What a “Good Fit” college means to you

24th Sep 2015

What does it really mean to have a college be a “Good Fit” for you? Good fit is highly subjective. That means you have to do some investigating on what you actually want and are looking for from a university.

Before I knew what a “Good Fit” school was for me, I had my ideas of what I wanted from a college. Since my list was short, I chose to visit each school and had my parents come along to provide a different perspective.

• Hint to parents: don’t be too pushy on convincing your kids of a “Good Fit”. If they invite you along for the visit, try to allow them to find out if a school would be a good match…on their own

• Hint to seniors: your parents know you really well…even if you won’t admit that. Ask them what they think about a school and if they see it as a “Good Fit” for you

I thought “Good Fit” for me meant a posh school with cool kids and proximity to the beach. When I went to that “dream school”, I hated it. The posh school felt weird and I couldn’t see myself blending in well with the really cool kids.

The truth is, I wanted to be cool but I was a bit corky (still am) and I needed a student body that would allow me to flourish academically and socially.

What turned out to be my “Good Fit” school was one that focused on relationships and collaboration with students and faculty. My university believed that the most important thing was not what happened inside of a classroom during lecture time but the learning that occurred outside of the classroom.

My campus was right in the middle of LA and the community surrounding my school was very needy. All students were placed in positions around the community that encouraged helping others and working collaboratively with students and other members in our city.

When I stepped on that campus for the first time, I felt that. I felt the desire to improve the community radiating from the students. The professors talked about that in class and service was at the core of education.

It was a few miles away from the beach, the other students seemed like they could be my life time friends and I knew I would thrive there for four years…that was the definition of a “Good Fit” college…for me.

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Author: Shari Schussel

Shari has over a decade of experience in college admissions counseling. She grew up in rural California and is a first generation college attendee.