Fit-ness Test: A College Fit Checklist

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When many students, sending in an application to college might seem like the initial step toward taking the next step in their education. Those students who have worked hard finding the right “college fit” will turn in that application as the conclusion of research and consideration that makes them confident in both applying to a school that meets their needs and presenting themselves as a perfect candidate to help that school excel.

With more than 3,000 colleges and universities around the country, the idea of finding a school where a student can succeed academically, socially and emotionally seems a daunting task. Big name universities may capture the imagination, but smaller, lesser-known schools might present the right match of student and student life. Most schools will have something appealing to offer students who come looking.

But rather than get caught up in the annual rituals of selection (student application, acceptance by the school and, finally, student decision), taking the time to factor in college fit will make the right college an easy choice and not a leap of faith.

A good college “fit” is one that will:

1. Offer a program of study to match your interests and needs.

2. Provide a style of instruction to match the way you like to learn.

3. Provide a level of academic rigor to match your aptitude and preparation.

4. Offer a community that feels like home to you.

5. Value you for what you have to offer.

Use these guidelines when considering colleges both individually and comparatively. Taking the time to see how you potentially fit into a school is just as much about what the school brings to you as what you bring to the school. Finding that right balance will help you get that much closer to a successful and rewarding college experience.

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