Things to keep in mind while making a balanced college list:

  1. Prioritise– While making a balanced college list, the first step is to list out what you are looking to gain from your college experience. This can include engaging academic programs, location, culture, cost, campus life, school clubs etc. Moreover, ranking these in order of importance will provide clarity while making an admission decision.


  1. Make a spreadsheet-A balanced college list allows you to research and consider colleges that offer the programs, location, and campus culture important to you, thus matching your academic and personal needs. Make a list of these colleges by gathering information through college guidebooks, websites, and other online resources. Additionally, creating a spreadsheet will allow you to organize and analyze this data clearly and efficiently.


  1. Categorise – Divide your college list into categories such as dream, target, and safety schools to make a well-rounded list. Moreover, creating a balanced list also allows you to compare these schools based on variables such as acceptance rates, student teacher ratio and costs. Understanding various financial aid packages and scholarships will enable you to negotiate better offers. 


  1. Consider the fit and seek advice: Find a balance between challenging yourself and being realistic about your chances of being accepted. A balanced college list is an intelligent mix of Dream, Target, and Safety schools, thus, it allows you to consider the best fit for yourself and not solely rely on Dream schools. By taking guidance from counselors, teachers, family members, and other trusted advisors, you can make informed decisions and determine the best option for yourself.  


In a nutshell, a balanced college list increases your chances of being accepted to at least one or more of the colleges by allowing you to apply to a mix of dream, target, and safety schools. This can reduce the stress and pressure of the college application process and find you a healthy middle ground. 

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