find Your Best-fit Schools

Here's How

Researching and building your list of best-fit schools can be a challenge unless you take the time to think about what you want in a school.

Your time spent on it will pay off when you make your decisions on where to apply. So what's the best way to put your list together?

We want you to move beyond using just location, size of student body and type of school (public or private) to put together your list. Instead, match your high school courses (AP, Honors, College Level, IB, Regular), test scores (10th grade Pre ACT, PSAT/NMSQT, SAT Subject Tests, SAT or ACT scores)and extracurricular activities to any college's admission requirements, that you select, and know your chances of admission before you apply.

With our College Match Advantage Program's StudentPrep software you will match all of your academic and activities against the requirements of schools you select, taking the guess work out of building your list and end up knowing your chances of admission. 

Read on......


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Note: Every year a “hot” college or university becomes the talk of the junior and senior classes. There's a good chance it will pop up on your student’s list.

There’s more out there!

Expand Your Search

  • Don’t get caught up in the college rankings or schools with a brand name.

  • Don’t limiting yourself by sticking to only the “top” schools or let the idea of attending a prestigious college stop you from researching lesser-known schools.

  • You may find schools that resonate with you but don’t match your plan. That’s OK, you can change your plan. Even if you already have an idea of where you plan to apply, allow yourself to change your mind.

  • If you come across a school that seems like the perfect fit but you’ve never heard of it, that’s OK, put it on your list. It hasn’t heard of you, either.

  • Costs are always a concern, but don’t limit your search by not considering schools that seem too expensive. Financial aid and scholarship programs may surprise you and a private school may cost less than an in-state public.

  • Listen to the opinion of family and friends, but remember you are the one going to school, so balance their opinions with what you want.

  • Don’t hesitate to call a college’s admissions counselor or schedule an appointment with the office of admission; it’s a great way to get an honest feel for a school.

A Balanced List of Schools

Everyone will tell you to put together a balanced list of schools to consider, we don’t disagree. Most will suggest breaking your list into three categories (we disagree, more on that below). The categories are:

Photo by styf22/iStock / Getty Images

Safety, match and reach schools--that meet your academic record (using only your GPA and Test Scores) and personal interests.

  1. Safety schools to which you will almost certainly be admitted.
  2. Match schools where your GPA, test scores, and other qualifications are very similar to those of first-year students.
  3. Reach schools where you meet the criteria for admission but may not have the other qualifications that match those of most first-year students.

But wait, don’t you want to put together a list of schools that is not based only on your GPA and test scores but also takes into account your other qualifications and is separated into your realistic chances of being admitted?  Thought so! That's the power of StudentPrep!



So how does StudentPrep help?

With StudentPrep you'll create a balanced list of schools separated into (here’s the difference) five categories that rank your chances of admission. The level of your course work, GPA, test scores, strength of your letters of recommendation and level of involvement in activities and volunteer projects are compared against the same qualifications of the most recently admitted freshmen at schools your select. No other college search or planning software has the same capabilities. 

The Five Categories

Very Good to Excellent                     

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Being admitted is never a certainty, but your academic record and personal profile is stronger than the records of nearly all recently admitted freshmen at colleges in this category.

Solid to Strong

There are no guarantees that you will be admitted, but your academic record and personal profile is stronger than the records of most recently admitted freshmen at schools in this category.

Good Choice

Your academic record and personal profile is similar to the records of the most recently admitted freshmen.

Somewhat Difficult

Some recently admitted freshmen at colleges in this category have academic records and personal profiles like yours, but a majority have a stronger overall admissions profile.

Very Difficult

Nearly all recently admitted freshmen at schools in this category have academic records and personal profiles that are stronger than yours.