Nice to Have vs. Must-Haves: Where to Start Your College Selection Process

Updated: Apr 20


Well, it's one of the better places you can start.


Get To Know Yourself First


You, more than anyone else, know's you best. This is a great time to think about your non-negotiables when it comes to choosing a college.


To get started, download the free fillable PDF here.


This is a living, breathing document, meaning you can revisit it and make changes as necessary.


This will help guide your research into potential schools. As you begin your search, use your list of nice to haves and must-haves as a guide to search for, and think about academic, social, financial, diversity, athletic and overall fit.


Since selecting a college is a big deal, try to involve a family member or friend who knows you well in this activity also.


Instructions:

  1. Think about the various areas I listed above (academics, social, financial, diversity, athletics, geography) and think about the features that are nice to have. (Example: students receiving free admission to sporting events, car wash on campus, club sports, laundry service, valet etc.)

  2. Now, taking the same approach and using the same areas of consideration, list your must-haves. (Example: more than 3 on campus dining options, single-sex dorms/housing, living learning communities, sorority and fraternity life, study abroad programs, etc). If you aren't sure what some of these are, Google it!

  3. Now that you have your list, visit a few of the sites below to help you get a good idea of the schools that you should further research.


Sites to Visit for Research


Did you learn something new about yourself throughout this exercise? I'd love to hear if you did!


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