College Search

Where do I start?
How do I apply to college?
Do I need to choose a major?

Don’t go at it alone.

1. When choosing a college or university, discuss your higher education needs and desires with parents, teachers, counselors, college admission officers, and friends. Persons from your community who are presently enrolled in college or have attended college may also be good sources of information.

2. Talk often with your high school counselor and consult college catalogs, bulletins, and web sites. Also check with your counselor for information pertaining to student financial aid. Many colleges prepare pamphlets detailing programs and financial aid resources available on their campuses. If you or your parents have any questions about admission or financial aid processes, contact the admission or financial aid offices of the colleges you are considering. See the AlphaGuideOCA section on this site for links, email, addresses and phone numbers.

3. All Ohio colleges welcome students from diverse backgrounds − racial/ethnic, geographic, and/or economic. If you have questions about admission, financial aid, or scholarships, remember that most colleges have counselors who specialize in multicultural recruitment. They’ve got the answers. Just ask. Remember, everyone needs to satisfy all college admission criteria and meet all deadlines.

4. Once you have decided which colleges meet your needs, obtain applications for admission by contacting your high school guidance office, or the college admission office, or apply online. To increase your chances of gaining admission to the college of your choice, it is advisable to have standardized tests (ACT and/or SAT) completed before January of your final year in high school. You may apply for these tests online at and/or at All colleges ask that your high school send an official transcript directly to the admission office. Although some colleges do accept applications from high school juniors, most students apply for admission early in their senior year.

Go all the way.

5. When you submit an application for admission, be sure to provide all information requested. GO ALL THE WAY. Neglecting to furnish complete data may result in a delay in the processing of your application. As online applications become more popular, it’s important to remember to answer all questions carefully and completely, and always spell- and grammar-check any essays. Also be sure to include any required fees. (Students may be eligible for a fee waiver for college application fees. Contact your high school counselor to obtain a letter if you believe you might qualify.)

Filing a college application is serious and important business. It’s not the time for a quickly dashed-off email style of writing,

6. Why do you think they call them deadlines? Each year, a significant number of students apply too late to be considered for admission to their preferred school or program. It is extremely important, therefore, for you to determine the deadlines for admission applications at your various college choices. Although some schools have rolling admission, early decision or early action admission policies, most schools specify a final date for submitting the application and fees. These deadlines are usually printed in the school catalogs and on admission forms and are also listed in the AlphaGuideOCA section on this website.

7. Generally, it is not necessary to choose a major course of study until after the freshman year of college. However, although it is possible to change a major later, nearly all two-year technical programs and some programs at four-year schools (architecture, engineering, music, and nursing among others) require an initial commitment at the time of application.

8. Special needs? Your uniqueness hasn’t stopped you yet, and it won’t at college either. Students with special needs are welcome at any Ohio College Association institution. Additional information is available in the booklets “How to Choose a College: A Guide for the Student with a Disability” and “Creating Options: A Resource on Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities.” Check out the Heath website for these publications and additional information. You are encouraged to work with each college to better determine its ability to meet your needs.

College doesn’t come to you. You must go to it.