Q: Srihari, When did you start the college exploration process? 
A: I started my college exploration process in September, 2017 (grade 11). 

Q: Did you know what major you wanted to pursue before started looking at colleges? 
A: I was contemplating between pursuing aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and astronomy.   

Q: Were you familiar with US Colleges when you started the exploration process? 
A: No, I had smatter knowledge about US colleges when I started exploring undergrad education in the US. 

Q: What were you looking for in your colleges? 
A: I was looking to gain hands-on learning that would enable me to solve engineering problems pragmatically.  

Q: Who did you consult with about the colleges to explore and/or the process you followed? 
A: I consulted with Admissionado, a US based college consultancy firm, for my application process. 

Q: How long did you explore  colleges? How long did the process last before you had your final list of colleges to apply to? 
A: I explored colleges from March 2018 to October 2018. I had a final list of colleges by mid October 2018. 

Q: How did you know you were done exploring? Did you have a set of criteria that you met?  
A: Once I had my list of safety, reach, and dream schools, I was done exploring. Based on my overall profile, I selected the colleges/universities that I was going to apply to. 

Q: What criteria did you use to reject the colleges you explored? 
A: The amount of financial aid/scholarship they offered and the research experience they offered.  

Q: Any other thoughts or insights about this process you would like to share?
- I would advise students to start preparing for standardized tests well in advance and finish them in June at the latest.
- Three months prior to the application deadline, one should start writing essays.
- The month before the deadline, students should focus on just bringing the application together into a seamless whole.
- Grades are the most important aspect of the application, thus students should aim to excel in academics.
- Students should ask their teachers for letter of recommendation and let them know if there is anything specific they should include in the letter well before the deadline.