Are you confident in your student’s school list?

Here's what really matters when deciding where to apply for college.

Start Your College List

With so many schools to choose from, where should students and their families begin?

There are over 5,300 colleges in the United States — so choosing where to apply can be overwhelming for students and their families. Oftentimes, families are unsure where to begin.

While college rankings or suggestions from friends with college-aged children can be a good start, there are many drawbacks to this approach that can lead to an unsuccessful admissions process. Below you'll read about the common mistakes parents and their teens make when putting together a college list.

This is because there are many different factors in determining whether or not a school will be a “good fit”. Some of these factors include academics, selectivity, cost, student resources, program offerings, and personal preference — such as location and student body size.

Once a student understands the different factors and what’s important to them, it’s time to hone in on the specifics and create an ideal list of safety, target, and reach schools. We help our students build college lists using our Chancing Engine and School List Builder.


–Yens K. (University of Chicago, Class of 2021)

“At the start of the admissions process, I was applying to 17 colleges. But, CollegeVine helped me understand where I would really like to spend the next 4 years. I am grateful for the opportunity and I'm very excited for the next chapter of my life!"

What common mistakes should we avoid?

After working with over 10,000 students and their families, there are three mistakes we see being made time and time again — and they can be prevented.


Not using real data to create a school list


Not creating a balanced school list


Not understanding your student’s real chances of acceptance


–Raghav B. (Nova Southeastern, Class of 2021)

“To be honest, growing up in NJ, I didn't even know Nova Southeastern was an option. People in my neighborhood apply to the same old schools because of rankings. I thank CollegeVine for helping me get accepted to an awesome place that I'm actually SO pumped to attend!"

Can you help my student create a school list?

Yes! Our Chancing Engine uses over 100,000 data points to determine a student’s likelihood of acceptance to certain schools. This tool uses admissions data that we have collected through working with over 10,000 students. It determines which schools are considered safety, target, and reach for a specific student.

We will also suggest schools that may be a good fit for your student based on their profile and preferences. We help students find great value schools with amazing outcomes that they might not even have considered!

Your student will gain access to this tool through enrollment in our College Applications Program. This program was designed to help students and their families navigate the tricky admissions process and covers school lists, managing deadlines, essay editing, and financial guidance.

The program begins by pairing your student with an expert consultant. Your student’s consultant will walk them through each step of the application process.

Our College Applications Program covers

School Lists
Admissions Theme Development
The Common App
Comprehensive Essay Editing
Application Strategy
Decision Assistance
Financial Guidance
... and more

Is your child applying to college? Help them start out on the right foot by scheduling a free consultation with us.

Get Admissions Guidance Today.

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