Below is a post from Fall 2015, containing some thoughts for the beginning of your college search journey. It is relevant as you investigate and evaluate “fit.” Please let us know if you have questions!
Reach – Match – Safety
- Consider all three of these types of schools realistically, ensuring that your applications won’t just fall into one category. It helps in the evaluation process of what your “one just right” school is.
- GPA and SAT scores are two ways to evaluate your personal categories or strengths, but remember to also examine requirements and expectations for coursework, extra-curricular involvement, leadership, etc.
- Looking at a school’s freshman class profile is one helpful way to discern fit! Where are the students from? How did they rank in comparison to their graduating classes? How many were national merit scholars? What were they involved in? See an example
- You will be aided in the search as you gather the results of self-assessment and an awareness of the above factors. If you can discern what TYPE fits you best, you will be able to more effectively utilize ranking lists, college reviews, and be equipped with more pointed questions for any Q&As, interviews, etc.
- Ask questions like: How do I learn best? What type of learning environment do I like? What types of classes do I want to take in college?
Liberal Arts • tend to be smaller in size • more options for personal attention • professors’ primary responsibility is to teach and engage in a classroom with students (as opposed to their primary responsibility being research) • expose you to humanities and integrative coursework • employers value the skills honed in these programs, such as a well-rounded-ness and critical thinking ability
Research/ University • tend to be larger in size, including class sizes • usually offer a more prominent athletics culture on campus • extensive range of choices in majors • generally bigger facilities- gyms, labs, etc.
Community/Junior Colleges • offer associates degrees or certificates • typically provide “general education” courses that can be transferred to a 4-year institution • have occupational/vocational programs • often are transfer-focused
Vocational/Technical/Trade Schools • offer specialized training for a specific career field (i.e. hair styling or cosmetology, auto mechanic, etc.) • low cost and lots of connections if you’re interested in a very specific technical industry.
By no means is the above an exhaustive list of the types of schools or even characteristics of each. Additionally, the above information is not necessarily mutually exclusive. However, knowing how to investigate will lead you to using those “How to Find the One Just Right” tools above!