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May 12, 2020

Finding the 'Right' College

Finding the Right College


It's more than location, size, faculty:student ratios…

The right college is the one that provides you academic challenges, safety, acceptance, practical comforts, and social engagement. 


Academic Challenge 


The degree earned should challenge current thinking, philosophical boundaries, question emotional convictions, test abilities to retain and recall information, and build skills for the lifelong learner. The accredited degree should also provide you with credibility, a foundation of pride and a resource for the future.




Campus must provide a sense of safety and security. As a hierarchical need, feeling safe contributes to personal success. Know more about campus safety, visit the Clery Act for data.


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A first-year student who feels they are accepted, regardless of any perceived quirks, etc., will feel empowered to succeed. Seeing one’s resemblance reflected on campus paves the way for a student’s sense of ownership, agency and self-advocacy.


Practical Comforts 


Creature comforts are important. They should not be a leading factor in school choice. Most campuses are stretched for funding and leave dorm renovations until last. Nice showers don't equate to the value of an education. On campus health centers, mental health care, medication supervision, peer centers, public transit, consortiums, library study conveniences, these will hold value.


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Social engagement

Social engagement is the umbrella under which student events, leadership, community activism, research, internships and the alike fall. After graduation,  job seekers find that their college internship was valued more than their major. The college you choose should continuously invite and entice you to participate, engage, compete, and share.


Plan B


Expect the best, plan for the worst. A deadline is a deadline. Do-overs are allowed but only the following year. Applying to Reach and Possible schools based on admissions predictions is fair. However, reality can be unpredictable. Even the most strategic plans can be nullified. Campus Fit also applies to fitting in with life’s unexpected circumstances.


Photograph of Margaret Rothe
Margaret Rothe

Margaret Rothe is the visionary Founder and CEO of CounselMore College Counseling software, built on a backbone of crucial data and shared counselor information.  CounselMore is a true network of counselors moving students toward success. Check out CounselMore and follow them at @CounselMore.

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