How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

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Our counselors answered:

How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

Just like any other student would - the right curriculum, back up programs available, enough financial aid offered, and all the creature comforts available.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

Finding a school that is the right fit requires a combination of strategies. First learn everything you can about the college from their website. If it looks like it has what you are looking for in terms of location, size, academic courses and extracurriculars; a visit would be the next logical step. Listen to the current students, pay attention to the bulletin boards, read the school newspaper, decide if you think you'd feel comfortable there. Often times alums can be really helpful, so if there is someone you respect, find out where they went to school and why. A lot of your decision may simply come down to a gut feeling.

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

There are many great resources for finding a school that is the best fit. The best place to begin is by meeting with your school counselor or independent college counselor. With their help you will begin developing a "long list" of colleges that might be good for you. Once you have your long list you can begin researching the individual schools and start eliminating those that might not match your interests or needs. You can do this by looking at their websites, checking out reviews on college search sites like Unigo, and talking with anyone you know who may have gone to any of the schools on the list. If possible, you should absolutely try to visit any of the schools that make it on to your "short list" of schools to which you'll apply. Once you've done your research and developed your short list of 5-7 schools, you're ready to apply!

Kenneth Hutchinson
Director of College Counseling

How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

Everybody is concerned with "fit" but this concept of "fit" is really for students who have excellent grades. #1 item you need to look for a college is to ask yourself what type of schools can I get into. #2 Considering the state of the economy a wise student does need to think about costs. I recommend having a comprehensive list of schools. This should include some Dream Colleges, Reach Colleges, and Cheap last resorts. I have students start with a college list that includes not only what they want in a college but also what they are bringing to the table.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

How do students find a school that's the right fit for them?

If you are the first in your family to attend college, the task of finding the right school may seem challenging. Remember, you are not looking for the one perfect school; this isn’t Cinderella’s glass slipper! You are looking for one of many schools nationwide that will meet your needs. Begin by making a list of what you want or need in a college. List academic, social, financial, and geographical factors. Seek input from family, friends, teachers, community members, and counselors. Next you will want to research online, with college guidebooks, and when you narrow your choices, with campus visits.