Geography: How far away do I want to go, or how close to home do I want to stay?
Size: Do I want a campus of 30,000 or a classroom of 30 students?
Academics: Am I 100% set on the major I wish to pursue, or should I choose a school with a broad range of majors in case I’m unsure?
Do I want a highly rigorous academic atmosphere, a faith based campus, one with a “lively weekend scene,” etc.?
Athletic Experience: What do I want my role to be within the soccer program? Do I want to be the best player on the team the day I step on campus? Am I satisfied by being able to wear the jersey – knowing I will probably never play? Or do I want something in between?
If you ask yourself these 5 questions, you should be able to come up with a manageable number of schools to pursue.