Identifying a perfect fit college can be complicated sometimes. The majority of students find this process difficult and feel stressed with the thought of picking an institute that is right for them.
There are so many factors to consider when suggesting a college. A well-balanced list should be comprised of colleges/ universities that are a good fit for your students in every aspect of what they expect: socially, academically, and financially. But what does it mean, exactly, when we talk about finding colleges that are the right “fit”?
As someone who has worked with hundreds of these students, I am here to help you in guiding students for college admissions and selecting the college that will be right for them.
College fit comes down to the academic, social, and financial condition of students, as well as their career goals.
Instructions to Follow While Suggesting Suitable College
Does the college they are considering offer classes and learning opportunities that interest them? Ask students not to declare a college major until their junior year of college but they are more likely to succeed if they are excited about and engaged by the options available.
Consider the Learning Style
Does your student prefer informative lectures or lively discussions? Research and analysis or hands-on experience and practice? Writing papers or working in small groups? Look for the academic experience they’ll need to feel challenged and engaged, and what support they will need for success.
What kind of college do they want to study in? A hip urban campus or a verdant quad, in the country? A college where everyone cheers on the basketball team, or one where every theatre production gets a standing ovation? Every college has its own special vibe.
You can start narrowing down the list by making decisions about the students studying on campus and geographical location, and then move on to aspects they can identify by visiting campus, talking to current students and trusting the gut instincts: the personalities, politics, and interests.
College fee is one of the biggest concerns of students & parents. It’s important to be realistic about their family’s finances and avoid suggesting unreasonable debts – but it’s also important not to cross a college off your list because of a scary sticker price.
Many colleges and universities offer incredible financial aid packages (sometimes as a combination of grants and scholarships, which means no debt at all!). Raising the grades and the SAT or ACT scores will help your students become better candidates for merit-based financial aid.
In addition to making sure the college they are considering offer the majors and classes that interest your students, visit or contact the career development centre at each. Find out how the institute supports students in preparing for the professional world. Check if they offer resume writing workshops, practice interviews, networking events with alumni, etc.
Mistakes to Avoid in Choosing a college
There are many slip-ups that students may commit when selecting from various colleges. Some of them can make not so suitable decisions. Therefore, you need to let them know about the mistakes to avoid while selecting a suitable college.
Rushing the Process
Finding the right college takes time and effort, don’t forget to mention the amount of research and lengthy application processes. Waiting until the last minute or just “falling into a college” is never a good idea.
Be a Follower
Tell them that following their siblings or best friends for college selection may seem a promising idea at the time, but this is one of the most pivotal points in their lives, too. They need to remember to make the best decisions for themselves.
The Legacy Lure
Only considering the colleges their parents, siblings, or other family members went to may not be in their interests. It’s always best to explore options and find the right fit according to the strengths, likes, dislikes, etc.
Stop your students to be rebellious. In contrast to the above point, only considering the colleges their parents didn’t go to, isn’t beneficial either. Sometimes, parents have good insights that may help students decide on what may be best for them. Tell them to choose or not to choose a college out of spite.
Whether your student is a homebody who wants to stay close or an escape artist who wants to get as far from home as possible, a suitable location should be a factor in suggesting a college. However, living at home or not should be the sole decision-maker.
Cost Obsessions or Carelessness
Forgetting to consider the cost of college or only considering the cost as a factor are two major issues to avoid. While cost is a huge hurdle, there are many other factors to consider as well, and students should not be blinded by this one aspect.
Relying on Reputation
Just because it’s a “highly-ranked”, “big and prestigious college” or a “designer” college doesn’t mean it’s the right institute. Don’t let your students assume that the difficulty of getting into the college equates to the quality of education they receive.
If you want to get your students into a suitable college, you can follow these tips. Go through every point and let us know in the comments if you have any questions. You can also share your points and help your peers in identifying a perfect fit college for their students and guiding for college admission.
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