How to Start a College List
If you have a student in middle school or high school, it’s likely that you have started to receive an abundance of postcards, brochures, and mailings from different college admission offices around the country. Colleges can “purchase” names and addresses of prospective students. The brochures you receive (sometimes daily!) are all part of a college’s strategic marketing plan. After a while, brochures begin to look the same. So, what’s a student to do? With over 4,000 colleges to choose from, the selection process can be a bit overwhelming. Below are my top tips to keep in mind when you begin to search for colleges.
1. Know who you are.
Part of figuring out where the best fit school for you is being able to self-reflect and identify with different components of the school that interest you and inspire you. Your decision should not be based on the feedback of your friends. Everyone is unique and every person has individual needs and desires. Take some time to sit and reflect on the type of learning environment you enjoy. Do you prefer small class sizes? What about research opportunities? Do you want to be within driving distance or a plane ride away from home? How do you feel when you walk into a room and don’t know anyone? What do you hope to accomplish after graduating college?
2. Recognize that colleges are businesses.
At the end of the day, colleges are businesses. They have enrollment numbers to make and an ideal incoming class demographic to meet. Don’t be so quick to be sold on a brochure alone. Take time to go online and visit the school’s website, attend a virtual campus tour, attend prospective student open house, meet with current students, and speak with admission officers and professors. No two schools are the same. College rankings make a big difference. And to confuse things even more, not all rankings are the same! Some are more reputable than others, which can impact the weight that a school has on someone’s resume.
3. Look at the bigger picture.
You are not the same person you were in middle school. You are not going to be the same person in 4 years. College brings about a sense of individuality and maturity. Deciding to attend a liberal arts college has different implications than deciding to attend a research university. Determining your college major will help pave the rest of your life and possible career choices. Do you aspire to attend graduate school, law school, or medical school? Then you should be strategic about where you attend your undergraduate years and what major you declare.
College admissions can be a confusing process. College admission help is available to students in Brentwood, TN, Franklin, TN, and Nashville, TN is available. If you search “college admissions help near me”, you will likely see a list of different resources available on the web. Be sure to check their credentials and take your time understanding the process. College essay help, and determining what scholarships are available to students in Williamson and Davidson County are all part of the services that I offer. Planning for ACT prep and SAT prep for Brentwood, TN, Franklin, TN, and Nashville, TN students is important to consider when looking at the timeline ahead. It’s important that families begin thinking about the college admissions process as early as possible.