This article was originally published on University Parent.
As my children entered high school and began on the college path, I knew I was going to be handicapped. I had not attended college myself and my husband attended a local school with a 100 percent acceptance rate. Neither of us had any idea how to approach the college search process!
But I love to think of myself as a “do-it-yourselfer” and I delved into college prep as a novice, starting with the searches. After my daughter was accepted to every school she applied to, family and friends began asking me for advice, and later encouraged me to broaden the circle and share what I learned on what became my Parents Countdown to College Coach blog and website.
When my daughter began her college search, she had one objective: to attend school in Boston. (Sound familiar??) In many cases, focusing on a particular city narrows the search drastically, but there are over 100 schools in the Boston area! Thankfully, not all are four-year colleges — some are technical or art schools. That helped a bit, but there were still too many to choose from. To find the best-fit college for my daughter, we needed a search strategy.
When creating a college search strategy, I recommend students and parents start with basic information and build on it. If you do this, when your student is ready to finalize his college list and submit his applications, you will be confident that you did your research, weighed all the options, and made informed choices.
Read more for six steps to a great college search strategy.