It’s Time for Your USA College List!

Everything you need to know about creating it

Prerequisites - Keys

Let’s look together at the steps and criteria for creating a list of universities.

Beginning, starting in junior high school – or earlier – we set up appointments with our students and their parents to discuss their priorities in terms of curriculum, location and size/population of universities, and the family’s financial budget.

CLC provides all the necessary information on these four fundamental pillars, in conjunction with Admission Officers who visit private schools each May and introduce some universities, including answering student questions.

We need to reassure children who are not yet sure what they want to study that it’s okay! It’s too early to make such a decision and they can always change their minds.

This is why CLC recommends that these students choose a more holistic field and specialise in it later.

For example, if someone likes mechanical engineering and is wavering between aerospace and environmental engineering, they should put mechanical engineering as their first choice as it is more general and can later lead to one of the above majors. When the student indicates a preference for a field, CLC finds many options for curricula and explores the programs and courses offered by each department.

These options, in turn, are narrowed down according to the country/state and social life on campus that they would most like: small or large campus; big city or a quieter place? near parents or far away? As we get to know our students and build their profiles step by step, we know the introverts and extroverts and exactly what environment each will thrive in. Social life plays a crucial role in a student’s development.

Next, we look at the financial capabilities of the family, which must also be stated on the application form. Of course, geographical preferences must be consistent with the financial budget. Suburban and rural areas and US State Universities (State Universities) tend to be more economical.

Housing, transportation and off-campus activities are part of the equation, but parents should contact the appropriate offices that handle these issues.

Academic performance and standardized tests

The second vital consideration in building the college list is, in short, grades and scores. Your high school GPA and SAT scores will determine the range of colleges you are eligible for. The 12th grade’s predicted and final grades are all viewed by the Admissions Committees. That is why we insist so much on school grades! They cannot possibly be changed after graduating. Tests may give a second chance, but it is always important to aim for a high score before it is too late. Some students choose a test-optional path. No problem at all; we always remind them that are plenty of options for them too. So, our advice: focus on school performance and test preparation before anything else!

The final college list

The college list is ready when we have used all the filters above and concluded in 7 to 14 universities. This is the average number. More specifically the list comprises:

  • 2-3 Safety Schools: The ones that are most likely to accept the student because he/she exceeds their minimum requirements (regarding GPA and test scores).
  • 3-5 Target Schools: The ones that are likely to accept the student but with lower possibility than safety schools because he/she meets the minimum requirements, but the acceptance rates are lower and demand/competition high.
  • 2-3 Reach Schools: The ones with a lower possibility of accepting the student because he/she hardly meets the minimum requirements.
  • 1-2 Far-reach Schools: The most unlikely to accept the student. Those are usually the most selective schools, such as the ‘’Ivy League’’ in the U.S.

This procedure is no simple task, but CLC does all the required research!

The final list will be perfectly tailored-made to reflect each student’s personality, goals, and capacities. After we send the college lists, families can book a visit to have a first-hand view of the campuses.

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