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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.

G

Geography

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? 

R

Rigor

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?

A

ACtivities

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?

Natural

N

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?

D

Dollar

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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