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Preparing for college can seem overwhelming! Check out these links to great resources for helping you decide your major, how to pay for college, and many more helpful hints to making the college transition easier! Should you apply for early admission? How many colleges should you apply to? What kinds of activities look best on a resume? Should you visit a college? All these questions and more can be answered with these resources.

College Search

The first thing students need to do when starting to build their college list is to get to know themselves and their preferences. Students should think about all of the things they want and need in a college.


Once students compile their preferences, their next step should be a college search site. College search sites are a great way to discover colleges. Most will allow you to input your preferences and will return a list of colleges that will meet your preferences.

College For All Texans

A great resource from Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The following pages will help you get going, with info about choosing a college, the tests you need, the costs you can expect and more.

College Navigator

A great resource from the U.S. Department of Education. All data comes directly from the official data colleges submit to the Department of Education. You can explore schools based on a large variety of criteria and get information such as majors, population, and acceptance rates.

College Board – Big Future

This tool comes to us from College Board, the same people who administer the SAT. The search results will not only give you a list of colleges, but also general information about each of the colleges on the list.

Cappex’s “Find Out Your Chances of Getting Into College”

The tool gives you a good idea of your chances of being admitted to a college. You will find out which students are getting accepted, which are not and how your GPA, SAT, or ACT scores compare, and which to aim for if you’re considering the school.

College Search Tips

College Applications

For most colleges, the only way to apply is to submit an online application. Below are common college applications students will use during the college admissions process.

Apply Texas – Apply Texas is where you need to start for applications to all Texas public schools and many Texas private schools. It's easy to create an account and get started! Member schools can be found here.

Common Application – The Common Application is used for over 500 public and private universities and colleges nationwide. Member colleges can be found here.

College Application Tips

College Admission Essays

One of the pieces of the college application is the college admission essay. The college admission essay can play a big role in the college admission decision. 

Get a head start on your college admissions essays. Click HERE for the Apply Texas Essay Prompts.

Tips for college admission essays

Spelling, Grammar, and other Proofreading Tools

  • Grammarly – Free tool that checks spelling and grammar and provides recommendations to fix your errors. In addition to essays, Grammarly can check emails, social media messages, resumes, and other important documents. Grammarly also offers a subscription service that provides a more in depth proofread, as well as a plagiarism check. 

  • HemingwayApp – A free tool that checks spelling and grammar. The different type of errors will be highlight and the app may provide recommendations for changes.

  • Grammarist – Are you using the correct word in your essay? For example, is it than or then? Or, affect or effect? If you’re not sure, this website has a lot of great information to help you choose the correct word.

  • Visual Thesaurus – An interactive tool that allow you to discover the connections between words in a visually captivating display. While you shouldn’t be trying to change all of your words to words that sound more sophisticated, you might need a thesaurus to help you stop repeating the same word in your essay.

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