JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Comparing Colleges and Options

Cappex, through ISAC's Student Portal, offers the ability to find and compare colleges through several different criteria. Students can compare their top colleges based on what matters to them, predict the chances of being admitted to the colleges of their choice, plan a trip to any college and find out if a specific college is the right fit.

Once a student has decided what type of college he/she would like to attend, use our College Criteria List, as well as web sites and admissions brochures to help the student determine which colleges they might like to attend. A campus visit may also help determine if a college is right for them. If they can't visit a college they are considering, many colleges now have virtual tours available online. Or, contact the Admissions Office to see if they have a video available for prospective students.

If they are able to make a campus visit, be sure to encourage them to maximize the time there. Students should call the Admissions Office at least two weeks ahead of time to schedule an appointment. By working with the Admissions Office, they may be able to sit in on a class, meet with a professor, and take a guided tour of campus. If possible, students should plan their visit for a day when classes are in session. If they visit campus when everyone is away for spring break, they won't get a true picture of the academic and social atmosphere. If they are visiting more than one college, taking notes and pictures may help them remember what they liked and didn't like about each campus.

During their visit, students should pick up copies of college and local newspapers, if they are available. This will offer even more information about the school and surrounding community. Encourage students not to confine themselves to just the campus. Suggest they explore the neighborhood. Things like public transportation, a nearby grocery store, and safety may not seem important when they are worrying about grades, tests, and majors, but once they are away at school, a six mile walk to buy batteries or laundry detergent may become a nuisance.