In the U.S., there are over 2,500 4-year colleges and universities.
I'm often asked by parents and students how they can determine which colleges are right for them. I understand - it can be tough to sort them out.
Often, families begin to whittle down the possibilities geographically. Some want to stay close to home, some want to get as far away from home as possible, and some are looking for a good fit regardless of location.
Another way to begin crafting a college list is by determining how much you can afford, and how much individual colleges will cost. College Board has a tool for calculating your Expected Family Contribution - this is the amount the federal government assumes you can afford to contribute to your student's education on an annual basis. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/paying-your-share/expected-family-contribution-calculator
The next step is to use the individual college's Net Price Calculator. This is found on all college websites and gives you an estimate of what their college will cost your student. Does every student get a bit of a discount? Well, it's very common!
The final, but most important, determinant is academic fit. Accepted students' GPA and test scores, special programs, compelling major/s, research opportunities, class size, after-class availability of professors, proximity to internships - these are just a few of the factors that should come into play.
College search engines that take these factors into account are easy to find online. Start with a long list and begin whittling! Consider the social climate and visit if you can.
Thank you for reading my very first blog. Every few weeks I'll discuss another aspect of the college admission process. I hope you'll come visit again!