College Search

There are hundreds of schools to choose from; not necessarily one “perfect school” for each student. Some schools sound wonderful on paper and are not at all what students expect when they visit. Other schools feel like “a good fit” only after students visit. Develop a list of possibilities and then go visit some of them. Some students decide not to visit everywhere they are applying, especially if they are in other regions of the country, but be sure to visit any college you are seriously considering once you have been accepted. Students should keep in mind the following:

  • Most students at TSA chose it because it has a small, strong community. Here, students know and have access to their teachers, the administration, and each other. We have found that the vast majority of our students are happier at smaller schools after high school, where they have similar access to their professors and the community.
  • Some students have chosen to apply to schools outside of the country, as they can often be considerably less expensive than U.S. colleges. It also can give you a point of comparison.
  • Do not apply to colleges based on price alone, as many of the more expensive institutions can offer substantially bigger financial aid packages.


Online Resources

Most of the following have a registration process that you must use to make full use of the site. Keep a record of your log-on information.

    • Naviance is the program that TSA uses to manage the college application process. It has a college search application that students will use in junior year PATH class. The Guest password is: TSA
    • Colleges that Change Lives: This website has information about 40 schools that generally make a good match for students from TSA. We highly recommend you review these schools. Check out the website for their regional events schedule. There are college fairs with just these colleges, including one in Boston and other areas. They have college search tips as well.
    • The makers of the SAT have a remarkably excellent “College Matchmaker” on their website. NOTE: Using your log-in from your PSAT score report, students have FREE access to “My College QuickStart”. It uses your PSAT information to help plan your future with these tools: A starter list of colleges based on your location and choice of major. An enhanced report complete with test questions, your answers, and the correct answers with explanations. A customized SAT® study plan based on individual PSAT/NMSQT performance. A personalized lists of majors and careers.
    • US National Center for Education Statistics has a search tool that allows you to narrow your college search by a number of criteria.
    • This website has extensive tools for searching for colleges, including: financial aid, help with the application process, and in-depth information about college majors, a resource for college planning (including timelines), interactive search tools, full length practice tests for standardized tests, scholarship information, and other college-planning information.
    • VSAC has a number of tools to assist with college searches and career exploration.
    • is a useful and comprehensive college information resource for students and their parents to aid college planning
    • Petersons, which also publishes college guide books, has a step-by-step guide through the college application process for students and parents.
    • The New England Board of Higher Education has lots of information about schools in the six New England states. It also provides information about the RSP Tuition Breakprogram. 78 institutions participate in this program. Vermont residents can get in-state tuition at other New England schools for a number of majors. Look at the Apple Book catalog on this website for further information.
    • This site offers help with the SAT/ACT, a financial resource center, college search tools, and other assistance with the college process. Some of these services are fee-based.
    • Interested in staying in Vermont? You can find all VT colleges and their majors here:
    • For a quick search, try this widget:


Print Resources: many of these are available in the guidance office

  • Making a Difference College and Graduate Guide, by Miriam Weinstein
  • Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You’re Not a Straight-A Student, by Loren Pope
  • The Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College, by Edward B. Fiske
  • Looking Beyond the Ivy League, Loren Pope
  • Harvard Schmarvard, Jay Mathews
  • Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different, by Donald Asher

Many of the above books, plus others, are available for your use. Additionally, there are numerous college guides and individual college viewbooks/catalogs in the college guidance office.