Finding your best fit is far more important than getting into the best college. Don’t waste your time obsessing over the “best” or the “most prestigious” schools. Instead, give yourself permission to obsess over finding your “best fit”.
In a recent exchange with parents during a live seminar, one dad explained he’s looking for “not the best college,” but the right college for each one of his girls. Another dad asked, “How do you get colleges to want you?” A mother of two boys agreed that she, too, wants her boys to go to a school that really wants them.
These families value the sense of belonging that comes from getting funded just as much as the scholarship money itself. What’s more, higher education research proves these parents right. The research shows that developing a sense of belonging helps students succeed and persist to graduation.
Ultimately, the goal is to find schools that are not only right for you, but also want you. Click To Tweet In this post, you’ll learn how to build a list of best fit colleges to apply to where you’d thrive.
Your Best Fit
Once you’ve assessed your chances of admission, it’s your turn to rank colleges based on net price and how well they support your career goals.
Begin with best fit schools, followed by match schools from your starter list. Steer clear of reach schools that don’t meet 100% of financial need unless you can afford to pay sticker price.
The Net Price Filter
Use net price calculators to detect stingy schools before you apply to them. The best net price calculators ask for test scores and GPA to determine eligibility for merit aid. Eliminate budget-busting schools from your list.
The Career Filter
Use career assessments to identify your top 2 or 3 career paths. Do the schools on your list support your preferred pathways? Cross out any schools on your list that don’t support your career goals.
The Early Options Filter
Explore early options for the remaining schools on your list. Use early options strategically to boost your chances of admission and in some cases aid.
Expect to come away with a list of 6-10 best fit and solid match schools that are not only right for you, but also want you. Mission accomplished.
What other criteria or filters will you use to narrow down your list of best fit schools? Location? Size?
Please share your comments in the text box below.
Receive My Free College Guide
If you aren’t receiving my newsletter, here’s your chance to subscribe and instantly receive my new guide, The Ultimate College Search Jumpstart and 5 Steps to Find Your Fit.
- Applying to schools without taking into account your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is reckless. Use your EFC to build the perfect college list instead.