College List Support


What does the college list building process with Bright Horizons College Coach® look like?

Our mission is not simply helping your student get into college, our mission is to help your student identify, apply to, and get accepted at schools where they will thrive. Academically. Socially. Personally. And with thousands of colleges and universities in the U.S., narrowing it down can feel impossible. That’s why many students lean into rankings or “big name” schools; sometimes those schools are a great fit for the student, while other times the student’s unique goals and interests might make them well-suited to a “hidden gem.”  Our admissions experts get to know your student, and use their strengths and preferences to build a thoughtful, strategic, and well-balanced college list.

How do we accomplish this? Here's a snapshot:



Determine Preferred College Characteristics:

Location, size, majors offered, athletics, and school spirit are a few factors to consider. Other criteria may be centered around your student’s values, personal needs, and desires; these could include diversity of the staff and student body, availability of academic and career support, the campus’s commitment to sustainability, and whether the typical mode of instruction aligns with the student’s learning style.

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Begin the Research Process:

There are many resources to assist students with the initial research phase of identifying schools of interest. These include The College Board’s BigFuture website, the Fiske Guide to Colleges, the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard, and many more. Colleges’ own websites and social media accounts can also provide a sense of the school’s vibe and daily life. Our experts can direct your student to these tools and create a plan for how best to use them.


Prepare for College Visits:

Starting with colleges in your own backyard can be a great first step to learning what a college campus feels like. There are also excellent online resources for virtual tours that your College Coach admissions consultant can share when an in-person visit isn’t feasible. Once your student has a better sense of what they like and don’t like, visiting colleges is an exciting way to confirm (or deny) their initial impressions. When it’s time to plan campus tours, you’ll be in great hands! Many of our advisors ran the tour guide programs at the universities where they worked, so they’ll help your family prepare and understand what to expect.


Put it All Together:

Taking into account your student’s academic profile, financial situation, career aspirations, and personal preferences, our team will compile a college list that includes a mix of reach, target, and likely schools to ensure your student will have plenty of exciting acceptances to choose from.

What Do Our Students Have to Say?

[My advisor] took my personality into account and pushed me to look at schools I hadn’t considered for myself that I ultimately fell in love with. I feel like they managed my expectations and helped me create a list of colleges that were plausible and I could feel confident applying to.

College Coach Graduate and Northeastern University student

Two Offerings to Choose From

College list support is just one of many areas for which our team can offer expert guidance. This support is included in our fully customizable, comprehensive service offerings.

Each package is a one-on-one, personalized experience with a dedicated college admissions counselor—each one a former admissions officer focused on your student’s goals. Both are available for all academic grades and transfer students.


Premier Plan

Time-Based Offering
Up to 25 hours of comprehensive counseling including access to our full spectrum of admissions and finance expertise.
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Elite Plan

Our All-Inclusive Service
Elite offers all the benefits of Premier plus priority response and no cap on time to address all areas of the admissions process.
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