As you continue through the decision making process, chances are you are overwhelmed by a never-ending list of colleges. There is a lot of stress that comes along with trying to figure out the ONE school that is right for you.

College isn’t just a 4 year decision…  It’s a choice that will impact the rest of your life!

In order to help ease your anxiety, we’ve created a simple guide to help you narrow your search, create your target list, and pinpoint that perfect school.

Step 1: Create a list of target colleges

We recommend creating a list of target colleges and putting them into 3 different groups:

Group #1: Reach schools

These schools would have a very high ranking in almost all of the decision making factors that are part of your college decision (see below)

We recommend 10 – 15 schools in this group.

Group #2: Target schools

These schools would have a strong ranking in almost all of the decision making factors that are part of your college decision (see below)

We recommend 10 – 20 schools in this group.

Group #3: Back up schools

These schools would have an average to good ranking in most of the decision making factors that are part of your college decision (see below)

We recommend 10 – 15 schools in this group.

Step 2: Ranking target colleges

Create a list of all of your key decision making factors and give 1 to 5 points for each decision factor (5 being an extremely important decision factor).

Potential decision factors include:

• Academics (Majors offered, career development, alumni)

• Athletics (level of competition, W/L record, tradition)

• Social environment

• Size of school

• Public vs. Private

• Cost

• Coaching Staff

• Location

• Intuition (gut feeling, emotional connection)

We recommend doing this on a spreadsheet and then ranking the potential colleges you are interested in by using this system to create an overall point total for each school.

Once you have created and prioritized your college target list, you will be much more organized and can start setting up your game plan.  Remember, it is very important to examine many different factors when setting up your target list.

Be sure to include your family in the decision making process, as this is a huge decision that will impact you and your family for the rest of your life…

How’s your college target list coming along so far?

Be sure to share your story in our comments section below.

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