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Building Your College List

Last updated February 28, 2020

The first question most students ask themselves once they’ve decided they want to go to college is, “where should I go?”. With thousands of different colleges and universities to choose from, how do you find the right school for you? You can start by building a college list and narrowing it down from there!

Step 1: Research 

Use the department of Education's College ScoreCard tool to search for colleges by location, degrees offered, and price!

Think about:

  • Where you want to live

  • Graduation rate and average annual cost

  • What you want to study

  • The size and culture of the school. 

Step 2: Categorize

Your college list should initially include 9 potential schools you would be interested in attending. 

  • Reach = These are goal schools. Include 3-4 of these, and give them your full attention. It's important to realize that with effort, you can get into even the most selective schools. Don't shy away from big name colleges because you think you won't get in because A. You can get in. B. These colleges often offer large financial aid packages.  
  • Match = Your  GPA and SAT/ACT matches the average GPA and SAT/ACT score of admitted students at the college. You  have a strong chance of getting in
  • Safety = Go ahead and buy the school t-shirt because you exceed admission requirements and will more than likely get in.

Step 3: Compare


Time to start weighing your options! Pay attention to :

the average admitted student GPA, SAT/ACT score

the general culture of the school, size, and location. 

REMEMBER - just because you don't have the grades or SAT/ACT scores does NOT mean you can't get in!! Essays, extracurriculars, and the area your school are in all play a huge role in the admissions process. So if you like a school - apply to it. Easy as that.

l need some additional help, text “COLLEGE” to 33-55-77 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions! 

Discovered some college's you're interested in? Let us know which one's in this discussion board!

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