College Types

City campus or college town? Community college or four-year university? Find options that make sense for you.

Students doing group project in campus library

Is a College Degree Necessary for Success?

A college degree is a prerequisite for many jobs. But as some employers are dropping degree requirements, is a college degree worth it?

The Debate: Private College vs. State College

Student sitting on her couch taking notes for their online class

Is Getting a Degree Online Right for You?

Smiling friends walking to class

Why I Chose to Attend an HBCU

Student and advisor discussing the benefits of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

The Benefits of an HBCU: In College and Beyond

Students talking on campus

Quiz: What Type of College is the Best Fit for Me?

Students walking out of school building

Quiz: Should You Consider Community College First?

Overhead view college student studying with laptop grass

Should You Take Community College Classes Before Your Freshman Year?

Two students playing video games wearing VR headsets and using controllers

5 Colleges for Serious Video Gamers

High Line Park in winter, New York

7 Uniquely LGBTQ+ Friendly Campuses

Does Starting at Community College Really Save Money?

College Amenities

Which College Amenities Really Matter?

Student taking notes in a notebook while on a laptop researching prestigious colleges

Applying to a Prestigious College? 5 Things to Consider

Portrait of a happy female college student

I Went to My Safety School and I Love It

I Went to My Reach School. Here's What Happened.

Two engineers Working On electronical Device

5 Unique Schools to Consider If You Want to Be an Engineer

Outdoor solar panels at an eco-friendly college campus

9 Eco-Friendly Campuses to Consider for Your College List

Quiz: Is an Out-of-State College Right for You?

Female students working in classroom at college campus

Why I'm Glad I Chose a Women's College

Modern University Lecture Theatre With Students And Tutor

I Had a 4.0: Here’s Why Community College Was Still the Best Choice

Student learning how to do building work

Quiz: Should You Go to a Trade School Instead of College?

Enthusiastic fans in blue cheering bleachers sports event

I Picked My School Based on Its Sports Teams. Here’s How I Actually Liked It

High school student at a state fair considering a gap year

Should You Take a Gap Year Before College?

Ivy Covered Northwestern University

Do College Rankings Really Matter?

Why Deferring College Acceptance Was the Best Choice for Me

Smiling student walking at the street

What are the Pros and Cons of Going Out of State for College?

Four high school students walking up the stairs while sharing where they want to go to college

The Debate: Go Away to College or Stay Local?

High angle view of Lower East Side Manhattan Downtown, New York City, USA

Small College Towns vs. Colleges in Major Cities

Frequently Asked Questions

All US colleges accept both the ACT and the SAT exams. Taking a practice test of both can help you decide which one may be the best one for you. That said, more and more colleges are making standardized testing optional. Talk with your guidance counselor about your college list and come up with a testing strategy together.


SAT® is a trademark registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, this site.


ACT® is a trademark registered by ACT, Inc., which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse this site.

Early action and early decision are college application methods in which you get an acceptance decision before standard admissions decisions are sent out in the spring. In general, early decision is binding: You have agreed to attend the college, unless there is a financial reason you’re unable to do so. Early action is not binding: You know your acceptance status but do not have to commit until spring.

Deciding how many colleges to apply to is a personal decision. A rule of thumb is anywhere between 5 and 8, but your guidance counselor can help you come up with a target number that’s right for you. In general, it can be a good idea to include at least one safety school (a school you’re likely to get into) and a “reach” school (a competitive school that has a low acceptance rate, or a school whose admissions requirements may be at or above your high school résumé). Remember, there are a lot of materials to submit when applying to college, so having too many on your list may feel overwhelming.

college essay is a chance for the admissions officer to see a side of you that they may not see on your transcripts and résumé. It can be about anything important to you, and the moment you write about doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. Even writing about a summer job can be a great topic. Above all, the essay should be well-written, insightful, and express your true personality.

Rolling admission means colleges review applications as they are submitted. That means that you may receive your decision from them before you hear from other colleges. Rolling admissions applications still typically have a deadline for the last day materials are due.

Communicating with an admissions officer can be beneficial. Not only can they answer any questions you might have about their school, but communicating with them can express your interest in the college, which can reflect positively in your admissions folder. Come up with questions you are curious about before a tour or a college fair. Asking about programs, study abroad opportunities, and campus life are all great places to start.