How to Create a Spreadsheet for a College Search

A Google Sheets spreadsheet is a great way to track college data for your college search. It allows you to easily organize your information in one place and compare different colleges.

Start with a New Spreadsheet

To manually create a Google Sheets spreadsheet for your college search, go to Google Sheets and create a blank spreadsheet, as shown below.

Menu for creating a blank spreadsheet
Create a Blank Spreadsheet

Add Labels for Each Column

Once you have a blank spreadsheet, you can get started building.

  1. In the first row, create column headers for all the information you want to track. Some common column headers include:
    • College Name
    • Driving Distance / Time
    • Size (enrollment)
    • Locale (Large City, Town, etc.)
    • Type of school (public, private, liberal arts, etc.)
    • Location
    • Cost of attendance
    • Acceptance rate
    • SAT/ACT scores
    • Due dates for applications and other important deadlines

Make a free copy of the completed sheet for your own search.

Enter Data for Each School

In the rows below the column headers, enter data for each college you are interested in. You can find this information on the college’s website, in college guides, or by using the College Compare add-on, which we’ll cover below.

A college comparison spreadsheet with several lines completed
Fill out the College Information

Once you have entered data for the colleges you are interested in, you can use Google Sheets’ built-in features to sort, filter, and analyze your data. For example, you can sort the colleges by the cost of attendance, average GPA, or acceptance rate. You can also filter the colleges by location, type of school, or size.

Here are some tips for using your Google Sheets spreadsheet to track college data:

  • Use color coding to make your spreadsheet more straightforward to read and scan. For example, you could color code the colleges that you are most interested in green, the colleges that you are considering but not sure about yellow, and the colleges that you have ruled out red.
  • Use comments to add additional information about each college. For example, you could comment on the college’s campus culture, academic programs, or location.
  • Use conditional formatting to highlight important information. For example, highlight the colleges that have your desired majors in red.
  • Share your spreadsheet with your parents, counselors, or other trusted adults so that they can help you with your college search.

Create Your Spreadsheet With a Few Clicks

Instead of manually creating your spreadsheet, you can use the College Compare add-on. Just give it the name of each college, and it will do the rest.

We created this spreadsheet by entering the names of the three colleges. The add-on fills in the data.

Once you have completed your Google Sheets spreadsheet, you will have a valuable tool that will help you track your college data and make informed decisions about your college search.


Either way, you create it, you can start using it to track college data and make informed decisions about your college search.