[This is part one of a two part series on college applications.]
Despite the disruptions going on right now, one thing remains certain: College Applications are due soon. For all our seniors preparing to embark on this journey, and anyone else interested in higher learning, we offer the first entry in a two-part guide to applying for college. This entry focuses on how to decide where and how to apply, while the second will deal with the more practical steps of applying.
Part One: Decide Where You Want to Apply
The United States alone boasts over 4000 colleges and universities, but most students only have the time and money to apply to ten or so. Whittling down the options seems a daunting task. Luckily, many great resources can help you make an ideal list of colleges for application. We most enthusiastically recommend the website Cappex; through your free account, Cappex helps you identify realistic target schools based on your grades and scores, connect you to interested programs, and locate scholarships and other sources of funding for your academic future. We strongly suggest you sign-up for this or a similar service, but for now we will detail some of the major themes you should consider when helping your student select where to send applications.
Of course, if your student already has a firm idea of what discipline they want to study or career they wish to enter, a school's specific academic program and faculty may figure more prominently into application decisions than the type of school in question. By discussing your student's goals and applying them to the options described above, you can help your student balance financial, social, and professional considerations. For more information including lists of schools matching the different types, visit the Common App and Coalition App online.