How to Compile a College List You Will Love
As high school juniors and seniors begin to craft lists of colleges they’d like to attend, it’s important to remember that not every college is going to be the right fit. In fact, many students will come across colleges they have no interest in. That’s perfectly OK — picking a list of colleges that’s right for you is essential.
Here are some things you should think about as you decide whether to add a college to your list:
What is it you want from your college experience? This question ultimately will help you decide what colleges to select. If you want a bustling atmosphere with tons of students, a Big Ten college might be right for you. If you seek a small, quiet environment where you can get to know your professors, a small, liberal arts college might be the best match.
Think about what you want the next few years of your life to be like and use that to help narrow your options. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, only what you want for yourself.
Don’t be influenced too much by your friends. The college decision is about your future. You need to determine what’s best for you, not follow along with what your peers are doing. There are many roads to higher education and it’s important you pick the one that’s best suited for you.
Some people begin their college journey at a community college. This saves money and can allow you to knock several general education courses out of the way. Others know they want to go immerse themselves in new experiences on sprawling campuses where they can carve out new identities for themselves. Think about what you want and do not go along with what all your friends are doing — that might cause you to have to transfer colleges down the road.
Consider the setting. If you aren’t sure what kind of college you’d like to attend but have a general idea of what you might like, apply to colleges with similar settings. This way, you can see which colleges admit you and choose among them. If you want to attend a college in a coastal city, near home or in a specific climate, changes are there are several colleges for you.