Hey everybody, I’m back today with a post on creating a kickass college list coming up with an actually good solid College list is a lot harder than it sounds but don’t worry. I’ve got your back. So before I get into this, I just want to make very clear that picking a great list of schools to commit yourself to is not easy. It involves a lot of work on your part like spending tons of time on college websites with a million tabs open French cleat checking if that school has the program that you want to be in or frantically messaging your friends who had already graduated are now going to schools you’re considering. watching endless YouTube videos and students who are already at those schools going to college visits at your high school or at the surrounding high schools in your area.
Embracing The Entire Experience
The entire experience of applying to college is such an incredible learning process and I think you learn a lot about yourself especially during the process of figuring out which schools you want to apply to. For example, what kind of person are you? What kind of environment do you want? What programs are considering? What are you trying to get out of college? And why are you applying really coming up with a college list pretty much boils down to answering those questions and figure out which schools that match up with those answers It generally said that you should apply to a good mix of reach match and safety schools. So schools that you probably won’t get into schools that you probably will get into and schools that you’ll definitely get into and I don’t have a strict number that I would say, like everyone should apply to but I would say that around six to eight schools is a really reasonable number but what do I know? I applied to 14, but I think that if you know you have time and if you think that writing more college applications won’t hinder the quality of those applications and you have the means either through vouchers or just paying the fees to apply to all these schools. I say go for it being at the stage in your life at the end of high school about to apply for undergrad. It’s such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I don’t think you should let anybody tell you that you should only apply to a certain number of schools anyway. Before I get even more sidetracked than I’ve already gotten here are my 7 tips to help you go from ideas to a concrete list of schools to apply to tip number one have a conversation about finances with your parents or guardians or whoever else would be responsible for paying your tuition before you apply to these colleges.
Don’t Fall In Love With A School
Let me tell you, you do not want to get into a school fall in love with it and then be heartbroken because you can’t afford to go. I almost had that experience and it’s pretty much like the worst case scenario for any college applicant in terms of like the outcome of their application process, so make sure you communicate with whoever is responsible for paying your tuition before and like I’m just going to say it again before you apply to college and even if you have an understanding or you think you know exactly how much your parents are willing to pay even if you’re sure that your family or whoever else is responsible for paying your tuition can afford a certain amount for your apology. Education double check before you actually apply. There’s no harm in doing so because you confirm what you thought before or you get a more realistic sense of you know, where you’re at and what college is you can apply to accordingly.
Know What You Can Afford
Once you have a concrete idea of what you and your family can afford. Then you can move on to the next step of applying to colleges applying for scholarships applying for student loans applying for financial aid finding a job the list continue. So this all happens after you have this conversation because until then you don’t really know what the situation is. So I would say this is the most important tip.
Take Advantage Of Every Resource
Basically, this means reaching out to your parents or reaching out to friends reaching out to alumni of your school who are in college now and ask them about particular schools and their application process. They might have some insight into whether or not a school be good for you because there are a lot of things that make a school great that extend far past classes clubs and connections.
For example at colleges website probably wouldn’t say that there’s a raging crap scene although a friend or a friend or a friend who goes to that school would probably tell you that tip number three remember balance don’t just load your list with the US News top 25 or with just one of your local state schools because as I said, you want to have all your bases covered this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you don’t want to mess it up so that you screw your plans for the future and you want to make sure that you have a back-up plan that you have. Have a path forward even if things don’t go the way you want tip number four love your safety schools. I can never say this enough a safety school is not safe. If you don’t love it because then when you go you’re going to dread the idea in my experience, the University of Toronto is my safety school and I went out of my way to like fall in love with that school when I got in I was so excited. I was ready to go.
I found a student’s blog and they put pictures of their times as a university student and they posted pictures of coffee shops in Toronto and I’m a sucker for coffee shops. So it’s just really excited about the prospect of going to that school find a way to do that with your own safety schools. And if you wouldn’t ever want to go to a school in any circumstance unless you absolutely had to then don’t put that school in your list. It’s a waste of your time money and energy tip number five be realistic.
This is just to shield yourself and make yourself prepared for any disappointment because if you have a 20 on the ACT, the chance that you’re going to get into Harvard are probably pretty low. And I’m not saying that you can’t get in if you have a 20 but I’m just saying that’s probably a very unlikely scenario.
So what you can do is you can look up a school’s common data set and it’s available for most of the schools that I applied to and probably available for most of the school’s out there and section c basically tells you the GPA and test scores and whatnot of like the people who got admitted to that school. So with that information you can see whether you’re above. Within our below those ranges and then accordingly you can figure out whether that’s cool would be a reach match or safety. But I do want to caution that for schools with acceptance rates of less than 10 or 15% after certain point.
Even if you’re in the range, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it. So just keep that in mind while you’re applying if you’re thinking of applying to those caliber schools tip number six, that’s not six tip number 6 step out of your comfort zone. And I know this is kind of hypocritical because I just went on a little rant about being realistic but I don’t think that realism should stop you from pursuing your dream. I just mean that you need a backup plan. But why I’m trying to say is even if you think something is impossible whether it’s an Ivy League or business school or a direct entry medicine program, make sure you add it to your list because it never hurts to try and lastly tip number 7 don’t worry and I know that’s easier said than done but it’s only July you have many months until you have to submit your For the most part and until then you can change your mind you can add schools. I added three schools in the last two weeks of applying to colleges.
So I would say don’t worry what you pick right now isn’t necessarily binding till the very end. So any choice that you make before the school year and even until you submit your applications or totally subject to change. So those are my seven tips on creating a kickass college list.