These days, students apply to multiple colleges before choosing where to go. According to the Washington Post, the average student applies to 7 different schools, while top student apply to an average of 20 colleges.
This is a great idea for any applicant, but with so many choices, how do you narrow down your list to the top 7, 10, or 20? And then how do you rank the choices you end up making?
Here are Some Dos and Don’ts for Choosing the Right Schools
Do Stay Flexible
You might have one school that is your true choice, but you have to give yourself multiple options and see what else is available. You never know when you might be surprised to discover a dream school that you’ve never heard of.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Make your choices early so you have time to research and refine your list.
Do Remember that Things Will Change
The major you’re interested in now might not be what you graduate with, so don’t include a school solely because their reputation for your desired major.
Don’t Withhold an Application because You Think You Might be Rejected
That’s why you’re applying to multiple schools. Submit the best application you can to all the schools on your list, even the ones that are the toughest to get into. There’s going to be rejection in any college admissions process, but don’t let fear control your behavior.
Do Visit the Schools You’re Interested in
It might not be possible to go to all of the schools on your list, but your top few choices should definitely warrant a visit.
Don’t Apply to a School just because Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Best Friend is Going There
Make the right choice for you.
Do Factor in the Cost
These days, no school can guarantee you’ll have great employment options in the future. If your schools are very expensive and will saddle you with a lifetime of debt, then keep looking and give yourself some more affordable options.
Don’t Apply to a School for Shallow Reasons
If you like that school’s sports teams, or you’ve heard it’s a “party school,” that’s not a good enough reason to apply.
Remember that nothing is set in stone at this point, so err on the side of including more choices. You can always pare things down when you move on to the applications process.