CollegeBoard runs more than just the SAT. A whole lot more, in fact, and one of our favorites is Big Future: a resource for anyone wanting to explore the world of schools, careers, majors, even financial aid from the comfort of your own home and computer screen. It includes articles, how-to's, quizzes, helpful videos, and search tools that can guide you along your journey toward college. We won't get into everything this resource provides just now — better for you to dive in yourself at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/. What we will do, though, is give you a quick glimpse into two of its search features that we consider go-to's.
As a college counselor, this is one of the first tools I like to introduce college-bound students to. There are thousands of schools out there, so chances are there are plenty you haven't heard of — honestly, there are plenty I still haven't heard of. Dozens of those not-yet-known-to-you colleges could be a great fit for what you're looking for, and Big Future can help you find them.
To use the College Search tool, simply click on the various categories that allow you to filter out colleges based on what you're looking for. You will narrow the list of 3,600+ schools down by indicating the types of school you're interested in, the area of study you plan to pursue, any activities you hope to incorporate into your college experience, etc.
For example, let's say you want to go to a large, urban, 4-year school in the Western or Southwestern United States that offers Greek life and a degree in business. Through this search tool, you now have a list of 25 schools that fit that description. Click on each school to get a snapshot and a link to their website. You can even save colleges that pique your interest; just make sure you create an account and log in so you can go back to that list in the future. Not only is this activity a great way to start building your collection of potential schools, but it also qualifies you for a scholarship through College Board.
Once you've created you personalized list of potential colleges, you can compare up to three of those schools at a time using this additional Big Future tool. You'll get a side-by-side glimpse at each school's admissions requirements, campus life, and cost/aid. Taking your search to the next level with this resource can help you narrow down your potential pool even further.
If you're not sure which career you're interested in pursuing and what type of degree will best prepare you for it, then back up and start here! Big Future has put together a database of information on the various worlds of work and academic study.
You get to choose where to start with this search. If you already have an idea of where you'd like to focus your education, but want to learn about more specific majors within that area of study, you can explore the Major Categories. If, on the other hand, you'd like to start by investigating potential occupations, you can use the Career Categories to get information on specific careers within your areas of interest. Under each category, simply click the plus signs (+) and arrows (>) next to each title to check out all your options. See something you want to learn more about? Click the hyperlink to pull up information on that major or career.
When looking at each career's info page, you'll be able to see suggested majors. And when looking at a major's info page, you'll be able to see schools that offer it. By using this tool, you'll walk away with a clearer idea of your future college and career goals, while also getting some suggestions for how to start preparing now.
Let us know if you have questions about Big Future or your future by contacting your Baker counselor today!