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How To Organize Your College Search

by Omale Philip
how to organize your college search
6 Mins Read

Conducting a college search is one exciting and overwhelming process for students-it takes good time, effort and plan for how to organize your college search. There are lots of information to sort through, such as college brochure, websites, financial aids, application deadline, essays, etc. Considering all these you need a college plan to help you stay organized, do follow the outlined tips on how to organize your college search.

Assess Yourself Before You Organize College Search

What career do you love and what profession do you want to practice? assess your self and reflect on what you have assessed. Only you can tell your favorite subject, academic activities, strength, skills basically what you love or dislike, want to try when in college. Then use the information to outline the factors for your college search.

Here are college search factors and self assessment you can consider or look into;

  • Do you want to undertake a bachelor’s or masters degree?
  • What country location are you interested?
  • What college opportunities do i look for and expect?
  • Is studying other languages or taught in a different language: German, French, Spanish a top priority
  • What is the cost of tuition fee and can i afford it?
  • Are you interested in sport or art activities?
  • Where does studying abroad best fit for you?

Make And Organize Your Search

You need to keep college search spreadsheet or register so you can have access to them when the need arise. A handy college search note to keep track of all the colleges is still cool, so make yourself one. You will be able to organize your college option when you have organized your college search and complete all process.

Make a place for everything, information gotten as you explore and compare colleges. You will need to arrange the information so that it’s easily accessible. The spreadsheet or registers allows you to organize information into categories.

If you are struggling with how to organize all the information for easy access then consider using this method:

Organize a digital file– store college search information on a google drive or computer just as you store your documents, spreadsheets, etc. a separate folder can be created if you don’t want to keep all your documents and the college details together. We do recommend students make use of google drive because it can be accessed from any location, gadget and it’s totally free to use.

Organize a physical file– cabinet, locker or box to keep hard copy of books, files and notes can be use to keep the college brochure and searched information.

Commit a calender– you need to keep and commit to one calender-on phone/computer or paper one. Use it for college search, deadlines, and admission process. Do mark test/exam dates, upcoming deadlines, schedule and campus tour. You can make your college search calender same as your regular calender so you wouldn’t easily forget and it reminds you of other activities, programs arranged for the year like your cousin junior school graduation ceremony. Certainly, you wouldn’t want to have your dream college tour visit day same as grand mum’s birthday, nobody would love to have two best days the same.

Sticky note– if you easily forget dates or planned activities, try make use of it, write (Application Deadline: September 30, complete and submit your college application before date) and place on doors, desk, in front of the fridge or bed for easy reminder.

Creating an organized structure and following it throughout your college search will help. These will help you to organize your college search information, and don’t forget to make use of them.

Organize Colleges Base On Location

Some students love to attend distant school and some not far from home-whatever is your choice arrange and organize colleges by location. Ask yourself do i really consider location and atmosphere as a major search factor-if yes, where will be more suitable location i do love to choose for study? what location do have both academics, extra-curricular activities, and college opportunities for you?

We recommend you keep location important and top in your mind when organizing college search. Going far from home to college are not very well advisable, this could alter certain activities- like visit home, more bills to pay as result of transportation: flight tickets except you are an international student who is sponsored or your family has the financial abilities for expenses.

Organize Colleges Base On Majors

What is your major? you need to know your interest, what you like to major in. What exact kind of academic experiences do i want?

if you have a very good knowledge and idea of what you want to major in, you can do a search on the colleges that offer your majors. By so doing you avoid spending money applying to schools later to know they don’t have what you want to study-your preferred course of choice.

Before applying to schools, do check the available courses and know if your dream desired course is available for study. And if you are about registering for application do search, select your major from the box provided.

Organize Colleges Base On Other Choices

What is your interest? what else is important to me in schools and what is my top college choice, reach and safe? Here is a hint for you;

Safe– a college is classified as safe when you meet above 60% of requirements, chances of being accepted and entering the school.
Reach– these are colleges where you are below the admitted student requirement as a result of your performance, test scores and other factors considered for admission. applying to colleges where you are below the admission requirement is not worth it, you should know you have no chance of receiving an offer. When you continue further it will just be waste of money and time which you would have use to apply to other schools that you are best fit.
Choice– These are schools: colleges or universities that are your top choice or dream school. They can be your reach or safe school also. Your attention and focus is entirely on them and you love to do anything to get into the schools.

If you have other factors that are important to you in a college- sports, art, music, athlete, something that is quite important and really considered- you can always make that main part of your college search and organization system.

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Organize Base On College Application

Keep track of the college dates, organize college search that keeps track of all the application dates, deadline, dates you submitted application, interview dates, dates you contacted the admission office through calls or mail inquiring for details etc.

Amazing to know, colleges are paying attention to students who highly “demonstrate interest” in their choice school and made contacts with the admission officer. So ongoing interaction with each school is essential because it shows your strong desire to attend the institution. In fact, your demonstrated interest may be the “tie breaker” to being accepted over another applicant. Keep copies of the college applications you’ve submitted in a “College Applications” folder, along with the spreadsheet you’ve designed for each college. Your SAT or ACT score really a concern for you to organize your college search then ways to improve your SAT/ACT scores is what you also need to solve the problem and get accepted by your choice schools on your list which you have submitted application.

Organize Base on Financial Aids/Scholarships

Organize and keep college search base on financial aid, scholarships, funding. keep organized record and track the deadlines of college scholarships, funding for entering students and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Having knowledge of schools offering funds and scholarships can help in organizing your college search.

Keep copies of your submitted forms and other documents required to attend the scholarship interviews or test set by the providers.

Organize Base On Tuition Fees

Your desired dream college may have some of what you consider, but tuition fees are high, others have tuition fees low and don’t have the facilities you wish they should have. Tuition fees are low facilities and research centres available in other colleges but don’t have your choice of course study in the school.

If you really want to organize your search then how student can evaluate colleges on their list will be a perfect guide for you to organize your college search.

Organize Base On Acceptance Rate

Knowing the student acceptance rate gives you the knowledge if entry into the school is very competitive or less competitive. Once you make your search on college and know the acceptance rate then organize your college search base on the information acquired. A college or university with acceptance rate less than 7% are very competitive so check for schools with student acceptance rate above 10% for better chances of entering the college.

Register For Mailing List and College Visits

You can get yourself added to the mailing list on the admissions page of the college website or schedule and visit the school. Meet students in the tour around campus and ask questions, they are the best persons to give you the answers you seek to your questions as they are easy to approach in the college environment. Ensure to ask questions that will enable you to organize your college search. if you are not sure of the questions to ask , here are some

  • What is the tuition fee for new students?
  • What are the available courses of study here?
  • Ask if your course of choice is available for study?
  • Are there funds and awards for students?
  • Get to know if sports and other games you are interested in are played.
  • Ask questions majorly on how you can enter the college
  • Also, ask questions that will help organize your search

Especially if you cannot visit the college (you will be notified when they visit your local area). If you are planning college visits on major holidays or school vacations, schedule your visits on the college website as early as three weeks in advance as tours and information sessions book up at some schools. Remember that spring school vacations are a great time to visit because students are more likely to be on campus than over the summer.

Make Inquiries From Professors And Alumni

The information you need to organize your college search can be gotten from professors you know that are in the school or graduates who are alumni of the college. some professors or alumni may be family relatives, brother’s friends, your next door neighbor or a social media friend. Take advantage of these chances to ask them and get the resources you need to organize and complete your search for a good plan of college options.

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