2 Answers

Jon Semcer Points0

My Top Ten Ways to Select your College List seems to fit your question. Lets start with #10 and work up to the most important suggestion.

#10 - Visit each school your son is interested in. Do this if at all possible because the visit will give your son and you so much information.

#9 - He should stay overnight in a dorm and go to classes for a day. Arrangements can be made with the admission office.

#8 - Always consider " actual costs" rather than the "sticker price." Be sure to calculate in any travel, clothes, medical expenses, and spending money.

#7 - Sometimes other parents are good resources because they have had experiences with perhaps older children who looked at the same schools.

#6 - Students who graduated from your son's high school and are perhaps now attending some of the schools he is looking at can be very helpful with information not found in the admission office's presentation during an Open House event.

#5 - Get to know the admission staff, especially the rep who covers and reads the applications from his high school. Ask questions when you are on the campus tour and at the Open House.

#4 - Parents need to listen to their child. If you are on a campus tour and your son says," I have seen enough , lets go. I do not like this place." Listen to him.

#3- Always trust your instincts -- you will always be right. If a campus does not " feel right" to your son and you have the same feeling. Leave the campus and cross the school off your list.

#2. - Select schools that offer growth, options and opportunities. Having a field of study that he likes would come under opportunities.

#1 - it is critical to have a balanced list. This balance is composed of Reach schools, Target campuses and Likely schools .

Having a list of 14 schools to apply to would mean he would have:

  • 4 Reaches, 5 Targets, and 5 Likely


  • 3 Reaches, 6 Targets and 5 Likely


  • 4 Reaches, 6 Targets, and 4 Likely

It takes time and effort to develop a final list of schools. Having the list ready to go by mid-May of his junior year is a good target date. Be supportive, listen, and keep an open mind.

If you need additional advice or service please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Best wishes to your son.

SpanOne Staff Points0

5 Tips to Create Your College List

Creating your college list in your junior year is a good plan. With thousands of colleges in the U.S. to choose from, it can be a daunting task. Hiring a college counselor to help create a list of schools that are the best match for your student can make the process less stressful and overwhelming. However, if you choose to make your college list on your own, then here are five things to consider:

1). Location

North? South? East? West? Are there specific regions of the U.S. where your son wants to attend college? How many hours away from home does he want to go? Or, is location not a concern? Defining areas of the nation where he wants to attend college will help to narrow your list.

2). Grades and Test Scores

When putting together a list of colleges, research the average grades and test scores of the most recent admitted freshman class. Look at how your son’s grades and test scores align with the averages. If the average grade point average (GPA) of the college is 4.1, and a 34 ACT, and he has a 3.8 GPA and a 30 ACT, then the school is probably a reach. When creating the list of schools to apply to include a few reach schools, as well as several target and safety schools.

3). Areas of Study

Once your son has determined where he wants to be geographically, the next step is to be sure that the college has the major that your son is interested in. For example, if your son is interested in studying computer science, make sure the college offers that major and that the computer science department is strong. Also take a look at whether the area of study your son is interested in offers internships, study abroad programs, and good alumni connections, which will be useful after graduation to help land a job.

4). Social Life

Read about the college on its website, in college guide books, on social media, and visit the campus to get a sense of its social life. Determine if you feel that you would get along socially with the students. If your son is looking to join a fraternity, research whether Greek life is a large part of campus life. Does he want a school where students study all the time and are academically competitive, or is he seeking a good balance of social life and studying? Your son will be living at college for at least four years, so it’s important that he can make friends and be a part of campus life.

5). Affordability

Not only does the school have to fit academically, socially, along with other factors, it also needs to be a financial fit. Each college’s website should have financial information to help determine tuition costs as well as options for aid, loans, and work opportunities.

Contact Us

SpanOne’s college counselors have years of experience helping students create a college list and assisting with understanding financial aid options. For more information, please schedule a complimentary consultation.

Ready to discuss your child’s college goals?
Get Started for Free ❯❯


SpanOne helps students get into top colleges by working one-on-one with an experienced college admissions counselor.

Our college counselors help families navigate the complex and stressful process of college planning and applications. Many of them are former admissions staff members and college advisors from the top colleges. They are the best at what they do.

Our college counselors are located in cities across the country, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington DC.

Ready to discuss your child’s college goals?
Contact Us ❯❯

Get Connected

Have Questions?
   Contact Us ❯❯