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What is a GRAND Fit?

When working with students on the college search process, I focus on fit. This means that each student’s unique characteristics and values drive our conversations and will lead us to a school in which the student will love and feel at home. As an independent educational consultant, I have the time to explore colleges around the country to learn about the types of students they best serve. Some of the schools I discuss with your student may be ones you’ve never heard of, or in a part of the country, you may never have considered. When people discuss fit, they often consider Academic, Social, and Financial fit. I take factors a step further using the GRAND fit Method.



To me, geography goes beyond the location and weather. While the distance from home, size, and setting (urban, suburban, and rural) are all important characteristics, I also have students think about the campus culture they want to call home.

  • Is the student body conservative or liberal?

  • Are religion classes/services required?

  • What percentage of the student body is first-generation?

  • Are there people like me on campus? 



Rigor not only looks at the difficulty of admissions but also the academic environment once a student is at the school. Getting in matters, but standing out is even more important.

  • Will your student have mostly lecture or discussion-based courses?

  • What percentage of courses are taught by a professor vs T.A.?

  • What opportunities (research, learning communities, accommodations, etc) will be available to your student?

  • What does your student's major look like at this school?



Most likely you have been involved in some sort of extracurricular activity throughout high school, so it is important to think about how you can be involved in college. 

  • Where can your student study abroad with their major?

  • What internships/co-ops are available and what are the placement rates like?

  • What percentage of students participate in Greek life?

  • Is your student able to continue your sport at this college?



I understand that visiting a school may not be possible, but I do encourage my families to visit before they put down a deposit. This will be your student’s home for (hopefully) four years. When families visit, I encourage them to go beyond the campus tour and talk with various students and faculty. 

  • What are three words that describe the typical student?

  • Are freshmen guaranteed housing?

  • What safety features are in place on-campus?

  • What topics is the student newspaper covering this week?



It's important for you to have the money talk with your student, early and often. It is also important for you to identify the value of a particular college.

  • What is the net price of this college?

  • What is the 4-year graduation rate?

  • What resources does the career center provide students?

  • What percentage of students receive merit awards, and what is the average amount?

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