This is right about the time in the application process that students begin to look at their college list and make decisions on which colleges to finally apply to. Most high schools nowadays have a maximum of 10 or 12 schools that they can apply to but even choosing in the ballpark of 6-8 might be good. Here are some best practices to cut down on those names:
- There is nothing like the perfect choice: Students may believe they will have an “a-ha” moment when they arrive on the campus that is perfect for them. This pressure to find “the one” can make students and their parents worry when school after school just doesn’t feel 100% right. Reject that mindset. There are many schools that are likely to be a good fit. Don't let ‘perfect’ be the enemy of ‘great.’”In fact, falling in love with one school can actually be a mistake. Students that have their heart’s set on a singular school may face disappointment if they are not admitted.
- Make a list of essentials: In order to cut down on the colleges try making a list of five “must haves,” things that a college should have for it to be on your list. The list can range from location to course offerings to club activities. The list allows you to filter through the overwhelming list of college choices. Once you have a list of what you want, you can research what colleges have the want and then go visit and learn more to determine if the college is right for you. In fact, this also sets priorities straight. A lot of times students are interested in a specific major but are also hellbent on only applying to colleges in one specific location. Prioritizing on what is more important to them can help them cut down on the their list.
- Be open minded to change: Students may have preconceived ideas about a school (positive and negative) from what they read online or hear from their peers. But it is best to approach the college search process with an open mind. When interacting with a college (whether that is by seeing the campus, reading about, or meeting admissions reps) students should try to really experience the place and get a feel for the student body. See if you can imagine yourself “fit” in to the college community because to be honest, that’s a big criteria for colleges when they look at you! Don't choose a college based purely on ranking and reputation. Just because a college is not on the top of a ranking list, it does not mean it can’t be on the top of a student’s list.
If you still need help with that college list, come meet us for coffee and we will be happy to help!