College Search Help
Use College Match to search for colleges that match your personal preferences, or to find any college by name.
Match by Name
Find any U.S. college or university by entering its name in the space provided. As you type, a drop down list of matching colleges will display.
- If the college you want is on the list, select it. This will automatically submit the search form.
- If the college you want isn't on the list, hit the Enter or Return key on your keyboard or click the "Find" button to see a list of results including all colleges that match the text you entered.
If you aren't sure of the exact name, enter key word(s) in the name. For example, if you enter "San Diego" your results will include San Diego Christian College, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, and University of California, San Diego. If you enter part of the name, your results will include all colleges that contain that text. You can also enter well known abbreviations, such as UCLA or SUNY.
Match by Preferences
Find the colleges that match your personal preferences for location, cost, size, and more. You can search broadly — for example for all colleges in a particular state — by selecting only one criterion. Or you can do a narrower search for colleges in certain states, in particular size and cost ranges, and which offer specific majors.
For best results, start with the match criteria that are most important to you. If there are too many colleges in your results, add more criteria to narrow the field. If there are too few colleges in your results, remove some criteria and search again.
Click "find" to execute your search. Click "clear" to clear text from the "City" field and return all pull-down menu values to "No Preference."
Here is an example of how Match by Preference works. You enter "Chicago" in the city field, "New York" and "Pennsylvania" for states, "Great Lakes" for region, "2,500-4,999" and "5000-9,999" for size, "Coed" and "Women Only" for gender mix, "No Preference" for public/private, "Very Difficult" for entrance difficulty, "80% or Higher" for freshman satisfaction, "60% or Higher" for graduation rate, "No Preference" for cost of attendance, "90% or higher" for financial need met, "60% or higher" for merit aid, "$20,000 or less" for student debt, "Cross-Country" and "Volleyball" for women's sports, "Football" for men's sports, "≥10%" African American and "≥10%" Hispanic for student background, and the major "Botany" and discipline "Physical Sciences" for discipline/major.
Your match results will include all colleges and universities in the Chicago metropolitan area, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Great Lakes region that ALSO: have student bodies of 2,500-9,999; AND are coed OR for women only; AND have an entrance difficulty of very difficult; AND have a freshman satisfaction rate of 80% or higher; AND have a four-year graduation rate of 60% or higher; AND meet 90% or more of freshman students' financial need; AND give merit aid to 60% or more freshmen; AND whose graduates have $20,000 or less in student loan debt; AND have women's cross-country AND volleyball teams AND a men's football team; AND have an undergraduate student body that is at least 10% African American AND 10% Hispanic; AND offer a major in biology OR at least one major in the physical sciences discipline. Because you selected "No Preference" for public/private and cost of attendance, your results will include both public and private institutions and colleges in all cost ranges.
Enter the name of any U.S. city to find colleges located there. For major metropolitan areas, such as New York or Chicago, colleges in the city as well as in the surrounding area will be included in your results.
Find colleges in particular states. States (and U.S. territories) are listed in alphabetical order. You may select up to 16 states. Your results will include colleges located in each state you select.
Find colleges in particular geographic regions. Click a region on the map to select it. You may select up to three regions. Your results will include colleges located in each region you select.
|Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin
|Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
|Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
|Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota. South Dakota
|Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
|South Central East
|Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee
|South Central West
|Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
|Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
Student Body Size
Student body size refers to the number of undergraduate students. Graduate and post-graduate students are not included. You may select more than one size range. Your results will include colleges that match any size range you select.
Gender mix refers to the composition of the undergraduate student body. Most colleges are coeducational, but some are for men only or women only. You may select more than one gender mix. Your results will include colleges that match any gender mix you select.
Public/Private - Institution Type
Public colleges are funded in part by state governments and usually offer admissions priority and lower tuition to state residents. Private colleges operate independently and are supported mainly by tuition, fees and private funding. Private colleges typically have higher tuition than public colleges but often are able to provide more generous financial aid. Private for-profit colleges typically offer programs that prepare students for specific careers. They are privately owned businesses that are operated to earn a profit, and they tend to have higher tuition and offer less financial aid. You may select only one institution type.
