How to create a list of Universities

Creating a list of colleges can be overwhelming, especially when there are more than 3,600 institutions in the United States. However, with a strategic approach and by following the methodology we explain throughout this blog and in the live session below this paragraph, you can filter out and eliminate schools that are not good choices for you and your family. Our goal is that by the end of this video you will have a good idea on how to create a list of final colleges that perfectly fit your personal preferences and allow you to meet your personal and professional goals.

In this one live David shares in more depth how to create the perfect college list for you.

How to Create a College List: The 4 Steps

Visualize your Perfect College Experience:

Before you start looking at colleges, take some time to visualize what your ideal college life would be like. Consider the geographic location, the career you are interested in, the extracurricular activities you want to pursue, and any other aspects that are important to you. This will help you define your search criteria and help you have a clear vision of what you are looking for.

2. Use your Preferences as Search Criteria:

With your vision in mind, start looking for colleges that fit your preferences. Use online tools, such as college search engines and directories, and filter your choices based on location, academic program, student activities and other factors you feel are important. This will allow you to obtain a preliminary list of colleges that meet your initial requirements.

3. Investigate and go deeper in each university:

Once you have narrowed your list to fewer than 50 colleges, begin to thoroughly research each one. Examine the academic programs, research opportunities, facilities, size of the student community and any other relevant aspects. Consider visiting colleges in person or attending virtual events to get a better sense of campus life.

4. Divide your list into Categories:

Based on your research, divide your final college list into three categories: Reach, Target y Safety.

  • Reach/reach universities are those that are more selective and competitive to enter, but may still be attainable with your credentials.
  • Target/target universities are those in which you have a good chance of being admitted and which meet your preferences.
  • Safety/safety universities are those to which you have a high probability of being admitted and which still provide you with a satisfactory college experience.

Remember that this process of creating a college list is flexible and customized. As you research and learn more information, you may adjust your list and change your preferences. Keep an open mind and take advantage of available resources, such as school counselors and specialized websites, for additional guidance throughout the process.

By strategically creating a college list, you can reduce stress and make informed decisions that move you closer to your ideal college experience. Start working on your list and get ready for an exciting academic adventure!

Free Presentation

If you want to learn even more tips or are interested in becoming a member of Best College Aid, I invite you to sign up to view our free presentation of the 6 tips for going to college on scholarship.


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