Different Ways to Build Your College List

If you are starting to look at colleges, you may not know exactly where to start. Even if you have a dream school in mind, you will have to have other colleges for backups and consideration, especially if your dream school doesn’t work out. Here are three different ways you can start to build your college list now before you start applying:

Ask Your Teachers, Counselors, Friends, and Family

It’s most likely that your family, friends, and teachers as well as your counselors may have suggestions of schools to consider. It’s a good place to start, especially when it comes to research. Your teachers and counselor especially may know exactly what school is right up your alley, which has a strong program for your intended major, or a college you may want to at least take a look at. Make sure to schedule an appointment with a high school counselor to go over potential options for your education and future career.

Write down these suggestions and then do your own research when you get home. If they seem like they could be a good fit for you or one you want to delve deeper into, add them to your college list.

Attend College Fairs

Your high school will most likely host a college fair at some point over the summer and fall months. If not, there is most likely one at a nearby convention center. It’s a great idea to attend one or two of these. Search online for ones coming up in your area.

While you’re attending, make sure you talk to college representatives, especially for schools you’re already interested in, and take home the literature they offer. When you have a chance, read through it and consider adding a few of these to your list.

Use College Search Websites

College search websites, like College Raptor, can help you research schools you’re already interested in, but they can also find colleges that meet your needs and wants. By entering your information in, the database can pull up schools that match your interests, intended major, and more, but also take your grade, SAT or ACT score, and other factors into consideration.

By using this information and the suggested colleges, you can find schools you may have not previously considered or heard of. It can be a great way to discover the perfect college for your future.

Finding the colleges you want to consider applying to can be a stressful time, especially if you’re not sure where to look. However, by talking to the people around you, attending events like college fairs, and using search tools like College Raptor, you can find the colleges that fit you, personally and academically. Once a school is added to your list, make sure you continually research them and pay the campus a visit. This can help you narrow down your choices and make it much easier to decide which you would like to apply to.

Hilary Cairns

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