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?
17 Questions to Ask Before You Return to Campus This Fall