How to Finalize Your College List: Part 2

High schooler working on college listLast week we gave you the first 10 things you should think about when trying to form the best college list for YOU. Today, we’re challenging you to think about 8 more criteria in order to knock a few more schools off your list.
Remember, applying to 6-8 colleges is ideal, so use these criteria as well as the tips in How to Finalize Your College List: Part 1, to help you narrow down your list.
 
1. Single sex:  There are all women’s and all men’s colleges available and some students really prefer the focus this allows for academics.
 
2. Hispanic, African American or Native American serving: some colleges have strong reputations (or even were founded with a mission) to serve certain groups of students.  If you think that being surrounded by peers from your same ethnic group would help you succeed in college, then definitely check out these schools.
 
3. Extra curricular activities offered: Some students are very keen to continue their involvement in activities like drama or Mock Trial, so see how much the college offers and this can make a college much more attractive to you.
 
4. Special research programs available: If you would like to do research as an undergrad, which is a great way to bolster your application for grad school, then ask what opportunities the college offers.

5. Sports programs available: If you would like to continue playing your sport in college, then contact coaches at prospective schools and start figuring out where you could play and who will be looking for someone like you.  Sports can help you get scholarships and your sport can always help you get into a better school than you could get into otherwise.
 
6. School spirit: For some students school spirit is really important, so if you envision yourself attending games with your school, ask questions about which sports are popular on campus and what percent of students go.
 
7. Intellectual climate: It will be important for your academic success that you are in the right intellectual climate for you.  Some schools are very relaxed and some are very intense, even competitive, so ask questions to figure out the academic climate on campus.
 
8. Remedial services available: If you will need any learning support services for any hearing, speech, vision or processing needs, be sure the college offers exactly what you need.
 
So as you can see, there are lots of factors that can help you narrow your college list.  Pick the top 3 that matter most to you and research them in detail.  Then perhaps pick 2-3 others that can help you narrow the list to it’s final state.  Applying to 6-8 schools is a great number.  Best of luck to you and yay, college!

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