You have probably heard this term a lot already. Your counselor talks about it, your parents are looking for it. What is it? What is college fit?
Think of fit as a picture of college that brings four elements together to make the best fit for you. Consider Academic, Social, Physical and Financial perspectives.
Academic: Does the college offer the major or special academic programs that interest you? If you are undecided about your major – does the college offer a wide variety of programs and do they provide opportunities to help you discover your academic interests? What if you change your major during your time as an undergraduate (many students do)?
Social: Will you find “your people” at this school? What does the student population look like in terms of racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity? Are there clubs, social activities, political or religiously affliated groups, sports/recreational options, student centers or other places to help connect you to students who are like minded? Are there options for you to learn from students who have backgrounds and life-experiences different from your own?
Physical: Where is the campus located and what type of environment is the campus in? Urban, suburban or rural? Is the campus well-maintained, does it feel safe, what is the surrounding neighbor like?
Financial: What is the cost of attendance (not just tuition, but also room, board, books, supplies, fees, etc.)? Does the school offer need-based financial aid? Who qualifies and how much do students typically receive? What about merit-based scholarships?
Remember – YOUR best fit may not be the same as the best fit for your friend or your older sibling. Find the right combination that will make your college experience meaningful for you.
Record your thoughts and notes about each school you are considering in GuidedPath. Use the Discuss tab under each school on your My Colleges or Interested Colleges list to write your notes. Be sure to mention each of the four areas of fit – Academic, Social, Physical, and Financial.
Your parents can join the conversation, adding in their thoughts too.