Every application season invokes the need to review what tools and resources will help students and families get started with their college search. Helping students discover colleges that will be their best fit is at the core of a successful college search. Looking beyond the familiar colleges, or “media favorite” ranking lists or colleges can feel like embarking on uncharted territory. With 4000 + colleges to winnow down, having a few tools that can help identify and prioritize college criteria and preferences will clarify how to direct your college search.
College Criteria and Preferences:
Corsava is one of my favorite resources that can be used by students, parents, and counselors. While not unlike BigFuture in helping to identify colleges that match a student’s criteria for building their college list, Corsava allows students to go a little deeper. Corsava is organized by Academics, Campus Culture, College, Educational Culture, Extracurricular Activities, Residential Life, and Student Resources, and offers a great starting point to learn about preferences and priorities. Corsava allows for a low-pressure, introductory assessment of what a student wants. Corsava can be used in a face-to-face session or virtually, which provides multiple options for students, families, and counselors to discover together what is important to them. Often, students don’t realize the many possibilities for majors, extracurricular activities, college culture, and college location. Corsava coupled with discussions with a college counselor, school counselor or parent can be an excellent first step in assessing interests. The information extracted from this process can help students look for colleges that align with their interests and build college lists geared toward "fit."With the launch of the Corsava Student website students now have another tool for their college search tool-kit and identifying key preferences just got easier.
The College Smell Test (College Visits):
It’s not hard to believe that once a student has identified the essentials for their college experience that the details about college culture, location, and even food will be equally significant to determine a solid fit. Not every student will visit before they apply, but they should visit before they commit to a school. My “go-to” resource for putting together college visits is DayTripperUniversity. While DTU doesn’t have an itinerary for every school, they have done their homework for over 100+ colleges across the United States.
Books and websites that speak for themselves:
Visit College Resources and Books for more information to help start your college search.
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