With all of these colleges to choose from, crafting your final college list for applications can be pretty tough. Don’t fret though! In this article, I’ll be sharing a few tips and resources with you on how to create the perfect college list.
1. University or Liberal Arts College?
While universities tend to have more specific and tailored major tracks, liberal arts colleges focus on a more generalized and expansive “liberal arts” education. Depending on the kind of education you want in college, it’s important to make that distinction between universities and liberal arts colleges. Moreover, while universities tend to have more research opportunities and resources as larger schools, liberal arts colleges offer a close-knit community where you can get to know your fellow peers and teachers more.
2. Does it have your major?
Very important! If a school doesn’t have your desired major(s), you probably won’t enjoy it much there.
3. College mission statement
Many students will overlook the college mission statement. Knowing a college’s values and goals will help you determine whether you will thrive at that particular college campus. For instance, some colleges emphasize interdisciplinary learning while others may emphasize service and experiential learning.
4. What is the student life like?
This is important for your personal well-being outside of your academic activities. For example, if you’re an outgoing party person, you may want to look for schools that have a good party life.
Some students will also overlook the location when considering colleges. If you thrive in warm and sunny weather, this is not the time to weather freezing winters at colleges in the north–unless you’re willing, of course. Moreover, you should also consider whether the school is in an urban, suburban, or rural setting. If you’re a city person, definitely look towards schools in an urban setting.
These are by far not the only factors you should take into consideration when creating your college list. There are much more out there, and I have just listed some notable ones that stood out to me in my own experience. Before you start working on your college list, I’d like to leave you with some helpful resources!
A great way to see if you’d be an excellent academic and personal fit for a certain college! You can also set colleges side by side to compare!
College Board Compare Colleges
Another great tool for comparing colleges!
Campus Tours (Real or Virtual)
Campus tours are the best way to see if a college is right for you, as you can actually see the school and hear about specific programs. If distance prevents you from visiting a particular college, check to see if your college offers virtual tours on their website.
College YouTube Channels and Social Media
These offer a great insight into a college’s academic programs and their student life.