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Choosing the right University/Course combination which fits well with your skills and interests, has the right brand value and eventually leads to a great job are the most important factors before you start writing your college-application.

Often people just apply basis the rankings of universities in a particular subject. That, in our experience, is an inefficient way of choosing a program and often leads to vastly suboptimal results.

University and program selection should be preceded by the creation of a bucket-list. A bucket list is essentially a collection of university-program combinations which gives you a ‘reflection-anchor’ to figure out which programs are a good fit for you. The bucket-list looks like the attached picture (see figure). It encapsulates a comprehensive listing of programs that you want to apply irrespective of your opinion whether you can or cannot get into those. Adjacent to each program listing, do write down a 1 line reason as to why you want to get in there.

As this database gets built, it shall give you deep insights into what universities would be a good fit. Once you have this database, you may want to reflect on the following questions –

  1. Which programs fit my interest area?
  2. Which programs offer great ROI on my investment?
  3. Which programs shall (potentially) lead to great jobs?
  4. Which programs leverages skill sets which uses my expertise/capability?
  5. Is this a great university/ program to study in (ranking)?
  6. Can I Get in ?what course should i do at university

As you check on each of these parameters against items of your bucket-list, you shall have a narrower list of programs that you may wish to apply to. That list will be far more robust that the one arrived at basis ‘rankings of university’ and gives a true listing of universities that you should apply to.


Like what you have read? Visit us at for more insights and get help in writing your college admission application.