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Your college search is about more than finding your top choice; it’s about exploring the many options available. There are over 4,000 four-year colleges in the U.S., and some may not be right for you—but maybe they’re suitable for your dream college. That’s why knowing what you want from a college experience is important. If you don’t know where to start or how to get in touch with schools that might fit your needs, read on for tips demonstrating that you are a “good fit” for your dream college.

Be honest about your goals and interests.

Communication is critical when trying to find a college that’s a good fit for you. The more you tell schools about your interests and goals, the more they’ll know about you, and the better they’ll be able to help you. Be prepared to share details about your interests so you can skip the vague and unexpected questions in many admissions interviews. Even though it’s awkward, you don’t want to be caught off guard or miss an opportunity to show a school or admissions office why you should be accepted. You can also do some research to see what other students, both current and past, have been excited or disappointed about. If you see that many students have applied to a particular school that you’d like to be a part of, that can be an excellent way to show you’re interested in the same types of things.

Show you’ve researched the school you’re applying to

College is a big investment, and you want to make sure that you’re applying to schools you’re excited about. You can do this by showing you’ve done some research about the school you’re applying to. Start early and spend time doing research on the school, the professors, and the classes. An excellent way to do this is to use a website like Rate, My Professors to find out what students have said about professors, the curriculum, and the general feel of the school.

Be flexible with your schedule.

When looking into schools and deciding which ones to apply to, don’t be too specific about your schedule or preferences. You might prefer an intro to bio program over an engineering one or a more relaxed plan over a busy one. Don’t worry about being too specific—you can apply to schools that meet various criteria and still have flexibility with your preferences.

Demonstrate that you are a committed and active learner.

One of the biggest things you can do to show you’re a “good fit” for your dream college is to demonstrate that you are a committed and active learner. There’s no reason to be shy about being a student and taking classes. If you want to be a music major, go ahead and take music classes, even if you don’t think you’re good at it. If you want to take the math class you’ve been avoiding, go ahead. You can be a self-directed learner and still demonstrate your passion for college.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When it comes to your college search, there is no wrong way to approach the process. Even though you can’t be too specific or ask for preferences regarding a particular college or program, you can still show that you’re interested in gaining more information. Ask questions, and ask for details when you need them. Colleges are more likely to be generous when you ask for what you need, and don’t be afraid to ask for a tour of the campus or admission to an on-campus event.


You are ready for college. The first step is to connect with the right schools. Once you have identified the schools that best fit your interests and goals, it is important to demonstrate that you are a “good fit” for your dream college. Do not be afraid, to be honest about your goals and interests, show that you’ve researched the school you’re applying to, be flexible with your schedule, and demonstrate that you are a committed and active learner. This will help you find the right colleges and show admissions officers why you should be accepted. If you still have trouble finding the right fit for your college search, contact a college consultant or find a college counselor. They can help you navigate the process and find the right fit.


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