How do you come up with a list of colleges to consider? Many students pick colleges that friends or relatives have gone to. They also consult with guidance counselors, and some hire college consultants. What’s the right approach? Here’s some tips on what you should consider:
1. Consider your college preferences – type of college, its location, size, majors offered. Select about 20 colleges to begin with.
2. Next, you will have to find out if your background and achievements match up with applicants colleges are accepting – GPA, SATs or ACT scores. Do your research on each college.
3. Based on the chances of your being accepted, subdivide the pool of 20 to 25 colleges into three groups:
colleges within Reach – 1%-49% chance of admission, those that are likely – 50% to 85% chance of admission, and colleges that you consider a “safety” – 86%-99% chance of admission – you’ll probably get in. Make sure that at least four colleges are in each group.
4. Visit as many colleges in your area, and then realign your choices in each category.
5. This is the time to get advice about colleges from friends, relatives, and guidance counselors. Assemble some questions. What was life like at that college? How would they rate professors? How prepared did they feel they were for careers? What was their major?
Good luck with your search!