Blog 🍎 School 7th October 2020

Why a University Shortlist is Important & How to Finalise Yours

Profile image of James Leach
James Leach

James is senior content marketing manager at BridgeU. He writes and directs content for BridgeU's university partners and our community of international schools

Let’s face it—applying for university can feel like a stressful and overwhelming process. 

What’s more, 2020 has been an especially tricky and uncertain time for students like you who are thinking about applying to university. 

This year, you’ll likely have questions about whether universities will be teaching their courses in the usual way, or if they are moving their classes online. You could be worried about how COVID-19 has affected life on university campuses. You might have questions about how recent events have affected a universities’ entry requirements. 

Then on top of all this, there’s just the unavoidable fact that deciding on the right university is just really hard! 

That’s why creating a shortlist can help make the big decision much easier. In this article we’ll explain why a shortlist is so important and show you how you can use BridgeU to build yours!

Why you need a university shortlist

At the moment, you’ll probably have a lot going on: school work, extra-curricular activities, or just finding time to spend with your friends and family.

So it’s understandable that when it comes time to apply to university, the whole process can feel – well – a little bit overwhelming!

Have you ever scrolled through Netflix and felt like you haven’t got the faintest clue what you’d like to watch?  

Choosing a university can feel a bit like that too. 

When you have a long list of universities you’re interested in, you might not know where to start. Plus, the Internet is full of complex and competing information, so how do you know who to trust? 

That’s why creating a university shortlist is so important as you set out on your  application journey. Building a shortlist helps to give your research more structure and just generally makes the whole application process feel more manageable. 

Specifically, a well-planned university shortlist can help you to: 

  • Gain a clearer understanding of which universities are right for you. 
  • Have a more informed and honest discussion with your counselor, teachers & parents about your next steps after leaving school. 
  • Set more manageable goals as you begin the university application process. 
  • Stay on top of those crucial deadlines as you begin to write & submit your applications. 

As we’ll explore in the remainder of this article, building your shortlist in BridgeU can be beneficial to you in a number of ways.

5 key reasons why you should build a shortlist: 

1. Find out about exclusive BridgeU opportunities

A growing number of universities are offering scholarship programmes and special offers specifically for BridgeU applicants. 

When you’ve shortlisted a university, you’ll be instantly notified of any specific offers, along with further details of eligibility and any application criteria. 

2. Receive updates about shortlisted universities 

By shortlisting universities on BridgeU you will receive extra notifications about your preferred university choices. This will make  researching them and eventually applying so much easier. 

These notifications will cover a number of topics. These range from tips on applying in the first instance, to stories about where your experiences could lead you after you graduate. 

All of this will come to you at crucial moments during your application journey, so you can get timely and relevant information when you need it. 

So, don’t forget, if you don’t add those universities you’re interested in, you could miss out on some  exciting opportunities, notifications & offers! 

3. Compare your choices all in one place

Shortlisting universities on BridgeU allows you to view all of your preferred university, college and course choices all on one page.

This means that you can compare courses and universities with greater ease.

4. Feel less overwhelmed and start feeling more empowered

Creating a shortlist helps you focus your energy on a smaller list of universities and colleges, as opposed to wasting unnecessary time and mental energy on tackling a longer list. This will make the application process seem much less overwhelming when deciding which universities you want to research in more detail.

Making a shortlist by choosing universities that fit your requirements and suit your academic interests will enable you to submit the most complete application. This gives you a greater chance of success. 

5. Your shortlist is a crucial opportunity to review important information

Clicking on a university match will show you several key pieces of information about the university or course, which can inform how you begin to prioritise your choices. This includes your chance of acceptance and a preference fit.

This page also shows the university’s tuition fees and entry requirements, which are essential details for comparing between options. 

Additionally, you can find further information about the university such as its size, setting, course length, employability, plus an overview of the university’s location.  

How do I shortlist a university in BridgeU? 

Shortlisting is simple. 

If you’ve completed your Profile, you should be able to discover the universities and courses most relevant to you. 

Click on the ‘Universities’ tab and click ‘Shortlist’ on the universities/courses you think are right for you.

If you’re not interested in an option, simply click ‘Discard’. You can also use the search field to discover universities by country, degree programme, or by typing the university name itself.

Once you have shortlisted some of the matches you are interested in, you can view them in the shortlist section. This is where you can view these courses and universities together. 

After you have done further research and narrowed your shortlist, you can begin applying to a university by clicking on the ‘add to application list’. Don’t forget to fill out the deadline and required information that you need to apply. 

Should you have questions, reach out to your counselor or click the help chat in the bottom right corner. 

Things to consider when finalising your shortlist:

The questions below aim to get you thinking about what your preferences are. They also make you think about structuring and potentially ranking the universities you have currently listed on your shortlist. 

a) Think about the location of the university you’re applying to.

Is the local climate right for you? Do you want to be in a big city or in a more rural area? What will the cost of living be like? How easy is it to get a student visa for the country you’re applying to?

b) Research what life is like at the university campus. 

What’s the accommodation like? What is the commute to campus like from accommodation? What do other students say about the campus? Will you be among lots of other international students at this university? 

c) Find out more about the course or majors/minors that most interest you. 

Do the academic options offered by the university interest you? What are the university’s graduate employability stats like? How much will the university, college, or course cost? What kind of support can you expect?

Conclusion and next steps 

Shortlisting is a useful way to gather your thoughts and regain control over a process that can, at times, feel scary and intimidating. Shortlisting also provides an opportunity to consolidate and plan when it comes to weighing up which choices suit you best.

And remember what we mentioned earlier –  you can receive additional information about the universities you shortlist, and discover if your choices can lead to any scholarship opportunities.

Don’t forget, application deadlines are just around the corner. Now is a great time to start shortlisting if you haven’t already done so.

Login to BridgeU and begin building your shortlist today!

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