Split blue image, woman with tablet, man at laptop, words Ask the Experts

How Should Freshmen Prepare for the College Search?

It's never too early to start thinking about college! Learn what you can do as early as your freshman year with this expert advice.

Sara LindbergSara Lindberg
Freelance Writer
Former High School Counselor
It’s never too early to start thinking about college! That’s why many high schools now include curriculum during freshman year to help students begin the college search and planning process. This is also a great time to start discussing options for post-secondary education with your parents or guardians. By starting these talks early, you’ll hopefully have a better idea about how to pay for college. 

Your next step is to make an appointment with your high school counselor to go over general college admission requirements and review your course selections for the next three years. At home, sign up for free online accounts that let you research and explore different colleges and careers [like CollegeXpress!]. If they have personality inventories and career interest surveys, consider taking a few of these. You can use the results to help guide your college search process.

Then spend time on college websites looking at the academic programs they offer. Take time to compare costs and admission requirements between a few different schools. Start with in-state colleges before you expand your search to schools across the country. Remember, this is an introductory activity. Use your freshman year to explore and make note of the things that excite and interest you.

Charlotte KlaarCharlotte M. Klaar, PhD
Klaar College Consulting LLC
Do your best in all your classes so you don’t close doors for yourself. You may not think you want to do something as a freshman, but that may change once you're a junior. Therefore, leave all your options open by taking the most intense curriculum that you can succeed in and get high grades in all your classes. Take part in a range of school activities that are meaningful to you and do the same ones each year. Do community service consistently throughout high school. With these credentials, you'll have a good range of choices when you begin the college search in earnest.

Ready to get the ball rolling? Start exploring colleges using our College Search tool or our unique Lists & Rankings!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Do you have a question for our experts?
College Matches