Building Your College List: College Research

College Campus

Building Your College List: College Research

Building Your College List: College Research

When colleges send you their glossy brochures with beautiful pictures, you may find the urge to apply. WAIT! Don’t just apply to the school because it has name value or pretty buildings, make sure you diligently research the college. College research is one of the most important parts of the application process. Here are some tips to guide you on compiling a good college list. 

Major of Interest

Every college offers a myriad of different majors and minors. However, if you are interested in a niche subject, many colleges might not offer the major.

Let’s say you are interested in pursuing a marine biology undergraduate degree. Since Boston University offers a Marine Science degree and Boston College only offers a Biology degree, you should consider Boston University over Boston College.

If the college does not offer the major of your choice, however you still wish to apply, see if they offer concentrations that align with your interests. For example, you might want to pursue the Biology major with an emphasis on Marine Biology at Occidental College.

Majors, minors, and concentrations are very important when researching for colleges; make sure this is also your top priority. 

Campus Atmosphere and Advising

The school should also match your college needs. If you want a school in a suburban area with a hands-on advising department, chances are Pennsylvania State University might not be a good fit for you and your needs. If the school is large, usually the advising department is stretched thin, and you will not receive the level of care you would receive at a school with a smaller faculty to student ratio.

The location of the school is also very important! After all, you will be living there for four years! If you cannot imagine yourself acclimating to the location, do not add the college to your list!

Job Opportunities

The college you will attend is where you will make most of your connections. These connections are vital when you enter the job market. If you are interested in business or economics, it might be a great idea to move to a new and larger metropolitan area!

Make sure to do your research on the types of college and their alumni network! This will be vital when you are entering the job market.

Student Organizations

The student organizations should also influence your decision on whether you should apply to a certain school. You will be making most of your friends through joining clubs.

If you were an avid ballet dancer in high school, research if there is a student organization for ballet. This will be one of your main sources of meeting new acquaintances and the possibility of life-long friendships! (I am speaking from personal experience, I met by best friends through a club at my university) 

Build Your College List

Hopefully, this helps with guiding the rest of your college research. Remember, just because one college appears to be a good fit for your friend, does not mean it is a good fit for you. Make sure that you take the time and consider all of these factors when compiling a strong college list that matches your needs and interests.

Join us for our Build Your Dream Workshop at The Clinton Inn in Tenafly, NJ on April 20th. You’ll learn all about the college admissions process during our College Info Session as well as how to make the most of the 40 Months between the first day of highschool to the day college applications are due. 

Click here to register!

Contact us today to get started!


Alice Choi

Alice is an English Instructor, primarily for the College Application Essays. She spreads her love for the English language to her students, teaching them skills to use for not only their college applications, but for years and years after. The combination of her bright personality and compassionate approach makes students enjoy their time working with her.


Don’t miss the next insider event.


Looking for an ACT Program? Click Here