Finding Your Best-Fit College

Finding your best-fit college can take some time and research, but you’ll be glad you took the time to figure out which college is best for you. You may think the college you go to has to have a big well-known name, but in reality that may not be the best college for your learning style and your personality. We breakdown what you should be thinking about when determining which colleges to apply to and which college is your best fit!


Think about if you are a homebody and prefer to be near home or would you like an adventure. Do you prefer the changing seasons or warm weather? There are other things to consider as well as whether you prefer the bustling city or the rural country. You also want to think about class size and campus size. Some students do better in a small close-knit community while others prefer to go to a large campus to experience different people from all walks of life.

Majors offered

2 college students found their  major at their best fit college

If you know what field you want to go into or the college major you are interested in, you will be able to sort from there but if you are like many students, you are unsure. There are many colleges and universities who offer liberal arts from there you can decide. Many colleges ask you to declare major once you enter but keep in mind you can always change down the road. Usually, the only caveat is if have a scholarship for that particular major.


Pile of money for college expenses

You have to be realistic when choosing a college or university to attend. Keep in mind if you do go to college far away from home, you probably want to return home during break. Therefore you are going to need to save for travel expenses. You will have to add that into the total cost of college and that should be part of your decision making.

The actual cost of the college when you are just starting your search shouldn’t be your main focus though. If the college you choose ends up being a safety or target school, essentially you are in the top 25% of applicants, you may receive some merit based scholarships. In the reverse situation, if the school is a reach school for you and the cost of the college is out of your budget, you should include this into your decision. Chances are you won’t get scholarships but just loans for that college.

Build Your List

Target college list on a blackboard

Once you have narrowed down your list of top schools you want to apply, separate them out into 3 categories Reach, Target, and Likely (known as Safety Schools). Do some research to see what schools you could get into and put them into the 3 categories above. Guidance counselors suggest applying 6 to 8 schools. Make sure that you reach out to the schools you are most interested in and visit them, call them and interact with the admission reps there. You will show them “demonstrated interests” which could help you get into your dream school.