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Finding Your Perfect College Fit

01/20/2016 Published by: Amy Soupene

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Categories: Transition to College

It’s mid-year and many seniors are starting to see graduation on the horizon.  Some seniors may know exactly what their plans are for next fall.  If that’s you, Congratulations!  But if you are still deciding, no worries.  You are not alone.  There are many great tools out there to help you decide.

College Board's Big Future and My College Options are two reputable websites that will ask the pertinent questions and help you narrow down your choices. 

      

There are some key points to consider as you work through this process.  Be honest with yourself and don’t compare yourself with others as you decide.  Your best friend may love a big campus with lots of activities and people.  And you may work best in a smaller environment where there is space and time to think and work independently. 

There is no right or wrong campus, but there is a good and a not-so-good fit for you. 

Think back over the last few years of high school. 

No doubt you had some tough classes that really challenged you. How did you work through those classes?  Did you learn best in study groups or by yourself in a quiet room? Do you thrive in big classes with lots of students or do you do best in smaller settings where the teacher knew you?

Think about your life outside of school right now.  Do you like to be busy with activities and sports?  Or would you rather have some down-time set aside for yourself?  Are you itching to get out into the big world and explore or do you like being closer to home where people know you?

These are just a few things to honestly consider as you choose a college.  Be true to who you are and how you function best.

  • Big University or Smaller College:  There is a lot to do at a large university – from classes to sports to activities but a smaller college offers the personal connection of knowing your fellow students and professors.
  • On-Campus or Commute:  Do you want to live on-campus in a dorm where there is always someone you can talk to or do you want to live in your own space off-campus or even commute from home?
  • 2 Year vs 4 Year:  2 year colleges offer Associate Degrees while 4 year colleges offer undergraduate degrees.  Many students opt to start at a 2-year college and then transfer to a 4-year.  This is a great way to get in the basic courses and acclimate to college life at a fraction of the cost.
  • Public vs Private:  Although the price tag of a private school looks higher, oftentimes through aid and scholarships the price tag can be reduced to virtually the same as a public school.  Visit both and decide which one is a better fit for you.
  • Nearer to Home vs Far Away:  How close to home do you want to be?  Do you want to be able to come home on weekends or do you want to only come home on break?
  • Is there a certain “College Identity” you are desiring?  Some colleges are known for their activism, sports programs, fine arts study and performance, or academic rigor.  Does this interest you?
  • Is there a particular area of study or major you wish to pursue?  Then definitely choose a school that offers the curriculum you need.  But remember, you may wish to change your major, so a school that offers diverse courses of study allows you to change majors without changing schools.

You have worked and planned for this time of your life.  It’s so exciting; holding so much opportunity for you!  Take your time to find your fit, you won’t regret it.  And one more thing, thank your parents and everyone else that has helped you get to where you are today.  A truly successful person is also kind and gracious.

My best to you, my friend.

~Amy

 

***Help us get the word out about SchoolQuest™ by liking us on Facebook!   Please visit our Homeroom on-line community and join the discussion. We’d love to hear what your thoughts are about this important topic!  SchoolQuest™ is an initiative of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®).   Follow us on the MCEC® Twitter feed . . . for the sake of the child!  

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