4 Keys to a Great College List
At College Click, we believe the goal of a college list is one that creates a
number of great choices for the student by balancing their academic achievement and goals, the college market, and lifestyle factors.
With over 4,500 schools is the US, there are so many options. It’s ok to have that dream school on the list, but balancing out a college list is essential so you don’t get caught out with few or no options.
Here are 4 keys that will make a college list effective:
The first thing colleges will look at is a student’s grades, strength of curriculum and test scores. You want to make sure that your student is a good academic fit for the school to ensure success in the classroom. Just because a student falls into the average range for test scores and GPA, that does not guarantee admission. Those statistics do not include other factors such as impacted majors and schools. For example, in the Class of 2019, UCLA received over 111,000 first-time Freshman applications. They accepted 6,500 Freshman and rejected 96,000 applicants.
Many of those rejected far exceeded the average GPA for UCLA and would potentially be admitted under normal circumstances.
Many of our students start the process with an open mind believing they could live anywhere in the country. But after really thinking about it and putting down a deposit at a school, it is crucial that you consider the location of the Institution. Does the student love the sun but get the rainy day blues? Then why are schools in the Pacific Northwest on the list?
Most students are going to be away from home for the first time. They may get homesick and if they need to get on a plane for the weekend, is it reasonable to do so based on location or family finances?
Take a realistic view of what your budget is for college and discuss that with your son or daughter from the beginning of the process. Look at the price for each school. Many private schools are much more expensive than public schools. Also, out of state tuition is far more costly than staying in-state.
You don’t know when you create your list just how much money your student will receive in grants or loans from a school so make sure the list is balanced.
4) Interests outside the classroom
Are you an athlete, musician, artist, liberal, conservative, want a big school spirit, introvert, want to live on-campus? Are you urban or are you afraid of big cities? Do you like being outdoors, visiting museums, or being on a farm?
Understanding the lifestyle and norms of the college is really important. Better to visit a few of the top schools on your list and to get a better feel of what’s right for the student.