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College Preparation

Colorado Admissions Tool

The College Admissions Tool for Colorado is a tool to help families understand college and university’s admission standards. Middle and early high school students will benefit from the exploration and planning aspects of the tool, while upperclassmen can compare their high school resume to college expectations to assess their competitiveness at selective schools. The Admission Tool is available for use at

For out-of-state colleges and universities, please refer to the school's website for admissions information.

Common Application

The Common App is used for undergraduate admissions by nearly 900 colleges and universities. The Common App covers several areas: personal data, educational data, standardized test information, family information, academic honors, extracurricular activities, work experience, a personal essay, and criminal history.

Choosing the Right College

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a college. To get you started, think about the following factors and select five that are important to you. 

  • Location

    • Distance from home

  • Environment

    • Type of school (technical, 2- or 4-year)

    • School setting (urban, suburban, rural)

    • Location and size of nearest city

    • Religious affiliations

    • Co-ed, men’s colleges, women’s colleges

  • Size

    • Size of campus

    • Total enrollment

  • Admission Requirements​

    • Average GPA, test scores, rank

    • Special requirements (interview, performance, portfolio)

    • Tests required

  • Academics

    • Majors offered

    • Accreditation (is it recognized by regional or national accrediting bodies?)

    • Student to faculty ratio

    • Average class size

  • College Expenses​

    • Cost of tuition, room and board

    • Total budget

    • Application fees, required deposits

  • Financial Aid​

    • Deadlines

    • Required fees

    • Scholarships

    • Employment/Work-Study opportunities

    • Percent of students receiving aid

  • Housing

    • Availability

    • Residence hall requirements

    • Types of housing available (traditional dorms, apartments)

    • Food plans

  • Facilities​

    • Academic

    • Recreational

    • Other

  • Activities

    • Clubs and organizations

    • Greek life (sororities and fraternities)

    • Athletics, intramurals

Now that you’ve made your list, it’s time to search! The following links will provide you with recommendations based on your search criteria.

For general search of all colleges based on your selected criteria, visit SuperMatch™ college search in Naviance.

Cappex is a great site for comparing schools, calculating admissions chances, calculating financial aid, and figuring out if a school is a good match for you in general. Plus you can read student reviews.

Chegg is a college matchmaker. Create a profile and save colleges to your list. You can also see “grades” from actual students on different areas such as: academics, campus dining, and diversity.

Do you like data? College Insight offers a wealth of data from each school and allows you to compare schools side-by-side.

Campus Visits

Campus visits are an excellent opportunity to really get a feel for campus life. College Board and Princeton Review are great resources and offer suggestions for visiting campus.

It is not always possible to visit in person. Here are some wonderful websites to take you on a virtual tour of college campuses.