How NOT To Create a College List

Flickr user EAWB

There are quite a few ways to create your college list, including asking family members, teachers, and friends for advice, using websites like College Raptor, and visiting college fairs. However, there are also tactics you should be avoiding, including these three.

Only Including What Your Family Suggests

Your family will have suggestions for schools and you can absolutely take their advice. It may be a school they went to or know of. But don’t stop there. You should be looking beyond their suggestions. Many students make the mistake of only listening to their parents and not searching elsewhere.

While your parents may have gone to great schools, they may not be the best choice for you. You may be considering another major, you might have a completely different personality, or the school just won’t be a culture fit for you. So make sure you’re doing your own research into colleges and not just taking your family’s word for it.

Only Including Schools Your Friends or Significant Other Are Interested In

When searching for colleges, you should be keeping yourself front and center. While you may have a high school friends or an s/o, don’t let those relationships influence your decision. Your school will have an effect the rest of your life and career and it should always be you first, not anyone else.

Only Picking the First Schools You Come Across

Choosing colleges to look into further can be stressful, especially when it comes to the application process. So some students may select the first colleges they come across that seem semi-interesting and stop there.

The first few colleges you heard of may not be the right one for you. They may not even have your major. While you may find one or two colleges in this pile that you want to apply to, you should be using every avenue available to find schools that fit your academic and personal needs. This will be your life for the next four years; You don’t want to choose a college you will be unhappy with before you’re even finished with your freshman year. While it can be stressful, it’s important to do the work now, so you avoid being even more stressed out in the years to come.

Making a college list now is an important step on your school search. This process will help you avoid a situation where a transfer in your freshman or sophomore years is required. Keep yourself front and center when searching and keep in mind what you want out of a school, not what your parents, s/o, or friends want.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

Hilary Cairns

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