Finding Your Perfect College Fit
High school students usually have a lot of questions when it comes to making sure they choose a college which suits them best.
And although this is a complicated matter to answer as every student is ‘different’, by making sure to evaluate several variables, we hope students have higher chances of finding their perfect college fit.
Factors such as subject specific academics, financial aid, career services and campus culture influence your thinking about your future academic trajectory.
Below we will analyse some variables to help you choose your best college fit.
When evaluating different colleges to see if they fit your academic trajectory and passions, make sure to start with the academics.
For instance, Cambridge University colleges offer varied academic curriculum and you have plenty of options to choose from.
Assess if the learning opportunities offered by the establishments you consider for your future are suitable for you.
Although you won’t have to choose a major until junior year of high school, it has been proven that students that carefully choose their college are more likely to be engaged and happy with their choice – thus, more likely to graduate.
When assessing the learning opportunities offered by different colleges, think of the following.
- Your learning style – think if you prefer open discussions or long, informative lectures instead.
- Do practical experiences interest you more than research and analysis?
- Which academic program seems to engage and challenge you more? Go with that one because you’ll have higher chances to attend regularly.
- Are you interested in mentorship programs or tutoring? Search for a college that offers all of them!
When evaluating the variables above, make sure you research professors, courses, program descriptions and attend some open classes if you can.
This will offer you a clear overview of your academic experience in the college you choose.
Make sure to research GPA and other scores before applying, as this may be a deciding factor in ensuring the college of choice is a good match for you.
2. Financial aid
For most college students, the cost of their academic life once they finish high school is one of their biggest concerns. When assessing different colleges to see which one is a better fit for you, remember to keep in mind your family finances and stability, too.
However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out many colleges and universities, including some top Cambridge university colleges, offer generous financial aid for eminent students.
In some cases, these financial aid packages are a mix of grants and scholarships, which means you won’t have any debt once you finish your studies.
To make sure you are one of the happy students, try to enhance your SAT and ACT score as much as possible. This will boost your chances to get merit financial aid.
3. Career services
We’ve covered the academic and financial aid aspect but what about career development and opportunities?
Before submitting your application, make sure to get in touch with the university to ask for their alumni job success rate and annual average salary.
Ask if there are departments to support each student and how they help them prepare for the professional climate where they’ll be working.
There are more ways in which these centers may come to their help.
- Resume writing training and workshops;
- Interview practice;
- Networking events that may help you get an internship position within a company?
In most cases, universities are thrilled to highlight this sort of success their career development department has. So, you’ll find out all the necessary information in a matter of minutes.
4. Campus culture
When thinking about what type of campus culture you want to find in your future college, you have to think about your personality. Do you feel comfortable in large interconnected communities? Or are more of an introvert type?
To make a better idea of how well you fit in the general culture and vibe of the campus of your choice, you can go ahead and visit them in advance.
Of course, this depends a lot on your geographic location and other variables, but once you do so, you’ll be able to tell with certainty if your college of choice is a great fit for you.
At the same time, try to assess how qualitative the accommodation facilities are, what interests do students have around the campus, if there are club where you will fit perfectly in (theater clubs, football clubs, etc.) the quality of the food, what recreational amenities are in and around the campus, and so on.
Additional advice on choosing a perfect college fit
Now, that you know what variables you have to assess when searching for the perfect college fit, there are several other questions that you can start thinking about.
Below we have the most frequent ones.
- How soon should I start searching for a college? There is no right answer here, but many former students seem to agree that as early as possible during your high school years ensures your college satisfaction.This will offer you enough time to do your research and to aim for the grades and academic scores required.
- Do location and distance from home really matter? Well, it depends. If you want to commute to your courses, then it does. If you want to stay in campus facilities, you don’t have to worry as much as to how far away from home your college is.
- Should I go for a public or private college? This is a question you must answer from the beginning, and a big consideration here is money. However, you will still be able to get into a private college and receive financial aid, if your scores are high enough as mentioned above.
These are some of the most important tips and tricks you should follow when wanting to get admitted into the perfect college for your own situation.
Assess everything we mentioned above and try to be as thorough in your research as possible. This will help you ensure you make the best choice for your academic life.