How Early Should You Start Creating A College List?

list of colleges

Flickr user Mark Morgan

Experts suggest that the best time to start creating a list of colleges is midway through the freshman year in high school. There is, of course, no hard and fast rule about this. It may be a little too early for some students but, in general, it can’t hurt. When it comes to creating your college list, it’s never too early to start.  

There are several reasons why it is a good idea to start creating a list of colleges as a freshman in high school:

You Have Plenty Of Time To Learn About Different Programs

When you start looking at various colleges and the programs they offer, you get a better idea of what is out there for you to choose from. You will also get to know about the non-academic facilities that each college offers.

Getting all of this information can be time-consuming. When you start early, time is on your side. You will have plenty of time to explore and look at the various universities and the programs they offer, so you won’t be rushed or stressed about getting this done.

You Will Get Sufficient Time To Customize Your Learning 

During your search, you may come across a college that ticks all of the boxes for you: it might have a program for your specific major, a great sports team, interesting student organizations, and great research facilities. However, you may not meet one of their requirements, which could jeopardize your chances of getting admission. Or maybe you need to ramp up your efforts to get higher grades.

When you start your search freshman year, you have the advantage of knowing your weak areas early on, which gives you plenty of time to put in the extra effort so you are all set when it is time for you to apply to college. This can be particularly important if you are applying to a highly competitive college. With additional time on your side, you can take up extra coaching without compromising your high school studies. Those who start creating their college list late lose out on this very crucial benefit.

You Can Spread Out Your College Visits

With an early start to your college list, you could schedule in at least a couple of college visits during your high school years. It’s a great way to narrow down your college list. Not only will these early college visits give you a better idea of college campuses and college life.

Working on creating your college list early gives you a head start on your college journey and lets you pace out the search without getting too stressed.

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