Creating Your College List

Your college search and list will be as unique as you are, here are some resources to help you get started:

Safety, Match, and Reach schools

  • Safety:  Your GPA, standardized test scores, and academic history are more competitive than that of the school's average freshman student.

  • Match:  Your GPA, standardized test scores, and academic history are comparable to the school's average freshman student.

  • Reach:  ​​​​Your GPA, standardized test scores, and academic history are less competitive than that of the school's average freshman student.

Understanding Decision Plans

  • Early Decision (ED): A binding plan. If accepted, a student must attend.

    • Students may only apply ED to one school, and if accepted will also have to withdraw applications to other schools.

  • Early Action (EA): A nonbinding plan. Students receive an early response from the college but do not have to commit immediately.

Read more about decision plans.

Tips to Start Your Search

  • Know your GPA and standardized test scores.
  • Know how you compare - how do your qualifications compare to the average incoming freshman student?

  • Find colleges that offer your major of interest.

  • Are you considering an impacted major (more applicants than availability)?

    • Will your qualifications still be considered competitive for that major?

    • Have you considered a major within the same school but with a different focus? (Ex: Child Development vs. General Psychology)

  • Other factors to consider: class size/student population size, geographical location, counseling services, internship opportunities, academic enrichment opportunities, tuition/financial aid opportunities, extracurriculars, etc.

Most students will apply to 7-10 schools: 2-3 safety schools, 3-4 match schools, 2-3 reach schools.

Read more about preparing you college list.