Developing a College List in 2020

Developing an amazing college list you love takes some effort, research, and a massive amount of self-introspection. 

Add COVID and being quarantined into the mix, take away the option of popping up on a campus with your family for a visit, and the “I just got a good feeling and want to go there” factor, the process of searching for the “perfect” school just got a little bit harder. 

But, is it impossible? No! No way! 

In fact, rather than trekking halfway across the country to roll around in the campus grass, hang out in the student center or get guided by a student tour guide (all wonderful experiences), you now have greater access to online and virtual events that offer deeper insights into what a school really has to offer. 

With thousands of videos, virtual tours, online information sessions cropping up, schools have never been more committed to sharing information about themselves to recruit you. Setting aside all the student videos and Instagram posts, schools themselves are hosting many more events online.  2020 may just be the best year yet to find a school (not just a campus!) that fits you in every way. 

Here are some resources we love to help you make your college list:

Fairtest: Some students will want to apply to test optional schools this year. If this sounds like you, the most comprehensive list of test optional schools can be found on Fairtest.  Find out which campuses have gone test optional. Fairtest provides students information about standardized testing and is maintaining a list of 1200+ schools that have gone test optional (because of COVID or otherwise).

Big Future College Board: Big Future College Board’s site is full of resources that will help you get started. Generate a massive list of schools that suit you based on more than twenty (20) factors. You can generate the list and that’s when the work begins. Choose your schools by the following factors: school selectivity, testing scores required, student body size, majors available, financial aid, residential/commuter campus, sports offered, religious preference, special features, Greek life, and much, much more!

Strive Scan: You might not be meeting the student tour guide on campus, but you will definitely be able to meet admissions staff from your favorite colleges through Strive Scan. Strive Scan offers live campus information sessions with Deans of Admission, Admissions Directors, and Regional Admissions Directors. For an extra opportunity to make the best of being quarantined, you might want to follow up with presenters to ask questions or learn all you can. Getting information from the people who are deciding on the future admissions protocols can be reassuring now!

Campus Reel and Youvisit: Tour almost any campus virtually using Youvisit and Campus Reel. Campus Reel and Youvisit provide augmented real an enormous amount of information about every building and location on campus. Experience tours with current students and learn about student life virtually. Spend an afternoon surfing through campuses. Learn about the lazy river at Mizzou, the stunning Law Library at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Beinecke Rare Books Collection at Yale, or the Outdoor Action Center at Princeton. Whichever schools you tour, you are sure to discover an amazing amount of information about each campus–beyond even an in-person tour!

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