75 – Picking Your College List

The first step in the college admissions process is picking which colleges to apply to! In this episode, we talk about what a good, diversified list looks like. We define key terms: safety schools, target schools, and reach schools. We discuss how many schools to apply to and how to know if a school is right fit for you. There is a lot to think about. Do you want to go to a faith-based school? Do you want to go to a big school or a small school? There are so many factors to consider.

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Show Notes:

Join the Reddit discussion

Read Michael’s Top 3 College List Mistakes. I’ll give you a teaser: (just picking Ivies, just picking “good” schools, and just picking for your parents)

College Board BigFuture search

Should you use an online ranking list to find colleges?

Should you just apply to Ivy League schools? (Tldr: NO!)

  • What a reach school is (2:53)
  • What a target school is (3:26)
  • What a safety school is (3:49)
  • Michael’s high school achievements (6:24)
  • Having diversity of potential schools (9:37)
  • Bringing the phrase “hippy dippy” back (11:07)
  • Be willing to attend schools on your list (11:50)
  • How Gonzalez divides the top 10 schools into reach, target, & safety (13:38)
  • Offending the 2 viewers in North Dakota (14:32)
  • Why Michael applied to so many schools (16:11)
  • Fee waivers (18:14)
  • Why Gonzalez thinks the list should be around 10 (20:03)
  • Gonzalez having a brain fart (22:52)
  • Factors to consider when considering schools (26:14)
  • Michael’s three school criteria categories (28:26)
  • Now we just steal pdfs from the internet (30:06)
  • There’s no right or wrong reason to attend a school (34:27)
  • Michael’s “describe your dream school” activity (36:18)
  • Using your college visits (37:30)
  • Blooper (43:39)


Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Thanks to Vibe Mountain for the Intro and Outro Music licensed under CC BY 3.0.