For high school students across the nation, the college admissions process begins to show more relevance around junior year. For some students, this can be a very difficult time depending on post-graduating plans like enrolling in college. Both students and parents need to be on the same page when it comes time to build a college list and completing the subsequent application process. When deciding on colleges to add to the list, applicants should consider location, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, class size, and many other determining factors. Here some must-read tips to help students polish and refine his or her college list.
One of the most critical components of organizing a college list entails researching each college a student shows interest in. This is the absolute first step any applicant should complete during this process. Having certain colleges in the mind sounds great, but students need to dig deeper to truly grasp an institution’s offerings. Many students dream of attending big state schools located in enormous cities. But is this the wisest choice to make? Looking into smaller or less can prove beneficial, especially if when the fit an applicant’s criteria.
After devoting ample time to researching different colleges, it’s time to weed out the institutions that don’t match with an applicant’s personality and academic aspirations. Choosing an Ivy League college may sound like a fantastic idea in theory, but does the atmosphere, living conditions, course work, and social aspect fit the criteria for every student applicant? These are all huge points to remember when narrowing down a college list. Yes, areas of importance to some, might not be at the top of the list for others. Most colleges receive great brand awareness just by the name and reputation of the college itself. This isn’t the most reliable method when looking for the best all-around college for an applicant.
A terrific way for students to start getting more selective with refining a college list is to attend a student-led college tour. Visits are an excellent opportunity to become more familiar with the campus, lifestyle, classrooms, and the student community. To take it a step further, spending the night in a freshman dorm will be the ultimate test to feel out the school and make a decision based on your experience. Students don’t understand what college is like until they experience it firsthand.
As senior year of high school wraps up, students must use college lists to make a final decisions. With so many superb colleges to choose from, finalizing a decision isn’t always easy. One of the best methods for students to overcome this hump involves developing a personal ranking system. Narrowing the college list down to the top 5 will be the best-case scenario. Students will definitely face difficult choices; but when done right, each choice will benefit the student applicant in the long run.
Here at Test Prep Score, we have educational professionals to help students of all skill levels get on the right track when it comes time for college planning. For more information on everything test prep-related, subscribe to our blog.