College Search

Where to Begin

There are several books and websites that can give you a great first glance of all the colleges and universities to consider. Individual university websites can be a great next step to learn a little deeper about a specific college from a distance.


Naviance 
 
St. Andrew's uses Naviance, an internet database that is an excellent resource and tool throughout the search process. This is will be used by your college counselor to draft your list and track your active applications through the process. It is a good idea to get started and familiar with this at the end of your junior year. The tool gives students, parents, and counselors information that is specific to St. Andrew students over the past several years which can help assess likelihood of individual admission. 

Naviance shows students exactly where they fall on a graph of test scores and GPA of St. Andrew students that have applied in prior years. It is important to note that recruited athletes, legacies, underrepresented minorities, first generation college students are included in the list as a whole therefore these and/or other factors are also behind the data. 

Your counselor will use Naviance to help designate your schools within "reach," "possible" and "safer" schools. There are no "safe" schools. It is important to bring a ounce of skepticm to the process. 


Selectivity 

Many St. Andrew students want to go to highly selective colleges and universities. 

Colleges and universities are setting new records each year for number of applications they receive. Acceptance rates are becoming lower and lower. Some smaller colleges are becoming more highly selective. It is important that students are looking broadly and considering many options. It is okay for students to eliminate schools based on criteria, but it is important there is careful 

At the end of the application process is that you have choice at the end of the day. Sometimes it is difficult when you only get accepted to one school and that school becomes your next step by default. And you do not want to be in a position where you have no acceptances. 


Reputation 

Make sure you are using your own decisions regarding the merits of colleges based on current information.  It is easy to be influence by stereotypes or past reputations.  Would you want someone to judge you based on how you were in middle school?  (If you respond, "Yes!" ... then you have a bigger problem: an individual that has not grown or improved rather that has stayed constant and is slowing becoming stale.) Understand the colleges too change and evolve. 

Be mindful of things that can sway your opinions that might not really have 
  • Was the sun shinning when you visited?
  • Did you have the nicest, funniest tour guide ever?

At the same time, there is something to say for those "gut reactions." 

Please take time to read the following white paper. It will help you put in perspective