Entrance difficulty is a measure of the academic qualifications of recently enrolled freshmen and the proportion of applicants who are admitted. The greater the entrance difficulty, the higher the class rank and test scores of enrolled freshmen and the lower the percentage of applicants admitted. At public institutions, the entrance difficulty used applies to residents. At many public institutions, particularly the more selective ones, entrance is more difficult for nonresidents than for residents. Each college reports its entrance difficulty, choosing the category that best matches from the following:
|More than 75% of freshmen were in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT; about 30% or fewer of all applicants accepted.
|More than 50% of freshmen were in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT or over 26 on the ACT; about 60% or fewer of all applicants accepted.
|More than 75% of freshmen were in the top 50% of their high school class and scored over 1010 on the SAT or over 18 on the ACT; about 85% or fewer of all applicants accepted.
|Most freshmen were not in the top 50% of their high school class and scored somewhat below 1010 on the SAT or below 19 on the ACT; up to 95 of all applicants accepted.
|Virtually all applicants accepted regardless of high school rank or test scores.
You may select more than one entrance difficulty. Your results will include colleges that match any entrance difficulty you select.
Freshman satisfaction refers to the number of freshmen who return sophomore year, also known as retention rate. It provides a good indication of how satisfied students are with a college and their freshman year experience. If most freshmen are satisfied enough to return, it's more likely that if you choose this college you will be satisfied, too. For colleges in our database, 76% of freshmen returned sophomore year, on average. The median was 77%, meaning half of the colleges had a higher retention rate and half had a lower retention rate. Approximately 81% of colleges provided this information. Keep in mind that some reasons students don't return have nothing to do with how satisfied they are with the college itself - for example, an illness or family problem, a student's lack of readiness to be away from home or at any college, or a student's dissatisfaction with a general characteristic of the college, such as size or location. You may select only one freshman satisfaction range.
Graduation rate refers to the number of full-time undergraduates who are able to earn a bachelor's degree in four years or less. If most students are able to graduate in four years, it's more likely that if you choose this college you will be able to as well. For colleges in our database, the average four-year graduation rate is 41%. The median was 39%, meaning half of the colleges had a higher graduation rate and half had a lower graduation rate. Approximately 73% of colleges provided this information. If a college has a lower graduation rate it may mean that a sizeable number of students drop out before graduating or have difficulty getting the support and classes they need to stay on track. Most colleges report four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates. For colleges in our database, the average five-year graduation rate is 53% and the average six-year graduation rate is 55%. We provide a college's four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates on the Students page of its College Profile. You may select only one graduation rate range.
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance includes the total annual undergraduate tuition and required fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses associated with attending college. At public colleges, tuition and fees are often different for state residents and nonresidents. A college will be included in your match results if you select a cost of attendance range that corresponds to either the resident cost or the nonresident cost. You may select only one cost of attendance range.
What makes a college financially friendly? The cost of attendance is one obvious factor, but it's not necessarily the most important one. It's likely that a college's generosity will have a greater impact on whether you can afford to attend. A financially friendly college is generous; it offers more financial support to more students. Factors that reflect a college's generosity include how fully the college covers students' financial need, how many students receive sought-after merit aid, and how much students have to borrow to attend.
Financial Need Met
Any financial need that a college does NOT cover increases what you have to pay. So, the higher the percent of your financial need the college meets, the better! Financial need met refers to the portion of students' financial need a college typically covers with some form of financial aid. Colleges use information you provide on the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and other documents to determine your financial need. A college can meet all or just a part of your financial need. For colleges in our database, the average percent of financial need met for freshmen is 71%. The median is 72%, meaning half of the colleges meet a higher percent of financial need and half meet a lower percent of financial need. Approximately 71% of colleges provided this information. You may select only one financial need met range.
The less money you have to borrow to attend college, the less you will have to repay after you graduate. If students typically graduate with a large amount of student loan debt, it could mean that the college does not fully cover students' financial need or includes a lot of loans in its financial aid packages, or both. For colleges in our database, the average indebtedness of new graduates is $28,255. The median is $28,538, meaning at half of the colleges students graduate with more debt and at half students graduate with less debt. Approximately 68% of colleges provided this information. You may select only one student debt range.
