Application deadlines will be here before you know it. Now’s the time to evaluate your preliminary choices and create your final list. You should develop a balanced list including a mix of safety, reach and target schools, both academically and financially.
This may seem like an impossible task, but consider the following:
- Think about what matters most to you: academic programs and rigor, geographic location, student body, clubs and activities, cost and your chance of admission.
- Identify the schools that are truly the best fit for you. What’s your gut feeling? How did you feel when you visited the school (personally or on a virtual tour)? If you sat in on a class or ate at a dining hall, think back to what you observed going on around you. Can you see yourself there for the next four years?
- Use all information available to you from school visits, info sessions, individual college websites and other online resources including college search sites, open discussions, rankings, interactive tools, and anything else provided by your high school.
- Reach out to current students you know to get their perspective on the school and ask them the questions you really want the answers to. Recent graduates may also be a great resource to connect with.
- Talk with your parents about the costs of attending college. Make sure your list includes schools that are both on target, and a reach, financially.
Put together a balanced list of schools, and you should have more than one option to choose from. There are over 2,500 colleges and universities in the United States and there’s more than one perfect school for you.