When it comes to choosing a college, your children may be wondering how to choose one that’s right for them. Narrowing down from the hundreds of options can be a challenge, especially when you consider not all institutions offer the same benefits for your child’s needs.
You may be wondering - what does “best fit university” even mean, and how can you help your child choose the right school for them?
Below, we have outlined what constitutes a best fit university for your child as well as how finding their best fit will help your child find lifelong success.
What Does “Best Fit University” Mean?
“Best fit” is hard to define, as it means something a little bit different for each student,” said Concordia Shanghai High School Counselor Patrick Love.
Typically, the definition consists of three components:
- Academic: Does the student genuinely appreciate the learning opportunities available and will they thrive as a learner in that environment?
- Cultural: Will the student feel like they have found their “people” or their “tribe”? Will they feel at home and appreciated in the community?
- Financial: Is attending the school fiscally realistic?
A best fit university is one that meets all (or most) of your child’s specific needs for success. Love points out that some students may be drawn to one school over another because it's one that their friend has chosen to attend. Some students may choose an Ivy League school based on brand recognition, but neglect to look into if the school offers the programs they are interested in, or if like-minded people are present to form a community.
This is why Concordia Shanghai provides support to our secondary students by helping identify their needs and providing direction on how to choose a college that’s right for them.
“We assess their lists and have frank conversations with them in 11th and 12th grade,” said Love. “We send videos and resources to our students and parents that include information on red flags that might indicate that a student is applying to the wrong schools.”
Why Is Finding the Best Fit So Important?
According to a study titled “A ‘Fit’ Over Rankings: Why College Engagement Matters More Than Selectivity”, researchers found that students who chose a college based on global rankings did not see higher academic performance, and that a better academic performance indicator was how engaged a student was within campus life.
“Students who are unable to enroll in a program that is a good fit for them may underperform academically. They might go to college not believing that they are going to be successful,” said Love. They might be stuck in a specific program like business or engineering that they don’t like. They might want to transfer from the school as they don’t like something about the general student body”.
Concordia Shanghai believes in supporting students to find the college or university that best matches their abilities, interests and ambitions. Their college counseling program will guide your family in identifying your child’s academic, cultural, and financial needs before choosing a college where they will find the most success.