Creating a Balanced College List Makes All the Difference

Lizzie, a Moorpark High School student, had an unrealistic college list…full of reach schools and many beyond what her parents could afford. We say this constantly – it’s important for students to build a balanced college list that contains reach, target, and safe schools, as well as “financial fit” schools.

balancedcollege list
Your college search must include creating a balanced college list.

I worked with Lizzie to revamp her list, so that it was well-suited to her grades, personality and aspirations. Together we worked on her applications and essays, and she was admitted to almost all of the colleges on her list. After Lizzie chose the University of San Francisco, we received this very nice note from Lizzie’s mother.

“I wanted to sincerely thank you for all your help with Lizzie’s efforts to get into college. We are overwhelmed with happiness and with all of the colleges where she’s been accepted. I sincerely believe that we wouldn’t have been able to have done it without you.”
— Patti

It’s important to have a balanced college list with safe, target and reach schools, and to truly be happy with each and every school on the list. Even a perfect essay, test scores, grades and interviews won’t guarantee that you’ll be admitted to highly selective schools. It’s important to have a plan B (and C and D) in the event you don’t get into your first choice school.

Our process helps students really explore the vast college possibilities out there, and think about where they will grow and contribute to the campus community. If you’d like to explore how we help your student build a balanced college list, contact us and let’s see how we can help.

2 thoughts on “Creating a Balanced College List Makes All the Difference”

  1. Hi Laura – thanks for this question. Our counselors have spent years building relationships with college admission counselors – the people who actually read applications – at hundreds of colleges. In a typical year, we would have visited dozens of colleges in the spring. This year, we’ve met even more with many of them, virtually of course, and we’ve been building new relationships as well. Our team of 12 counselors has been in hundreds of meetings and had the opportunity to ask admission officers how their processes are changing, if at all, over the past 8 months. This fall, we continue to meet with admission officials and we’ve had the opportunity to ask them about how their applicant pools are changing in real time. Just last week, six of our counselors attended a virtual conference, where we heard from our counselor colleagues across the country, as well as colleges, about the trends we are seeing this year. So we advise our clients with all of that knowledge in mind.


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