If The School Fits...

May 26, 2014

It’s not about a familiar name or reputation.  Every student is a unique creature with his or her own set of emotional, social, and academic needs and wants.  When we talk about a good college fit, the goal is to find a school where an individual student feels comfortable, and can thrive.  So how do you find a best-fit college?


  • Ignore rankings-They are not only bogus, but irrelevant.  On the upside, however, U.S. News and World Reports’ college rankings issues do a fine job of lining birdcages.  


  • Know thyself-What are your interests?  Strengths?  Passions?  A college that fits must nurture those parts of you.


  • List your must haves-Take stock of your preferences and needs:  location, size, housing, sports, campus activities, diversity, study abroad programs, internships, research opportunities, disability support, etc.  


  • Make sure it feels right-What kind of a place is it?  What goes on there?  Who goes there?  What’s the vibe?


  • Keep it real-Choose potential schools based on your fit with their requirements.  It’s okay to reach, but the real goal is a good match.


  • Find your best learning environment-small classes vs. large lecture halls; liberal arts vs. career-oriented; individual vs. group study; competitive vs. laid-back; close learning-relationships with professors vs. blissful anonymity.


  • Keep an open mind-Don’t convince yourself that there is only one right school for you.  In fact, there are many great choices.  You just need to know where to look.


What is your best-fit college like?