What Does “The Right Fit” Mean?

The Right Fit

In our last post the final statement we wrote was…”In the end, IECs work for the student and family to make sure that the process is seamless and that the right FIT occurs.” Well, what does that mean, “The Right Fit”?

Finding the right college and checking to see if it “fits” right is a lot like clothes shopping: the clothes might look great when you are looking at them through the window, but when you go in to try something on, it doesn’t quite fit. Sometimes, that piece of clothing just looks better on the hanger than it does on you. Making sure that the school you attend provides you with sound academic and social opportunities is imperative. In regards to these two areas, factors such as the availability of majors, internships, study abroad programs, and research opportunities may affect your academic satisfaction. In addition, there are other areas that might be of concern to you as well, such as: athletics, size of campus and class sizes, distance from home, Greek life, urban versus rural setting, etc. Granted that there is no such thing as the “perfect” fit, but it doesn’t hurt to see if you can get close. It’s better to find those imperfections now rather than $15,000-$60,000 later.

There are way too many stories out there where kids have gone off to college (whether it be in state or out) and are immediately wanting to go back home because of their discontent with the school. A lot of students come back saying, “I didn’t know that the school didn’t offer the program that I wanted,” or some even come back saying, “The campus just felt too big and impersonal. I didn’t like that I only saw my professor in lecture in a group of three hundred.” Some of these realizations could have been avoided if a little bit of research had been done.

Here are some things to think about when looking at colleges and figuring out if the school is the “right fit” or not. (This was taken from Judith Christie, a college planning consultant from Oregon.)

First, before you start your college search have a heart to heart talk with yourself along the following lines:
1. Think of why you want to go to college in the first place.
2. Think about what you expect from your college experience, socially and academically.
3. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Now is the time for honesty – not the way you wish you were, but how you really are.
4. Think about what interests you and what you enjoy. Not what will make you a lot of money or what your parents want, but what gives you satisfaction.
5. Give some thought to what you don’t know and want to learn.

Second, look at the different colleges in a realistic way:
1. Arrange your priorities in a list of importance. What has to be right about the school and what can you, in your own mind, negotiate.
2. Keep focused on what is important to and for you.
3. Remember what is great about a school for one student may not be the same for another.
4. Look at colleges that meet your most important priorities and ones that offer the best chance that these priorities will be met – most of the time.
5. Look at the overall quality of the college or university. Don’t look at a college through a telescope but rather through binoculars.
6. If you are an athlete be sure that the college fits your needs beyond your sport.

Third, have a range of schools to pick from:
1. You may have a “first choice” because to you it is the “right fit”, but the truth is that there can be, and should be more than one “first choice”.
2. Your final list should contain colleges – be they reach schools, probable admits or safety schools in which you would be happy academically and socially.
3. The proof that there is not just one school for you is that statistics show that for most students the school they end up attending usually turns out to provide them with a very happy and successful college experience.

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5 Things You Might Know About Baylor University…and 5 Things You Might Not!

College Visits are a great way to check out a college for yourself, and see how you feel on the campus. Summer visits don’t give you the usual hustle and bustle feel, but there will usually be some students there, and a quiet, subdued visit is better than no visit at all!

If you are a sophomore or junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  Seniors might choose to make a visit before they send off their applications, or wait until they have been accepted instead.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas. The pictures are from our visit there in June of 2015.

5 Things You Might Know:

• A 1,000 acre campus steeped in traditions that go back to 1909.

• NCAA Division 1, Bears, and part of the Big 12 Conference that offers 19 sports.

• Enrollment for 2015-2016 was approximately 16,787 students (undergrad and graduate).

• Cost to attend (2016-2017)  is $59,252 a year.

• The student to faculty ratio is 14:1, with an average class size of 27, though the largest class size is around 150.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Baylor:

• The Moody Memorial Library has a stoplight system inside for noise (with zones like Red=No talking allowed.) The largest collegiate Starbucks in the nation can be found inside.

• Students can choose to live in traditional halls or apartments, or can choose to be a part of the Living-Learning Programs (LLPs) that are organized by academic disciplines or programs. (Some choices are Entrepreneurship, Fine Arts, Outdoor Adventure, or Global Community.)

