You know that it's important to apply to colleges with great academic rankings, but have you taken the time to consider the importance of a school's overall "fit?" If you’re in the midst of making your college comparisons, here are some pointers for finding the college that’s the best fit for you.

Hallway-ThumbStrength of specific programs. Colleges vary in the strength of their individual academic programs, which is an important point to consider if you have a particular course of study in mind that you think you’d like to pursue. It’s a good sign if a college is well known for excellence in the academic program that you’d like to pursue.

School culture. A college experience is more than just academics; it’s the environment where you’ll be establishing yourself as an adult, making lifelong friends, and ultimately living your life for the next four years. Colleges can have widely different campus cultures depending on the campus size, location, and the school’s political or religious roots. Visit the school and talk to current students to determine how you see yourself fitting into the college community.

Cost of attendance. Another factor to consider is whether a particular college is a good financial fit for you. If you’re accepted into an academically top-ranked school but will graduate with a high debt burden, or won’t be able to focus on studying because you’ll be working all the time to pay for tuition, you may want to reconsider. See if you can secure scholarships and financial aid, and keep in mind that there are many excellent and affordable school choices available.

No matter which colleges are at the top of your list, it’s essential to make your application as strong as possible. This includes excelling in your SAT, which will give you a competitive edge when you apply to your favorite colleges. For more college tips, or to learn more about how we can help you prepare for your SAT, please visit our website or contact us.