What’s holding you back?

147,934 students have the same concern.

These college students once felt lost on the road to college—find out how they got there.

I don’t really put myself out there a lot.
Rosanne talks about learning how to write college essays.

Rosanne

"I don’t really put myself out there a lot."
My father did not want to help me.

My father did not want to help me.

Student: Stephanie
Year in college
Junior
Major
Nutrition
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
It hits you at once.

It hits you at once.

Student: Brandon
Year in college
Junior
Major
Medical sociology
Family income
$60,000–$80,000
I don’t really put myself out there a lot.

I don’t really put myself out there a lot.

Student: Rosanne
Year in college
Junior
Major
Biology/premedicine
Family income
$40,000–$60,000
I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well.

I’m very proud to say that I’m doing very well.

Student: Annaesia
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Accounting
Family income
$10,000–$20,000
I didn't know what I wanted to do.

I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Student: Elijah
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Criminal justice
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
I have a good chance of becoming more stable.

I have a good chance of becoming more stable.

Student: Jonathan W.
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Air traffic control
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.

I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.

Student: Charlinda
Year in college
Junior
Major
Sociology
Family income
Under $20,000
Leaving the reservation is a huge step.

Leaving the reservation is a huge step.

Student: Aaron
Year in college
Freshman
Major
Biochemistry
Family income
$50,000–$75,000
I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.

I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.

Student: Jonathan O.
Year in college
Junior
Major
Economics and political science
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
I was intimidated since I was undocumented.

I was intimidated since I was undocumented.

Student: Gabriela
Year in college
Junior
Major
Biochemistry
Family income
Under $20,000
I relied on my high school counselor.

I relied on my high school counselor.

Student: Alex
Year in college
Senior
Majors
Accounting and finance
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
My mentor still helps me today.

My mentor still helps me today.

Student: Alexandra
Year in college
Senior
Major
Psychology
Family income
$40,000–$60,000
My mom, she just up and left.

My mom, she just up and left.

Student: Kwame
Year in college
Sophomore
Majors
Political science and prelaw
Favorite musician
Stevie Wonder
I knew I had to do it on my own.

I knew I had to do it on my own.

Student: Kriste
Year in college
Junior
Major
Early childhood education
Family income
$60,000–$80,000
Everything I worked for paid off.

Everything I worked for paid off.

Student: Jonard
Year in college
Junior
Major
Business economics
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
I have a lot of people behind me, helping me.

I have a lot of people behind me, helping me.

Student: Mo’Nique
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Premedicine
Family income
$20,000–$40,000

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

It’s okay if you don’t know where you’re headed or which route to take. Help is out there.

Take the wheel        
On the road to college, you’re the driver. Asking for directions is a smart first step: Tell your teachers, family, friends and neighbors that you’re going and ask questions about their college experiences. Instead of waiting for your school counselor to contact you, make an appointment today.

Ask your counselor or teacher
Try these conversation starters:

  • I’m going to college. What’s my next step?
  • Which colleges would be a good fit for me?
  • Are there special programs or resources that can help me get into college?
  • How do I learn about my financial aid options?
  • If you’re a senior: Can we review my transcript to see how it will look to colleges?
    If you’re not a senior
    : Which classes should I take next year to better prepare myself for college?
  • Where do our graduates go to college? Can I talk to any of them?
  • Do I qualify for test and application fee waivers?
  • Are there local scholarships I should apply for?

Make yourself a home on campus     
You’ll enjoy greater independence at college, but you can still ask for help when you need it. Become an active member of the campus community and take advantage of all the resources offered by college clubs and services, including:

  • Advisers to help you pick your classes and choose a major
  • Peer mentors (experienced students who can help you navigate college)
  • Tutoring
  • Free feedback on your essays and research papers
  • Study-skills workshops and guided study groups
  • Career fairs, guest speakers and other special events

Some services are designed for specific groups, like minority students and students who are the first in their family to go to college.

Customize a college search
With College MatchMaker, you can figure out what you want in a college and perform a custom search. For instance, you can use the Specialized Options page to:

  • Find colleges with a high percentage of minority students.
  • Search for colleges by the type of disability for which you need services.

Five steps to a college list

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Challenge yourself to find and apply to colleges that are right for you. It’s your journey; make the most of it.

Ask Yourself

  • What am I passionate about?
  • How do I spend my time?
  • How do I learn best?
  • What are my friends like?
  • Who do I want to be in the future?

Check Out Options

Get to know the search choices on each page of College MatchMaker. You can choose between things like two-year and four-year; urban and rural. You can search for schools by the majors, sports and special programs they offer ... whatever’s important to you.

Decide What Matters

Some people care about sports and dorms; others know what they want to major in. Look at your answers to the questions in Step 1: What do they say about you and what you might like in a college?

Search

Go ahead; give it a whirl. Remember that MatchMaker will list only colleges that meet all the requirements you select. You might need to change your settings if you get too many results or too few.

Create a List

Look at the profiles of colleges in your results. Click Add to List whenever you find one that interests you.

Take a next step

Get started with these ideas.

Tell people why you're going

Answer a few questions and share on Facebook or by email.

Reason for going to college
When will you start college?