You should narrow down the list of schools you are interested in attending by the middle of your senior year in high school. If you haven’t applied for admission yet, you should submit an application to your top schools as soon as possible.

student staring at her computer looking seriously at something as she holds a pen in her hand, writing in a notebook.

When choosing a college, think about the qualities that are most important to you so you can make an informed decision. Try to visit the colleges you are most interested in attending. If possible, make arrangements to attend a class, tour a dorm, eat in a dining hall, and talk with students and professors.

Compare your top schools on a college fit worksheet to help you make a final choice.

Colleges usually want to know by May 1 whether or not you plan to enroll for the fall semester.