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The Final Choice: Choosing your Best Fit College

Criteria to choose the best-fit college abroadWith letters of acceptance rolling in over next month, it is time to return to the beginning and find the Best Fit.

Well, many of you have already heard from some of the schools that you have applied to, and most of the others will be replying in the next two weeks. You will need to decide on a final choice and send in “intent to register” and a deposit by May 1st.  It is always surprising to me how much more you learn about a school once you know that you are actually accepted at that school. I guess that it is difficult to really look into all that a school has to offer until it is ACTUALLY a reality. The trick now is to really learn about the school and to imagine what it will be like for you for four years.

As you will recall, we have always focused on finding the Best Fit school. You would have created a list to shoot for that was based on selectivity and chances to get in, but that list should never be considered a hierarchy of schools on preference, only on selectivity. It is now your task to understand which of these schools is now the BEST fit for YOU. In this, we can review what others, like US News, thinks of the schools, but it is far more important to rank the schools based on your own preferences.

I have discussed some of the areas that I feel are important to consider and also attached what I call a “Right Fit – Matrix”. As opposed to being any formula, the Right Fit Matrix is there to help organize your research. You should feel free to customize this based on your own specific criteria. Hopefully, through the process of your research, you will determine the best fit for you.

Also Read: Finding the Best-Fit Colleges, Part 1: Your Preferences

Remember, college is like a buffet. Huge buffets are not necessarily better, as we can only eat so much. Notable buffets are often over-rated and too expensive. And most of all, a buffet’s benefit is that you can choose what you want. Make sure that the buffet that you are choosing offers you exactly what you are looking for.

The Right-Fit Matrix to choose the right college abroad

No, not that Matrix! The Right-Fit Matrix!


1. Name Recognition

Large universities tend to have greater name recognition than small colleges. For example, once you leave the US, you’ll find more people who have heard of Stanford University than Pomona College. Both are extremely competitive top-notch schools, but Stanford will always win the name game.


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Prab Singh heads CollegeSource (http://thecollegesource.net/), an organisation that provides life coaching to adolescents and support to their family through the process of deciding their higher education and career goals.

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