How to Choose a College: English Research Paper Assignment for High School Students

How to Choose a College

Most high school students have no idea how to choose a college. This simple research assignment will help them look for the right things in a school and force them to clarify their intentions. Feel free to copy and paste this user friendly lesson plan and incorporate it into your own handout.


Give students a handout or discuss the following requirements for the how to choose a college English research paper assignment.

  • For this assignment, you will be researching a number of different areas pertaining to a college of your choice. Include a brief introduction that reveals the university of your choice and provide a simple thesis which establishes your purpose.
    • Example: The University of Nevada Las Vegas provides a unique educational opportunity for higher education.
    • Example: The Ohio State University provides the most fun and the best football team year after year.
  • Your paper must include the following sources:
    • 2 Books
    • 3 Periodicals (Use EBSCO) or find your own periodicals.
    • 3 Internet Websites
    • 2 additional sources of your choice.
    • 10 total sources.
  • Areas of Investigation:
    • I. General Information: address, type of school, degrees offered (undergraduate and graduate), special programs (military, honors etc), contact person, enrollment, racial/ethnic breakdown of student population, age of student population, information on interviews.
    • II. Admissions: Include the following items: freshman admissions, number of first-time, first-year applicants and number of first-time, first-year applicants accepted, required tests, early decision, deferred entrance, waiting list, admission application procedures, entrance difficulty, scores on entrance exams.
    • III. Housing Information: availability, cost, fraternity/sorority life, applications (if necessary)
    • IV. Financial Aid: Student costs, financial aid available, financial aid application procedures.
    • V. Programs: Provide information on a program/course of study in which you may be interested.
    • VI. Campus Life: activities, organizations, clubs, off-campus opportunities.

Project Options

  1. Report: Write a 3-5 page typed, double spaced report on the school of your choice. Be sure to include all the information required and a section on why that particular university appeals to you.
  2. Poster: Create an 18×24 recruiting poster for the university of your choice. The poster must include all the required information. You must present the poster to the class explaining why you chose that particular university.
  3. Powerpoint Presentation: Your Powerpoint presentation should include one slide for each of the required areas and two slides explaining why you chose that particular university.
  4. Scripted Debate: In front of the class, debate a classmate about why your school is better than his or her school. The debate must cover all pertinent points.

This post is part of the series: How to Evaluate Information

There’s more to reading for information than turning pages and nodding your head in approval. Use these tips to help students think about and analyze what they read.
  1. Teacher Tips for Using Magazines in the Classroom for Research
  2. Language Arts Basics: Teaching How to Read a Textbook
  3. English Research Paper Assignment: How to Choose a College