I. Financial Fit:
Cost: What is the cost of attendance? Does it include tuition, fees, room and board, books and materials, transportation costs, and living expenses?
Financial Aid: Grants & scholarships, awards and other forms of gift aid since they do not have to be repaid.
Loans: These are sums of money that must be repaid. The reason they count as financial aid is that they contain favorable repayment terms and are offered at attractive interest rates below the going commercial rate.
Merit-based Aid: Merit-based financial aid programs determine eligibility by evaluating a student’s ability/potential. Merit is based on academic records, or athletic, artistic, musical and other talent potential.
Need-based Aid: Need-based financial aid programs determine eligibility by evaluating the family’s financial resources
II. Academic Fit:
Academic Programs: Will the course of study provide the required academic experience? (Capstone, learning communities, study abroad, service learning, research/creative projects, internships)
Athletic Program: Does this college have a sports program that meets the student’s needs (as an athlete or a spectator)?
Talent Program: Does this college have a talent program that meets the student’s needs (theater, newspaper, debate team)?
Special Programs: Does this college have special programs or facilities that the student needs or must have (learning disabilities, special medical facilities, etc.)?
Co-op Programs: Does this college have an academic co-op (study/work) program in the student’s major that can reduce your college costs and help the student achieve employment after graduation?
Job Placement: Does this college have a Placement Office that places a high number of students in jobs prior to graduation?
Attrition: Does this college have a high number of freshmen that graduate within five years?
Student/Faculty Ratio: Does this college have a low student to faculty ratio to guarantee a more interactive classroom participation and personal faculty attention for the student?
Faculty: with PhDs Does this college have a high number of faculty with PhDs in your student’s major?
Tutoring: Does this college have a system to help a struggling student?
Accreditation: Does this university or college have the required professional certifications?
III. Social Fit:
Location: Is the location of this college satisfactory to your student’s needs?
Size: Is the size of this college satisfactory? (Small — less than 3,000 students, Medium — between 3,000 and 10,000, Medium large — between 10,000 and 20,000, Large – greater than 20,000 students)
Religion: Does this college have a religious program that fits your needs?
Campus: Setting Is this college located in a desirable area or neighborhood?
Safety: Does this college’s campus have adequate security and a good safety reputation?
Alcohol/Drug Policy: Does this college’s alcohol/drug policy fit your requirements?
Student Body Reputation: Does this college’s student body reputation fit the student’s personality?
Diversity: Does this college’s student mix fit the student’s personality?
Greek System: Does the role that fraternities and sororities play at this college fit the student’s needs?
Housing: Is this college’s housing (and housing policy) satisfactory to your needs?
Food: Is this college’s on-campus food satisfactory to your needs?
Weather: Is this college located in a climate that is satisfactory to your needs?
SOURCE: Adapted from a workshop I attended in a library for College Prep.
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About The Article Author:
Inside The Ideal 21st Century Classroom
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