Here are Some Resources to Help Students Build a Balanced College List
Juniors: Do you know where you’ll be applying to college this fall? Now’s the time to create your balanced college list if you haven’t started already.
Preparing for the Application Process
The 2017-18 Common Application prompts have already been announced, and many colleges will begin releasing their school-specific essay prompts in the summer. This means that current juniors have the opportunity to get a head start on their college applications during the summer before senior year. However, it’s hard for students to begin working on their college applications if they don’t know where they want to apply first. This is where students’ balanced college lists come in.
What is a Balanced College List?
A balanced college list is a collection of 10-15 best fit likely, reach, and target colleges, any of which students would be happy to attend. These schools should meet students’ academic, social, and financial goals.
When building a balanced college list it’s important to consider all facets of a college, including academic and social opportunities on campus, the surrounding community, and more. Here’s how students can learn everything they need to about a college in order to build a balanced college list.
Research is Key
Thorough research is essential in order to create your college list. Start by identifying a few different institutions you’re interested in, and learn more about them! Do research on everything from courses and professors to extracurricular clubs and activities.
If you’re still not sure where to start, talk to your college counselor about some of your academic interests and what you think you want in a college – things like size, location, campus culture – and research some of your counselor’s suggestions.
Also, while rankings lists shouldn’t be the sole basis of your college list, you can learn a lot about a college based on the information they do provide to publications that create the rankings. You can also create your own rankings!
After you’ve done your research online utilizing the school’s website and social media, and determined this is an institution you’re serious about applying to, you should try to visit if you can. While visiting during the summer is not ideal, it’s better than not visiting at all. Try to visit some colleges this summer if you can, and plan other college visits during the fall when school is in session if possible.
Additional College List Resources
Here are some additional resources to help you create your balanced college list.
- How to Create a Balanced College List
- Juniors: How to Build Your Balanced College List
- Your Balanced College List: How Many Colleges You Should Apply To?
- The Truth About Building a Balanced College List
- 5 Ways to Narrow Down Your College List
- How to Use Social Media in Your College Search
- The Truth About Applying to ‘Likely’ Colleges
- The Truth about Applying to ‘Reach’ Colleges
- Navigating the College Search Process With a Learning Difference
Are you sure you're ready to apply to college this fall? Download our free College Planning Checklist to make sure you’re on track for the college admissions process.
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