essay requirements and consider who would write your college recommendations. Your junior year is a great time to practice your essay writing and connect with school or community members who you might use as a recommendation.  
  • Continue to attend college fairs and make sure to meet with admission counselors from schools you are interested in who visit your high school. Bring a list of questions that are important for your college search to any college fair or appointment with a college admission counselor that you attend.
  • Start to narrow down your list and think about which schools you plan to visit and which schools you plan to apply to.
  • Plan and arrange campus visits. Visiting campus is a crucial part of the college decision making process. Think about which colleges are most important for you to visit and then check out all of their visit options. We would love to have you visit Coe
  • Review and prepare for important deadlines, like when the application opens, when to file your FAFSA and other deadlines.

Other College Prep Resources


U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education is a great place to find information about applying for federal student loans and explore data relating to higher education institutions in the United States. 

College Board

The College Board and Big Future can help you explore colleges, find scholarships and prepare for the SAT. 

ACT College Planning and Resources

Visit the ACT College Planning and Resources site for testing advice, career planning, information about how to apply or pay for college and much more.