• Baylor University was founded in Independence, TX in 1845, but moved to the current location in Waco in 1886.

•Each student is required to complete two semesters of Chapel, along with two religion courses.

• The Bear was established as the mascot in 1914, and you will hear students call out “Sic ’em!” as you walk around campus. Your tour guide will probably teach you the proper way to act this out too!

Baylor University is highly ranked for both the school and many of its departments. If you ever find yourself in Texas, make sure to check it out!

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What a great spot to study!

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Baylor claims this 53′ rock wall tops TCU’s.

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So many beautiful brick buildings on this campus.

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5 Things You Might Know About Claremont McKenna College….and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Claremont McKenna College (CMC).

5 Things You Might Know:

• Claremont McKenna College, one of the 5 Claremont Colleges, is a private Liberal Studies college of approximately 1,300 students.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $60,000 a year, but CMC meets 100% of demonstrated financial need.  [Check out the FAFSA 4caster at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and to determine your own financial need.]

• A Division 3 school with 21 sports (combined with Harvey Mudd and Scripps College and known as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps CMS)

• About 95% of the students live on campus.

• CMC shares a Health Center, Library, and Campus Safety System with the 4 other Claremont colleges, the 2 Claremont Graduate Universities, and the Claremont University Consortium.

5 Things You Might Not Know:

•The Kravis Center holds 5 research institutes- providing hands-on work experience to students.

• If you were to poll the students, you would probably find that CMC is the most politically balanced of the colleges. (Pitzer is probably the most Liberal.)

•The Athenaeum frequently hosts guest speakers during lunch and dinner time.  Parents are even welcome to attend if there is space available.

• The residential halls have lounge areas and laundry rooms; rooms are cleaned every 2 weeks.

• There are 7 dining halls amongst the Claremont Colleges; your meal plan allows you to eat at any school!

Claremont McKenna college has a very small-college feel, with big-college amenities and opportunities.

Inside the Athenaeum.

CMS (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) Athletics.

“Ponding” (getting thrown into a pond) is a tradition at CMC that goes way back! Once used to celebrate engagements, it’s now used for birthdays.

One of the biggest, grassy quads that we have seen!

This is the view you are met with to start your tour! The cube in the picture is a study center, open 24 hours.

5 Things You Might Know About Azusa Pacific University…and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Azusa Pacific University (APU).   IMG_1840

5 Things You Might Know:

• APU is a small, private Christian college divided into a West and East  campus in Azusa, CA. The average class size is 19 students.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $40,000 a year.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 was around 5,500 undergrad students and approximately 10,000 total students.

• Will be in its 3rd year of transitioning to NCAA Div.2, with full membership anticipated for 2014-2015. (7 men’s sports and 10 women’s.)

• The second largest Christian University in the U.S., 1st largest on the West Coast.

5 Things You Might Not Know About APU:

•Approximately 2,300 students have an on-campus job, working 10-15 hours a week, around their class schedule.

• A trolley runs every 7 minutes, taking you back and forth between the East Campus and the West.

•Chapel is required 3x a week, along with 18 units of Biblical Studies.

• When you arrive at APU you will be given a Strengths Assessment that will help you in choosing a major (or help in confirming your choice- based on your results.)

• There is a greenhouse on the roof of the Segerstrom Science building.  A BBQ is held monthly on the patio for the Science professors and students.

Azusa Pacific focuses on its 4 cornerstones of Christ, Scholarship, Service, and Community.  It offers many opportunities to develop oneself in these ways.  APU also is very clear on its beliefs: make sure to do your research at http://www.apu.edu/about/believe/ to decide if APU might be the right fit for you!

Walking through the Felix Event Center

A classroom at APU.

Turtles can be found in the courtyard of the Segerstrom Science Center.

One of the 4 dorms on campus.

This is an inside, hangout area in one of the dorms.

An example of a dorm room on campus.

A sneak peek of a class in session!

The Rose Garden is located in the only original building remaining on campus.