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When it’s time to narrow down your college choices, you will need to decide which criteria are most important to you.

Perhaps a particular major offered by the school is your number-one criteria.

Or maybe the quality of the campus is essential to you.

Whatever criteria you choose, Google Sheets can help you make the data in that column more clear and useful, so you can compare options and make an informed decision.

To begin, go to Google Drive And open your college information spreadsheet.

In this example, distance from home is the most important criteria.

Currently, the information here is inconsistently phrased and, therefore, a little confusing.

To begin simplifying the data, highlight the entire column.

Then, split the text into columns.

This separates text in one column into two.

In this instance, the split happens at the comma.

Text can also be split into columns at other separators, such as spaces or semicolons.

Splitting text into columns is a useful tool for splitting up a lot of text into more manageable chunks.

Now you can clearly see driving and flying lengths in order to help you identify which schools are a reasonable distance away from your home.

Perhaps you only want to go to a college that is located within a four-hour drive of your home.

Go through your spreadsheet, and highlight the schools that fit that criteria.

Select the entire row, and use the fill color tool to turn those rows blue.

This makes it easy to see which schools fall within your specified distance from home.

Continue doing this for all of the colleges that are no more than four hours away.

Good job!

You have narrowed down your potential schools.

Use the tools you learned in this extension to separate people’s names from their contact information in a mailing list or split cars you’re researching from their make and model.

Now, it’s your turn: Go to Google Drive, and open your spreadsheet.

Split text to columns to clean up the data.

And use fill color to turn rows blue for any colleges that meet your criteria.

Choose an Extension
Research and Sort Important College Deadlines

Add information to your spreadsheet about regular admission deadlines.

Add a New Sheet for Application Requirements

Add a new sheet to your spreadsheet to organize required application materials for each school.

Filter Colleges by Degree Type

Narrow down your degree choices to focus on the colleges that offer the degree you want.

Clarify Information by Splitting Text to Columns

Split text from one column into two columns to clarify and better organize details in your spreadsheet.

Keep Track of College Applications with Data

Learn how to use data validation to keep track of deadlines for your college applications.

Share Your College Spreadsheet with Others

Change permissions settings and share your spreadsheet to get feedback from others.


Choose an extension video to change the content, structure, and goals of your spreadsheet.