Step 4 - Narrowing down the list

Step 4 is narrowing research to key target colleges based on fit, introducing parents to the process, demonstrating interest to top choices, and lining up strong recommenders. This drives informed decisions and maximizes application strength.

  1. Important Factors - You need to determine which factors are most important to your university experience. Things such as location, size, programs, culture, sports, academics, costs, etc. Rank priorities. You should already have looked at these when you built your long list. Time to review them in greater depth.

  2. Parent Introduction - Formally introduce parents to your university research and your application process. It is likely that we will need to explain terminology, timeline, and how they can best support your journey and decisions.

  3. Long List Research - Continue deep-dive research into each university on your long list. Gather as much information as possible, virtual brochures, email admissions to ask any pressing questions, and explore websites. The more information the better.

  4. Demonstrated Interest - Begin showing interest in top-choice colleges through inquiries to universities, visiting campuses, attending meetings, and connecting on social media. Also, get ready to send some of your more attractive universities emails.

  5. School Visits/Webinars - Attend any college visits, fairs, representative meetings, or webinars where you can ask questions and make connections.

  6. Confirm Break Plans - By this time summer will be coming. Decide how summer or other breaks will be spent, including campus visits, test prep, resume building, job/internships, volunteering, etc. This might be your last opportunity do something to add to your application.

  7. Consider Recommenders - Brainstorm teachers, counselors, employers, and coaches who could write strong letters of recommendation. Choose people you get on with and try not to worry about what they might write.