You've identified what you want in a school. You've completed your search and discover that you have a long list of potential schools.
How do you narrow them down to a manageable list? Here are some tips to help:
Talk with students, alumni and friends about the school
Current and former students can give an inside peek to what life there is like. The admissions office may be able to get you in touch with recent graduates. And if any of your friends visited the same campus, compare notes.
Enlist your family for help
While choosing a school is your decision, your family has a big stake in it emotionally and for many, financially. Before finalizing your list of schools, check in with your family.
Find out which schools they'd like you to consider and why. If opinions differ, try to see both sides of the issues and come to an agreement.
Discuss with your parents whether they have a financial plan for paying for your college education. How much, if anything, will they contribute? Be sure you understand their expectations for your financial responsibilities. Discuss options for sources of funding. Keep in mind any financial constraints when considering colleges.
Remember, at this point, you are simply getting a list of "apply to" schools.
Weigh the pros and cons
Have a decision strategy to help you weigh the pros and cons of each school on your list. Ask yourself what each offers and how important those offerings are.