The Right Fit – Apply To Schools That Are Right For You
Sure, you’ve heard it before, from your guidance counselor or your parents. Apply to the colleges that are right for you. But what does that even mean? Just because something is trendy or brand-name doesn’t mean it’ll fit (or look good on) everybody. Some schools will fit you better than others. Consider the following tips as you determine which colleges you should apply to.
Don’t be swayed by rankings
Big names are hard to ignore, as are those “Best 100 Colleges” lists. However, schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton have only about a 10-percent acceptance rate. While a “brand-name” school may indeed be the right place for you, it may not be. Don’t limit yourself to only the top 15 or 20 ranked schools.The best school for you could be one you’ve never heard of before. Do some research and see what else is out there.
What qualities are important to you?
What are you looking for in a college? More than just a name, right? It might help to make a list of some of the qualities you want in a school, such as:
Strength in intended major
Whether it’s history or biochemistry, if you know what you’d like to study in college, apply to schools that not only offer the kind of program you want, but also excel in that area. Financial aid availability. This is often an overriding factor in selecting a college. What kinds of scholarships and/or loans do your schools of choice offer, and do you qualify?
When you envision yourself on campus what does it look like? Is it sprawling with hundreds of people milling about or is it smaller with some recognizable faces?
Would you prefer to go to college in a major metropolitan city in the suburbs of a city or in a small college town?
What kind of students would you feel most at home with? Preppy? Artsy? Competitive? Laid-back? Are you interested in a school where athletics are big? Or would a smaller liberal arts college suit you better?
Does it feel right?
Get to know a school as well as you can.Visit the campus.Talk to current students. Become a fan on Facebook. Could you see yourself thriving in that environment?
Don’t rely solely on others – or college rankings – to tell you where to apply. Also rely on yourself your research and your smarts and you’ll be likely to end up at the college that’s just right.
Just because something is trendy or brand-name doesn’t mean it’ll fit (or look good on) everybody.