By Erika Norton – Utah Scholars Program Manager – Posted on 10.24.2017


When I was in high school, it seemed very overwhelming just figuring out where to even apply for college. I was focused on the tasks that were right in front of me like; studying for my rigorous AP classes, going to lacrosse practice, and asking someone to the upcoming dance. I knew I wanted to go to college, but figuring out where to apply stayed at the bottom of my to-do list. On the day of my high school college tour, I decided to listen to Utah State University’s presentation and I did not regret it!

The recruiter from USU was very energetic. She seemed like someone I wanted to be my friend. She began her presentation by asking “How many of you like hiking? Camping? Snow skiing? The mountains?” I raised my hand to all of these. At that moment I decided that I was going to apply to Utah State and my reason had nothing to do with the actual college.



Here are five things I wish I had done before applying to college…



Explore our college directory

The StepUp Utah College Directory is an easy to use resource that highlights all of the colleges in Utah in one place. It makes it easy for you to compare the colleges as you are doing your research on where to apply.




Figure out what type of degree you want

Do you want to be a teacher? You are going to need a four-year degree to do that. Maybe you are looking at a one-year certificate program like Diesel Mechanics. Depending on what type of degree you want will help you narrow down your options. You can learn more about degrees here.




Talk to people around you about college

Talking to people like your family, friends, teachers and school counselors who have gone to college is a great way to do figure out where you should apply. You can ask them what they liked about college, what they found challenging and what advice they can give you.





Make sure the college has the major you want

Did you know that not every school offers all of the majors that are out there? You can explore the different majors using the Utah Majors Guide here. Just type in what subjects or jobs you are interested in.





Visit the College Campus

Once you have narrowed down your list, call those colleges that you are interested in and schedule a campus tour. This is one of the best ways to get a feel for what the college is going to be like. You will want to ask them many questions and you can use the Campus Visit Questions handout to help know what to ask.




Remember, you can apply and should apply to more than one school. This will help you keep your options open. If you still need help after you have followed these tips, feel free to reach out. We are more than happy to help answer any questions you may have or point you in the right direction. Good luck applying for college!