Dear students and parents, 

Congratulations on beginning the exciting college application process! This is a very important and exciting step in a student’s educational journey, and we’ve created this worksheet to help you through the first step: creating a college list.

A students’ college experience largely depends on the type of college or university he or she chooses to attend. Many factors, including school size, social environment, and location will significantly affect an overall college experience. In creating their college lists, students must determine whether they would be happy at a large research university, a small liberal arts college, or a medium sized state university, for example. It may be very important for the student to attend a school reputed for an intended program of study, in a particular region of the country, close to home, or, perhaps they would love to attend a school with a strong athletic program and lots of school spirit.

This worksheet is designed to help students and parents determine which qualities are most important for them to prioritize as work to create a college list. 

Keep in mind that a student’s preferences will change over time as they grow and learn about themselves, their interests, and visits colleges and universities. You should also remember that, although students may feel like they have to like one type of college more than another, it’s very possible that they would feel happy and comfortable in two different types of schools! 

How to Use this Worksheet: 

    1. Student and parent(s) should begin by taking the time to discuss and research each of the factors listed below. You will find explanations and descriptions of each factor next to each category. We suggest that students and parents take some time to visit schools, either virtually or in person, in order to get a good sense of how these factors can change a college experience.
    2. Once you understand each factor, you should take some time to jot down a few reasons as to why each factor is important or less important to you, and rank each factor in order of importance on the list below. We recommend that parents and students each complete this worksheet on their own time, and then sit down to discuss the factors they find most important.

Download your copy of our College Planning Worksheet

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