Crafting a college list can be a confusing feat. Many students start listing colleges they know. Some ask for suggestions from trusted people. For most people, creating a college list is just an easy task. But is there a way to properly do it?
Attending college requires a lot of time and money to invest. Just because a college has a great reputation or has a popular sports team does not mean it is the perfect fit for you.
What you need to do is to research. By researching, you boost your chances of finding a college that matches you. Here are some steps to build your college list:
Get to know yourself first
When creating a college list, the first thing to do is to know yourself first. Ask yourself, what do you want in a college? Consider your preferences and know what is important to you. You may need to think about these factors:
- Location – Where would you grow as a student? Do you think it is best to be distant from home? Would you enjoy studying in an urban or rural setting? Also consider key factors like weather, accessibility, and possible opportunities.
- Major – What course will you take? You must know what program you will focus on to know which school best teaches this program.
- Extracurricular activities – Think of extracurriculars that you would enjoy, from clubs, events, to volunteer work.
- Student population size – Do you like studying in a class with a large population? Do you think it would suit you best?
- Religious affiliation – Do you want to attend a Catholic school? Or a school that values your faith and religion?
Compile the college list
After knowing what you prefer in a college, you can now begin your initial research. Draft a college list, from 10-to 20 colleges depending on your preferences. Some resources that may be helpful for you are college counselors and search tools.
Consult your school or independent counselor if they can recommend colleges that would be right for you. Since they are experts in the field, they can easily advise you. Another resource is college search tools. These are websites that can give you a look into colleges that you’re interested in.
Research and narrow down your list
Start researching the colleges you listed. When you research, you may be surprised by the schools that you didn’t like from the start. Some colleges will also leave you uninterested, which will be good in narrowing down your choices.
Part of researching is reviewing websites, attending college fairs, contacting admissions officers, visiting college campuses, and even interacting with current students and staff.
Categorize and prioritize
Narrow down your list to the final number of colleges you will apply to. Experts suggest between 6-10 colleges is good. Categorize colleges based on safety, target, and dream schools.
Your college list will continue to change as you further your research. MSM Unify is here to help you with all the college admissions process with tips and insights. Check our articles out.