The holiday season is behind us and, for most juniors, this comes with a realization: 365 days from now, their college applications will all likely be submitted!
For some, this is exciting.
For others, this may be daunting.
Regardless of which camp you fall in (perhaps, even, you are in one camp and your high school junior is in another), I want to help you get organized in one important area:
The college list.
Ultimately, no high schooler can apply to college without having a list of colleges to apply to. So on the theme of reducing stress and increasing organization, I think it’s a valuable place to be smart.
Why a school list is important beyond just listing names of schools
First and foremost, a school list, whether on a word document, spreadsheet, or piece of paper is more valuable than keeping a list in your head. So word to the wise: get the list written down in some way, shape or form. Doing so will allow you room in your brains for more important things than memorizing the location of Wake Forest University (note: it is not, in fact, in Wake Forest, NC!)
More importantly, it will allow you and your child to see valuable trends and patterns. For example, do you notice that your daughter seems to rave about schools that all have 5,000 to 10,000 undergraduates and all seem to be located below the mason-dixon line? This is valuable information for recommending future schools for her to research (likely virtually these days). Patterns like this are very easy to spot if you have a great college list system.
Lastly, when it does come the time to start pairing down your school list, it will help expedite that process. You may be able to notice your daughter has noted in her school list that she wasn’t a fan of NYU due to its lack of centralized campus...if that’s the case, you can be fairly certain you can eliminate other city/non-campus schools from the list with one swift mouse click!
I don’t have a school list. Where do I start?
In my program, I get all parents and students set up with a neat, organized, personalized school list tracker.