Factors to consider in Making your College List

  • Location: California, East Coast, etc.  Where do relatives live?  What type of transportation is needed.
  • Size:  The size of the campus: 1 acre or 400 acres?  Enrollment: 25-50,000 students
  • Setting of the campus: Rural/ Suburban/ Urban?  Which are you more familiar with?
  • Academics:  What majors?  What minors? Doubt majors?  Can you change your majors?
  • Learning environment:  Large, small classrooms, discussion groups, accessibility of teachers?
  • Extracurricular options:  Intramural sports, clubs or organizations. What to do outside of class
  • Housing options:  Type and availability of dorms and other housing. Roommate issues
  • Cost to attend:  $15,000 to $60,000?  Do you plan to attend graduate school?
  • School spirit:  NCAA sports?  Banana slug vs. Trojans?

Safe, Target, Reach Schools

Don’t include a school on your college list that you are not willing to attend.  Include schools that fall into one of the following three categories:  Safe, Target and Reach.  Apply to a few schools from each category.

Safe: A college where you would have been easily accepted the previous year.  You can be reasonably certain that you will be admitted to your safety schools and be happy there.

  • You meet all the requirements for the recommended coursework
  • Your SAT I Score or ACT is significantly above the average that was accepted last year
  • Your GPA is significantly above the averaged accepted last year

 

Target: A college where your academic qualifications fall well within or even exceed the school’s range for the average freshman. These schools are places you will be very happy and most likely to be admitted. There are no guarantees, but it’s not unreasonable to be accepted to several of your target schools.

  • You meet all the requirements for the recommended coursework
  • Your SAT I or ACT scores is at or above the average that was accepted last year
  • You GPA is above the average accepted last year

 

Reach: You have all the qualifications and academic credentials fall within range or below the school’s range for the average freshman. These schools are your top choices, but more academically challenging to get into. Reach schools are long-shots but they should still be possible.

  • You SAT or ACT scores is about average or above the ones accepted last year
  • You GPA is at about or above the average accepted last year
  • You have taken the average or above number of honors/AP courses

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Other Handouts and college information