At this stage of the process, you are likely finalizing your college list and/or ready to start applying to schools. Here are some tips to refine your list with specific detailed information on your schools of interest and set yourself to apply!
TIP 1: Compare Schools on Your Current and Past Lists
If you’re confused or stuck about where to go next with your list, take a step back and compare the lists you already have. It’s likely you’ve scratched some off completely and secured others. What schools are similar to those you’ve taken off or saved and what connects them to you? What makes schools on your list special?
TIP 2: Where Are You Currently as a Student?
Your academic standing and test scores may have changed from when you first looked at schools. This can move schools up, down, or completely off from your list as you begin to finalize which schools fall into your reach, safety, and target points. Match up your current academic standing with the requirements of those on your lists to get an accurate sense of where to apply.
TIP 3: Hone In On the Details That Will Shape Your Experience at School
Going to school for 2-4 years is a commitment and your experience will be more than just going to classes. The schools on your final list should be places you truly see yourself being a part of for extended periods of time. Some colleges have student experience pages on social media like Instagram and may offer student Q&As. Do you know current students at these schools? Reach out to them to ask questions about their experiences. Do these schools have clubs/organizations you’d be interested in? Try reaching out to them on social pages like Instagram or Twitter.
Are you interested in study abroad opportunities, and if so does your school offer them at all? Are you interested in Greek Life, and how much is the college shaped by its culture? What is the culture of each school on your list? Lastly, not every school will have everything you’re looking for. You might have a school with the exact academic program you want, but is really small or in an area you really don’t like. What aspects of the school are you willing to sacrifice to prioritize something else? Asking these kinds of questions can begin to streamline your list, allowing you to hone in on schools you will want to go to in all aspects.
TIP 4: Prepare Yourself to Apply
Once you have a solid list of schools, it’s crucial to prepare yourself for each school’s application. Each school will have different application requirements such as deadlines and writing supplements, and you can check them out by visiting the websites before you officially apply!
The Common Application (also known as the Common App) is a college application used to help prospective college students apply to multiple institutions at once. You can apply to many SUNY and private colleges and universities using the common app!
Make sure to note each schools’ deadlines and manage your potential supplements, to get everything completed on time and with the best quality!