As someone who works with emerging adults (18-20 year olds) already in college or graduated from college, I know how important college fit is. I’ve seen how a poor fit in terms of academics, campus community, and supports can really hurt a person’s ability to thrive in a college environment. I’ve also seen students who transferred to somewhere that’s a better fit were able to really flourish and make huge progress.
I don’t want to perpetuate the myth that there is a perfect college for everyone. However, I do think it’s important that people understand that not every college (no matter how prestigious or well known) is a good fit for every student. Picking a college that fits you best encompasses more considerations than just reputation and finances.
Here are some questions to consider when deciding if a college if the right fit for you:
- Do I want to go to school close to home or further away?
- Do I want to live in a bustling city or a quieter locale?
- Can I effectively navigate a large, sprawling campus, or would I be better off somewhere smaller and easier to navigate?
- How safe is the campus?
- Can I learn effectively in large lecture-style classes, or do I need smaller class sizes?
- Does the college offer majors that I’m interested in?
- Do I learn best in a competitive environment or collaborative environment?
- Does the college offer the academic supports I need to succeed?
- What is the college’s philosophy towards education?
- In how many years does the average student graduate?
- What kind of career services does the college provide?
- Do I prefer big college campuses where I can feel more anonymous, or do I want a smaller student population where people are more likely to know everyone?
- What kind of new student orientation does the school provide?
- What kind of clubs and extracurricular activities does the college offer?
- How diverse is the campus?
- What’s the quality of eateries on campus?
- Are there activities that I enjoy doing near campus?
- Do people on campus generally seem happy or are they mostly stressed out?
Not sure if your teen is ready for college? Read this article to discover some questions you should be asking yourself to help your teen prepare for the challenges of college life.
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Finding the college that fits you best is just one part of a college transition planning. Need help crafting the rest of the transition plan? Contact Dr. Crystal I. Lee for a free 20 minute consultation to see how she can help.