The higher the percent of freshmen receiving merit aid, the better the chances are that you will also receive merit aid. Merit aid refers to grants or scholarships that a college awards without regard to financial need on the basis of things like achievement, special talent, and personal qualities. Some colleges award merit aid to many students, some award merit aid to a small number of students, and some award no merit aid at all. (Colleges that award only need-based aid may still be financially friendly, depending upon your circumstances, because some offer generous aid to families at higher income levels.)
You can search by merit aid awarded to all freshmen, regardless of whether they also received any need-based financial aid, as well as by merit aid awarded only to freshmen without financial need. For colleges in our database, the average percent of freshmen receiving merit aid is 42%. The median is 34%, meaning half of the colleges award merit aid to more than 34% of freshmen and half award merit aid to fewer than 34% of freshmen. The average percent of freshmen who have no financial need and receive merit aid is 16%, and the median is 14%. Approximately 66% of colleges provided this information. To search by merit aid awarded ONLY to students without financial need, check the box. You may select only one merit aid awarded range.
Intercollegiate sports teams may be varsity or club level. Both compete against other colleges, but typically - although not always - the level of competition and commitment required are greater at the varsity level. Varsity teams must comply with NCAA (or other athletic conference) rules, practices and games are mandatory, and financial support is provided by the school's athletic department. Many club teams travel and compete in official leagues, but they do not receive full financial support from the athletic department. Club teams may have less stringent participation requirements and may be funded as a student organization or by member dues. Some larger universities have varsity and club teams in the same sport. You may select more than one sport. If you check the club sports box, your results will include colleges that offer the sport at the club and/or varsity level. Only colleges that offer ALL the sports you select will be included in your results.
The ethnic background categories apply to U.S. students only. International students refers to students from other countries. For colleges in our database, the average and median level of representation of students of particular backgrounds is: American Indian/Alaska Native 0.8% (median 0.3%), African American 13.7% (median 7.6%), Asian/Pacific Islander 5.5% (median 2.5%), Hispanic 12.1% (median 7.2%), International 4.6% (median 2.6%). Approximately 77% of colleges provided this information. You may select only one level of representation for each student background. Only colleges that match ALL the student background levels you select will be included in your results.
Academic disciplines are broad areas of study, such as business, education or physical sciences. Majors are specific areas of study associated with disciplines. Match by major if you have a specific major or majors in mind. Match by discipline if you are interested in finding all colleges that offer any programs associated with the discipline. Disciplines are listed in alphabetical order, and majors appear indented under the corresponding discipline name, also in alphabetical order. You may select up to three disciplines and majors. If you check the box to include all majors, only colleges that offer ALL the majors you select will be included in your results. Otherwise, your results will include all colleges that offer at least one discipline/major you select.
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College SEARCh Results Help
Your College Match results is a list of either the colleges that match the name you entered in Match by Name, or the colleges that match the preferences you entered in Match by Preference. To review the match criteria you used, click the "What did I search for?" link above your results.
If your College Match results include more than 25 colleges, your results will be paginated. To go to a particular page of results, click on the page number. If your results include more than eight pages, "next" and "previous" links will be provided with the page numbers. Click "next" to go to the next set of eight pages. Click "previous" to go to the previous set of eight pages.
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Sorting Your Results
You may sort your results by name, city, state, student body size, gender mix, entrance difficulty, resident cost of attendance, non-resident cost of attendance, financial need met, merit aid, student debt, freshman satisfaction, graduation rate, institution type, and the level of representation of students from particular backgrounds (American Indian/Alaska Native, African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and International Students). If you are logged in, you may also sort by Your College Chances and Your Net Price. The current sort criterion is indicated by this icon . To sort by another criterion, click the appropriate column heading. To change the sort order — for example from low-to-high to high-to-low or from a-z to z-a — click the column heading again. If you have more than one page of results, the sort criterion and order will be applied to all pages.
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View College Profiles
Click a college name to view its College Profile, which contains detailed information about academics, admission,/hs-fs financial aid, student and campus life, and more.
