Tips and Resources

Finding the right college takes time and energy.  Here’s a few resources to help you find information:


College planning books – available at your local library, bookstore or online.

Of course, there’s lots of information online.  Some college planning websites include: includes lots of valuable information including annual rankings in many categories and student comments about colleges.

Visit to read about colleges that have been handpicked by admission experts for the Colleges of Distinction project based on four factors: student engagement, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

For scholarship information, try and

Check out this helpful downloadable PDF file with financial aid, scholarship and college planning checklist for Junior and Senior high school students.  (Published by the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)

LinkedIn has an interesting ranking of colleges and universities based on career outcomes. See which schools are launching graduates into desirable jobs.

College ROI Report: Best Value Colleges: With the average college student graduating with almost $30K in student loans, prospective college students, parents and policymakers are all trying to better understand the value of college education in the job market. READ MORE


Talk to your high school counselor.  Your school’s counseling website is a great place to start your college search process.

Talk to college representatives.  Attend the Shawnee Mission College Clinic or other local college fair and talk to representatives face to face.  Ask questions in person!

Talk to people who have gone through the college search process before, both students and their parents.


Make a few college visits.  Try to visit while school is in session if possible.  In addition to a formal tour of the campus, you might want to arrange to sleep in a dorm and eat in the dining hall.  Visit some classes and talk to as many students as possible.


Before committing to an in person trip to a college campus, check out  You can take a virtual tour of many college and university campuses from across the country.


Did you know that of all the students who play sports in high school, about 7% will go on to play in college, but only 1% will play for an NCAA Division I school? There are thousands of opportunities to play your sport at smaller four-year universities that belong to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

You can find out more about Early Decisions, NAIA sports and schools and much more at


Here’s an article with tips about writing a successful college essay.