The most efficient way to ensure you apply to college, especially the college that is your “best-fit”, is to come up with your college list. Below is a template that if you fill out will give you most, if not, all of the necessary information you need to assess whether it is even worth considering applying to the college you are looking at. Each category is explained in detail to help you understand what you need to know when researching a college. As well as a ton of insight about certain things you can do to help you improve your chances of being accepted into the college that is you “best fit”!

When I say “best fit” I’m not talking about the best big name colleges out there. I am talking about the best college that is the best all-around package for you! Yes, you. But before you begin, here is a simple mental checklist that you should ALWAYS keep in mind when you apply to your colleges.

SIZE: There are small schools, medium-sized schools, and large school. Size, in this context, refers to the number of students that attend a given school. The decision you are going to have to make regarding the “size” is whether you want to be a “number” or a “person”. Think about it, if you are in a lecture class of 300 students will your professor really get to know you? Versus a class that is only 30 students? Then again, do you want to see the same people day after day or blend into the crowd and just be more anonymous? The decision is yours, I just want to shed light on what to expect.

→ Small school: There are anywhere from 1,000 students to 5,000 students in the college.

→ Medium-sized school: There are anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 students in the college.    

→ Large school: There are more than 15,000 students in that college.
(NOTE: A “University” is a school with a set of different colleges that comprise it. I want you to specifically look at the college you would like to attend within that university (if you are looking at a university) and see how big it is to help you determine what “size” it is.)

LOCATION: Do you want to go to a school in the city? How about going to school in a rural setting? Do you hate the cold or love it? Can you stand the heat? You will not be going to school in a vacuum so know where it’s located! The last thing you want from your college experience is to be miserable. So be honest with yourself and know what environment you want to be in!

TOP 5 MOST POPULAR MAJORS: Knowing what majors are the most popular at a particular school will provide insight toward what majors the school gives a lot of attention to. Given that so many students share the same major, a school may offer more opportunities in the way of  internships and/or hire faculty that is world-renowned in teaching these majors/subjects.