General College Search

Don’t know where to start? These resources will help you begin your college search:

Big Future College Board provides their Big Future website to help students navigate the college application process. This is a resource that includes college searches, planning tools, scholarship opportunities, assessment resources, and many other tools to help you plan and put in action your college application process.

Xello - The new Career Cruising. Xello is your one stop shop for your Academic and Career Planning needs. Log in through your school's home page. (Log in Instructions)

YouVisit - Virtual College tours are a great way to experience the campus without leaving your house. 

Finding Your FitMadison's Top Ten Colleges

How do you know if a college is right for you? The following resources can help you determine what you are looking for in a college. 

Xello - Log in through your school's home page. (Log in Instructions)

Big Future - Open to anyone

A few things to consider when starting your college search to make sure your college works for you:

  • Type (2-year, 4-year, training program, public, private etc.)
  • Size (number of students who attend, how large your classes will be, etc.)
  • Location (urban, rural, suburban, east coast/west coast, proximity to home, etc.)

  • Majors offered

  • Extracurricular opportunities

  • Graduation rate of students (what percentage of students who attend this school actually graduate? Find that information on College Scorecard or College Results)

  • Cost (specifically the financial aid package that the school will be offering you)

  • Diversity of student body

  • Selectivity (how selective the school is with admissions)

  • Housing (where are students allowed or required to live)

  • Additional Support Programs (tutoring, disability services, accessibility, etc.)

Common Helpful Organizations

Students and families can find information regarding college options by referring directly to individual college websites. The following are helpful starting points to learn more.1

UW HELP- The UW Higher Education Location Program (UW HELP) is the front door to the UW System and all 26 of its campuses. The program helps students of all ages and backgrounds find UW System campuses that meet their needs. It also provides guidance as they prepare for college and connects them to UW System schools for a lifetime.

Wisconsin Technical Schools- Students and families can access the WTCS website to learn more about attending and applying to a Wisconsin Technical School. School counselors are great resources for students to get additional information about a variety of college options.

Wisconsin Private Colleges and Universities- Students and families can access the Wisconsin Private Colleges website to learn more about attending and applying to a Wisconsin Private College. School counselors are excellent resources for students to get additional information about a variety of college options.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) - The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities are schools of higher learning that were accredited and established before 1964, and whose principal mission was the education of African Americans. HBCUs offer culture, a rich history and rigorous academic programs. Students who are interested in learning additional information about HBCU’s should connect with their school counselor.

LGBTQ+ College Resources - LGBTQ+: Campus Pride  Academic institutions continue to take steps to create environments and policies that meet the needs of students with a wide range of gender and sexual identities. These populations have historically been underserved by hegemonic culture, so many college administrations are spearheading efforts to raise awareness of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) identities.BEST COLLEGES FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS