The Importance Of College Fit Over Brand-Names 

Colleges with brand-names may not be the right fit for you. Don't pick a college just based on its prestige.

Flickr user Mirko Montanari

Everybody dreams of studying at an Ivy League or top-ranked college. While there is undeniably a certain prestige associated with attending these highly-ranked colleges with brand-names, it may not necessarily be the right decision for you. When choosing a college to attend, it is more important to choose a college that is the right fit for you over a college that is a prestigious brand name but the wrong fit.

Here are two of the most compelling reasons why good fit is such a crucial criteria:

A Good Fit Will Result In A Better Outcome than Just Picking Brand-Names

Every college has its own unique characteristics that make it a better fit for certain types of students. Those same characteristics may make it the wrong choice for other students.

Academic Fit

Let’s talk about the academic fit to start with. A college that is reputed for its academic rigor may be a great fit for highly competitive students who have what it takes to excel in their chosen program. However, a student who is not as competitive may find the environment very stressful and is more likely to feel like a failure when compared to their peers. The odds of dropping out are very high in situations such as this.

On the other hand, a college that does not offer you an environment that is challenging enough for you is likely to leave you feeling bored and unmotivated, again resulting in less than stellar results.

Financial Fit

Academics aside, the college should also be a good fit financially. Attending an expensive college just because you meet the academic requirements could also be a bad financial decision. Think of the debt you will be burdened with for several years after you graduate. You can avoid this unnecessarily stressful situation by choosing a more affordable college and in keeping with your budget.

Location Fit

Location is another factor that makes a college a good or a bad fit. Choosing a school that allows you easier access to the facilities that you enjoy, whether it is outdoor opportunities or the city cafés is far better than choosing a brand-name institution that does not allow you to indulge in your favorite activities.

When you attend a college that is a good fit for you academically, financially, and culturally, you are more likely to thrive in that environment resulting in better performance, less stress, and an overall better experience.

You Have A Better Chance Of Getting Accepted In A College That Is The Right Fit

It may not be something you think about when making your shortlist of colleges, but the fact is colleges consider the fit of applicants too. All colleges strive to create a well-rounded cohort of students and give preference to applicants who are a better fit for their college in terms of academics, campus, and extracurricular activities.

When creating your college shortlist, you must be absolutely objective as to whether that school is on your list because it is a brand name or whether it is on your list because it is a good fit.

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