The trick to finding an awesome school that no one has heard of

You know what’s more important than knowing the school you’re applying to? Knowing yourself. Because the reality is, you don't need to have heard of the school for it to be a good fit. The best boyfriends or girlfriends aren’t always the popular ones. They're just the ones you haven't gotten to know yet. 

We have a limited amount of influencers when you really think about it. You’ve got your parents, your siblings, your friends, their siblings... then there are the teachers that you admire, your guidance counselor, and of course a few school representatives reaching out to you online or mailing you some magazines. The thing is, these are just schools you’ve heard of, not ones you’ve found.

It’s like going into a billionaire’s garage and taking a Toyota, Corolla because you’ve heard of it, when there’s a jetpack in the back. If you want the jetpack then keep reading.

Your first step is to define your college self. Not the person you are exactly, but who you want to be. Be sure to get really introspective and don't just think about what your friends will end up doing. Do you want to join a hiking club? Do you want to frequent music festivals? Do you want to live near a city, or within a tight-knit on-campus community? Most importantly, what do you want to learn? Take some time and think about what matters most to you. After that, research what different schools offer just to find out what’s possible.

Once you’ve defined yourself you need to search for schools based on those traits. You can start with the schools you’ve heard of if you want, but afterwards make a good effort to find less known schools that have what you’re looking for.

Google is a good source, Facebook and Instagram are good sources, Academbot is a good source—but so are your friends and family. While your brother or sister may have only talked about the school they went to, if you ask them "if they know a school that’s close to a beach (lake, river or ocean)" they might just respond with "Oh yeah my friend went to this school on the water that no one had ever heard of. She Loved it." 

College Search

Toga! Toga! Toga!

"They kicked us out of school? That makes sense." -Tim Matheson as 'Otter' in Animal House

No parties to go to this weekend? Fear not friends! Put on your Snuggie and fire up Netflix with Young Money Finance's list of the top college comedies.

1. Animal House

2. Old School

Do you have your war paint and pom-poms ready?!

Huge crowds, small towns, tailgating, cheerleaders, marching bands and student sections are just a few of the reasons college football is part of the overall college experience. Campuses nationwide come to life at the end of every week as the teams battle it out on the field. Fans come dressed in their fighting colors and voices are lost in the roar of the stands.

 Don't get stuck in centuries past - write your paper with the help of these new apps!

No matter what kind of coursework you study throughout your collegiate career, at one point or another, you are going to be asked to write something.

To make the load a little lighter, USA Today has put together a list of sites and apps to get yourself out of the panic zone when it comes to the little things. 

Apparently, there's a student club for just about everybody. 

In October when the days grow shorter, the nights get colder, and the calendar moves closer to Halloween, it’s hard not to occasionally let your thoughts wander off to the bizarre.

Get your groove on - brought to you by your own classmates!

Music lover? Secret air guitar jammer? Have a need for some sweet harmonies and a bouncing bass? Pandora and iHeartRadio aren't the only places to find music that you actually enjoy. Pigeons & Planes has compiled a list of the top college radio stations that could be right on your campus.

Get in and get out if you head to one of these top colleges.

A high graduation rate is an important figure to note in your college search.

"Why?" you ask. Because it tells you that the school has the resources and support you need to graduate in four years. Graduating in four years not only allows you to keep your education on schedule, but it also saves you a ton of money on tuition and helps you get into the workforce sooner.

So you want to be a lawyer? *Dun, Dun*

Put down the gavel and stop memorizing statutes. Being a lawyer requires much more than the skill of persuasion or the ability to argue. There's a lot to learn and way before you even start to think about applying to law school or registering to take the LSAT exam, the first step is your undergrad major.

Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

These institutions brag the courses and connections to make any engineer’s dreams programed for success. 

Engineering is not a field for the faint hearted when it comes to academics, but it is a path that can lead to big names and a great career path right out of college.

Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are just a handful of the many companies that are looking at these colleges to give them the best engineers out there.

So you want to be a doctor?

It seems like every little kid wants to be a policeman, a fireman, a lawyer, or (of course) a doctor.

Now you're a senior in high school and that's still what you want to do in life. Great! But it might not be exactly what you'd expect. Often times, the idea of becoming a doctor is romanticized and underestimated. If you're serious about adding that M.D. designation to the end of your name, here's a few things that you should learn sooner rather than later:

Find the college majors that pay off -- BIG!

On average, college graduates will earn more on average over a lifetime than non-graduates. Payout even after years of schooling, can vary. It is important to consider, especially when knowing more than you'd like to even comprehend will be going toward paying back the education you just recieved. 

Classes AND Work?! It’s worth it. We promise.

While college can be the most fun of your life, it’s critical to remember one of the most important reasons why you're even there—giving yourself the opportunity to get your dream job. Between studying, classes, clubs and socializing, you already have a lot on your plate, why would you want to add a job in the mix?

Here's why as told by University Primetime:

Most people don't immediately think "pop culture" when they see or hear a marching band. But those people have got it all wrong. 

These select universities were highlighted by Rolling Stone as having the most killer covers of songs that are currently topping the charts. You probably need to rethink your stance on marching bands and you most definitely need to check out these awesome covers.

Down, Set, Hike! Does your school have the best football fans?

Whether every generation of your family attended the same university or if you're just a fan of the sport, college football can be a big deal. School parking lots filled with tailgaters, bars packed with fans and stadiums full of cheering alumni and students--everyone has their unique way of supporting the team.

You should choose a college that believes clean energy is as important to the Earth as it is to you.

Clean energy and green technology lingo have become a standard of our generation.

We are very well acquainted with dangers of our carbon footprint and climate change. We also know that everybody and their mom should be all about renewable energy sources and recycled products.

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