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Choose to fit in and be comfortable

If you have read any of my other posts about college selection and admissions, you may not need to read today's issue. You always consider yourself to be the consumer when selecting a college/university. You are not praying and crossing your fingers to get in, rather you should apply to an appropriate distribution of schools so that those most interested are vigorously vying for you as a member of their student body. You have already determined that the schools to which you applied:

  • Are in desirable locations and adequately close to versus far from home.
  • Offer that which you wish to study
  • Offer alternative majors of interest in case you change your mind about your primary major.
  • Offer an interesting complement of courses, research opportunities, internships, performance venues, etc, to fully round out your educational experience.
  • Provide classroom settings and faculty:student ratios that are acceptable.
  • Have adequate resources for tutoring or other assistance that is documented to be available to meet your needs.
  • Have graduation rates and post-graduation job and graduate school placement statistics that are satisfactory to you.
  • Participate in collegiate sports of the types and levels (NCAA I-III, NAIA, other) to meet your interests and skills level
  • Are of sizes and in geographic locations are appealing to you.
  • Offer financial packages with which you are satisfied.

I am not advocating a particular set of values by this article. The article simply points to the fact that colleges and universities are quite diverse socially as well as academically. They may be diverse regarding such factors as spiritual/religious orientation versus secular values, the presence of personable coaching staff with whom you are comfortable, being unisex serving, very conservative social habits, very liberal social habits, regional culture orientation, regional student preferred, ethnocentric, reflective of narrow versus wide family socioeconomic status spectrum (students relatively less well to do versus wealthy), social activity proclivities, dietary option idiosyncrasies (e.g., vegetarian only), nationalistic versus highly internationally diverse and so on. A mismatch is much less likely to occur for someone who is likely to be paying the majority of the bill. However, for you who are culling through scholarship offers, try to make sure that you are going to fit socially so as to be comfortable at the school that you finally select.

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