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Save Colleges to Your Data Locker
If you are logged in: To add a college to your Data Locker, check the box in the Locker column and then click the "Save" button below. Colleges already saved to your locker display a "Saved to Locker" icon instead of the checkbox.
If you are not logged in: Click the "Add to Locker" icon .
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If Your Results Are Not What You Expected
If your Match by Preference results are not what you were expecting, adjust your match criteria and try again.
Too Many: If there are too many colleges in your results, add more preferences to narrow the field.
Too Few: If there are too few colleges in your results and you selected many preferences, remove some criteria and search again. If there are too few colleges in your results and you selected a small number of preferences, revise your match criteria to include more preferences.
About College Chances
College Chances estimates your chances for undergraduate admission by comparing your academic and extracurricular information with the qualifications of students most recently admitted to the college, the level of competition for admission, and the relative weight in the admissions process the college places on different types of qualifications. To calculate your chances at a college, click the "Estimate" button in the Your College Chances column. Your results will display as a graphic that indicates your chances as "Good Bet," "Maybe" or "Reach." Click the graphic to view more detailed results and additional information about what's behind your chances.
|Good Bet Many students with qualifications similar to yours are admitted. At all but the most selective colleges, you are likely to be admitted if you maintain or improve upon your current qualifications.
|Maybe Some students with qualifications similar to yours are admitted, and some are not. You might be admitted.
|Reach Some students with qualifications similar to yours are admitted, but most are not. Your chances for admission are low.
|Unavailable College Chances are not available for this college. A small number of colleges did not provide the information we need to determine College Chances.
|You have not used the College Chances calculator.
To recalculate your chances, click the "Recalculate" link at the top of the Your College Chances column.
College Chances can't predict with absolute certainty whether you will be admitted to any college, but our calculation is based on real-life data and can give you a general idea of how you would be evaluated and whether you need to strengthen your preparation.
College Chances is most accurate for students with typical qualifications applying to all but the most selective colleges. Results are less reliable for students whose qualifications are not typical — for example, if the GPA is very high relative to the test scores or vice versa. Results are also less reliable for the most selective colleges, where factors other than those used in the College Chances calculator play a large role in determining which students are admitted. It's tough to make predictions at highly selective colleges because the majority of applicants have exemplary qualifications.
About Your Net Price
Net price is your real cost to attend a college — the amount you can expect to pay out-of-pocket. To estimate your net price, the CollegeData Net Price Calculator looks at the college's cost of attendance, your expected family contribution (EFC), and the amount and composition of recent financial aid awards at the college. Your net price includes your EFC, any financial need that the college is not likely to cover, plus any financial aid awarded in the form of loans or work-study employment — money which ultimately comes out of your pocket.
To calculate your net price for a college, click the "Calculate" button in the Your Net Price column. One of the following results will display in the Net Price column for each college in your results:
|You have not yet used the Net Price Calculator.
|A dollar amount, such as this, represents your estimated net price to attend the college. Click it to view complete net price details and additional information about costs and financial aid at the college.
|Your net price cannot be calculated for this college because the college did not report all the information necessary for the calculation.
The composition of a college's financial aid packages may vary according to students' level of study and residency status (if the college is a public institution). The net price amounts listed in the College Match Results are for freshmen who are considered residents for purposes of tuition.
The Net Price Calculator estimates costs based on financial information you provide and statistics reported by the colleges. It cannot determine your actual cost to attend a particular college. The Net Price Calculator considers need-based financial aid only; it does not include scholarships or other non-need-based aid you might receive, which could significantly reduce your net price. In addition, college financial aid decisions involve a variety of factors and consider individual circumstances in a manner that cannot be built into a calculator. However, the Net Price Calculator IS based on real data and should give you a general idea of how much need-based financial aid you are eligible for, how much of it you can expect in the form of loans and work-study, and what your overall out-of-pocket costs will be.
Don't assume that you will receive a particular amount or type of financial aid on the basis of your net price results. Discuss your individual circumstances with your counselor, family financial advisor, and financial aid representatives at the colleges you are considering.
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