How To Narrow Your College Search

Narrowing down your college search is a tough feat. There are so many schools to choose from, and if you have performed relatively well in school, you probably qualify for far more schools than you could possibly ever research. This is why you will need to prioritize your search by making some major decisions about the type of college experience you would like to have. If you’re not sure how to even start prioritizing, here’s a few things you will want to think about in order to narrow your college search.

Decide Where You Want to Study

The first thing you want to consider is where you want to study. You may not know exactly what city, but you should know whether or not you want to study out-of-state. If you’re open to both in-state and out-of-state schools, then this is definitely not going to be your first priority. However, if you have an obligation to stay in-state, or if you’re only looking at colleges on the beach, then this is a great way to narrow down your search quite a bit.

Find Programs that Appeal to You

Not everybody knows what they want to major in, but if you do, then this is definitely going to be your first narrowing criteria. If you are planning to study classical music, then you can narrow down your search significantly by researching colleges with strong classical music programs. When you read about these programs you want to find the ones that seem most compatible with your learning style and your cultural interests.

Find a List of Match Schools

Some students don’t know exactly where they want to go to school or what they want to study. If this is the case for you, then you want to start by asking your counselor for a list of match schools. If you are well within the academic criteria of a school like Wake Forest University, then this is going to be a match school for you. The number of match schools you can find will be completely dependent upon how well you have performed in school. The one advantage of not performing significantly well in high school is that you will be able to narrow down your match list quite a bit.

Decide What Size School is Ideal for You

Another major defining factor in your search should be the size of the school. If you went to a relatively large high school, you may want to go to a major university with a large class size, or you might want a completely different experience and instead go to a smaller school.

In general, smaller colleges tend to have very small classrooms, which means that professors get to give their students a lot more one-on-one time, and students tend to connect and collaborate with their cohorts on a much deeper level. Larger colleges, on the other hand, tend to have larger lecture halls, major athletic teams, a major Greek life presence, and some even host major musical concerts.