Once you have discussed the type of school your child prefers, you can begin exploring schools that fit the criteria. Follow these three steps:

1. Narrow by Interests

Slimming down the options from hundreds of schools to just 5 or 10 might seem daunting. The Centre for Education Statistics Canada (CES) receives post-secondary data, either directly or through provincial or regional co-ordinating bodies, for approximately 280 institutions. When campuses and affiliated institutions are included, the number is much larger.¹

It is recommended not to search by tuition and fees initially. Instead, use the criteria listed to the right to narrow down your colleges to a manageable list of 5–10 schools.

2. Categorize by Screening for Academics

Now that you have a list of 5-10 schools, eliminate the schools that don’t match your student’s intellect, desired learning environment and philosophical beliefs. You can then narrow down your list to 3-5 schools by categorizing each of them by academic fit.

Compare your child's grades and test scores to the average class at the school. Where does your child fall in the current class grade and score averages at that school? This will help you narrow your school list and place each school in a category of safety, target, or risk. Aim for 1-2 in each category.

3. Hit the Road

Now that you have narrowed down the universities or colleges of interest to a more manageable number, it's time to go tour the schools.

It is recommended to tour while school is in session, and to see no more than two schools per day. It also is in your best interest to stop into the admissions office to demonstrate interest.

If you cannot tour a school in person, do a virtual tour online. Open House events are also useful resources, allowing you to talk with admissions representatives to get a better feel for a school.

¹ Source: http://publications.gc.ca/Collection/Statcan/81-582-X/institution.pdf