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How To Be A Bison Chapter 2: Gathering Your List of Colleges

Not caught up on “How to Be a Bison”? Check out Chapter One: What is Post-Secondary Education?

Now that you’ve done your extended research on what post-secondary education is, it’s time for you to start gathering a list of colleges that you’re going to apply to. In chapter two of How To Be A Bison, I’m going to teach you how to utilize College Board ™ to narrow down colleges that cater to your academic and social interests, as well as your financial affordability.

With over 5,300 post-secondary institutions in the United States (view a list of them here), you’ll definitely find the right colleges for you. During my high school year, the College Board ™ website was my best friend when it came to narrowing my list of schools to apply to. By now, you should already have an account on the site in order to register for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and other essential standardized tests. If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up for one here!


  1. Log into College Board

Once you’re logged into College Board ™ , you should see a page that looks like this. College Board ™ is essential during your junior year and senior year because of the site’s many portals such as its SAT, AP, Access, and many more.  

2. Move your mouse to the arrow at the top left-hand corner to expand the collapse menu


3. Once you expand the menu, you’ll see a dropdown of all of the pages within the College Board menu.

Under the green column titled “Access”, click “College Planning”


The Access page is very useful for students looking into the college application process. There’s options to help you find ways to pay for college, make a year-long plan that’ll consist of when to take certain exams or complete applications, and much more.

5. Once you’re on the main Access page, click the “Find Colleges” tab.

When you arrive on this page, you should click the link in the fourth box centered on the page titled “Not sure where to start: Take a first step”



The “College Search Step-by-Step” feature asks you several questions about your future academic endeavors. These questions are able to help narrow down a list of colleges that fit your needs such as costs, majors, location, housing, and more.







When you’re finished answering the questions, you should have a few matches of colleges that fit the type of institution that you’re interested in attending post graduation. If you don’t like the options given to you, you can go back and change the filters on the left-hand side and play around until you’re left with options that you’re content with.

Here are some important to remember when gathering a list of colleges:


  1. Cost

  • Look up the scholarships that your list of colleges offers. Do you qualify for any? Do they offer any grants you qualify for?

  1. Major/Minor (https://www.mymajors.com/college-majors/)

  • Do the colleges offer your major/minor? Do they offer programs for students who may be undecided?

  • Are you still unsure about what a major/minor is? Check out our article, “A Major Conflict” to read about choosing a major and keep a look out for the next chapter of How To Be A Bison for an in-depth look at what majors/minors are!

  1. Location

  • Do you want to stay at home for college?

  • Do you want to stay in the region?

  • Do you want to go across the state or across the world?

  1. Type of School

  • If you haven’t done so already, check out Chapter One of How To Be A Bison to read more about the different types of post-secondary education!

  1. Campus Setting & Housing

  • Are you interested in dorming or would you rather stay at home for college?

  • What type of off-campus environment do you want your campus to be on? Urban, Rural, or Suburban?

  • Do you want to go a small, medium, or large sized school?

You should consider these questions when looking for the right school for you. Where you go after you graduate high school should matter to you. You shouldn’t go to school because your best friend or boyfriend/girlfriend is going there. You’re going to be in school for the next four years working towards that degree in whatever field that you’re interested in and wherever you decide to take the next few steps in your educational pursuits is your decision – make it the best one possible.

Jade Carson is a 20-something year old, Maternal and Child Health major, Sociology minor at Howard University. The Brooklyn native is thrilled to explore life beyond the Big Apple for the next four years. As an aspiring certified doula, Jade is not only looking forward to learning more about the esoteric land of the medical field but is also hoping to shake off her two-year-long writer's block in hopes of completing her first full-length novel. You can read the young author's published work on Wattpad as well friending her on Instagram and Twitter at @jadecarsonxo.
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