Finding the Best Fit Colleges

Finding the Best Fit Colleges – Molly Harrington & Jenna Spendlove

On Wednesday, April 18th, Rob Franek of The Princeton Review gave an excellent presentation on finding the best fit for college. This was a well-attended event that highlighted numerous considerations each student should focus on throughout their high school years.

What Every College Immediately Checks:

· Grade Point Average – did you challenge yourself?

· Curriculum – did you challenge yourself in your areas of interest or strength?

· SAT scores – this is a very coachable test. You should take it even if you are considering a test-optional institution, because many scholarships use SAT scores as part of their evaluation.

What Colleges Also Look Into:

· Common Application

· Personal Statements/Essay – be genuine and authentic and let your voice shine through. Don’t write an essay that you think a college wants to read write an essay that gives insight into who you are. Set yourself apart!

o NO room for errors in the essay

o Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation is critical

o 10 people should review it to check for mistakes/errors

· Extra-curricular Activities

· Jobs

· Letters of Recommendations – think about who will write you a positive letter of recommendation which will illustrate your character. Think about choosing a teacher whose class you struggled in and they can talk about what you overcame to get that good grade.

· Demonstrated interest – have you participated in their college fairs? Interviews? How interested are you in them?

· Your social media will be reviewed and could play a part in you being selected….or NOT.

What YOU Need to Consider When Choosing a College:

· FIT – what is the best fit for you?

· 4 year graduation rate –

· Placement – what percentage of students are getting hired right out of college or are being accepted to graduate schools.

· Cost – does a school offer merit based scholarships or just need based aid.

· Internships- are there opportunities for you to volunteer or get job experience at the college or in the town?

· Co-Ops- experiential opportunities for students that are offered at some schools. This is a great way to gain real world experience in a field.

· Career Development- what support exist at the college to help you network and find a job?

· Talk to a Current College Student! What do they like? Dislike? What is the setting-urban, suburban, rural? Studious? More relaxed?

Best Financial Tips:

· It is expensive to be wrong about the college you select. – DO YOUR RESEARCH and exhaust every avenue.

· On average, including tuition, books, fees and board – Public/year $25,000 - 30,000 (in Colorado); Private/year $46,900

· Must complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid form - FAFSA Form

· University Grants

· Merit based scholarships

· BE FEARLESS for Finding Funding- advocate for yourself in looking for scholarships at the school you will attend and outside scholarships as well.

· You want to find your rate of return on investment – look at the cost of the school and what where it will get you when you graduate. For example, Colorado School of Mines costs approximately $30,000/year and the average salary for Mines graduates is $70,000.

· Your Junior Year is the most important because many schools do an initial evaluation based off of your status and GPA compiled through your Junior Year.

· Finish strong-don’t slack off your Senior year-some schools can rescind offers if they see a big drop in GPA from Junior to Senior year.

STUDENTS – You must challenge yourself academically! D’Evelyn provides you a wonderful foundation to be successful in college and to reach your goals. Meet with your counselors so they can help support you with the college process. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming – it can actually be fun!