The Joy of Junior Year: Your Initial List

Initial lists often resemble a laundry list, but are, in fact tailored to each junior. They are created with the students’ preferences in mind, but represent a broad list of suggestions – considering size, type of college, location, and campus culture – which will eventually morph into a final list of colleges this fall. As discussed recently in seminar, the final list will be representative of each junior, however, for now, students should also expect a few wild card suggestions as a way to broaden their scope, and offer knowledge about schools perhaps currently unknown to them. A goal is to help foster an open mind in these students for as long as possible.

Below is a sample of three initial lists for engineering and three for liberal arts. While sharing a common core, they also illustrate variety and personalization even at an early stage. As a parting thought about initial lists, I will share something inspiring that a student shared with me at the end of our meeting after seeing their list come together: “It’s exciting to think that there is a good chance my college is on this list.” With the sense of possibility ignited, that is the joy of junior year.

Engineering1- strong engineering programs within a liberal arts context
• Trinity College
• Union College
• Lehigh University
• Lafayette College
• Bucknell University
• Santa Clara University
• Tufts University
• Harvey Mudd College

Engineering2 – top tier engineering schools at a world-renowned research institution
• Stanford University
• Rice University
• Boston University
• Johns Hopkins University
• U of Washington
• Cornell University
• U of Michigan
• Carnegie Mellon University
• Cal Tech

Engineering3 – a broad based engineering list that includes both healthy reach and less selective schools
• CU Boulder
• U of Pacific
• UC-Santa Cruz
• Purdue
• Virginia Tech
• U of Oregon
• Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo
• Georgia Tech
• Texas A&M
• Montana State

Liberal Arts1 – liberal arts with an eclectic student population
• Reed College
• Whitman College
• Sarah Lawrence College
• Bard College
• Grinnell College
• Kenyon College
• Macalester College
• Muhlenberg College
• Goucher College
• Bowdoin College

Liberal Arts2 – classic east coast influenced campus
• Colby College
• Connecticut College
• Dickinson College
• Franklin and Marshall College
• Hamilton College
• Bates College
• Denison University Amherst College

Liberal Arts3 – larger liberal arts school where athletics play a prominent role in student life
• U of Rochester
• Tulane University
• Santa Clara University
• University of Richmond
• Colgate University
• Bucknell University
• College of the Holy Cross


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