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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.