Where do I start the process of applying to college?

While making a list of colleges is essential in the college application process, without knowing oneself and why one seeks a college experience, then generating a list may not be the most effective first step. 

Instead, rising seniors and transfer applicants on the cusp of applying to college can: 

1. Engage rigorous self-reflection: Preferably in collaboration with others, students can consider their academic interests, career aspirations, preferred location, campus culture, and/or other factors important to their educational success. Taking the time to clarify their priorities, students can identify colleges that align with their needs.

2. Research and exploration: Before creating a college list, students can explore different types of colleges, like public, private, liberal arts, and different campus settings (urban, rural, suburban) both virtually and if possible, in person. Additionally, students and families can gain insights by reading candid college reviews on social media and watching informative videos on YouTube.

3. Discuss financial considerations with family: Students and their families can assess their financial resources available to fund college in comparison with the cost of attendance at various colleges. Then, families research the likelihood of being awarded merit scholarships or need-based grants to deduce the value of each college. 

Armed with self-awareness, students can more conscientiously create a list of colleges which align with their aspirations and interests, as well as financial considerations. With thought and foresight, students can set a foundation for success in college admissions. 

Creative Marbles was founded by teachers who appreciate helping students (re)discover their aptitude, first in the academic classroom, now as part of the complex college admissions process. For more information, please contact us

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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