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Choosing the Right Fit for College: Top 3 Factors to Consider 

by Ivette Chavez and Dr. Kristina Wright

Making Waves Foundation » Resources » Choosing the Right Fit for College: Top 3 Factors to Consider 

Congratulations, you’ve been admitted to a college or university!

The California State University recently published an article listing 10 benefits of earning a college degree – including college graduates earning more money, experiencing less unemployment, and volunteering more.  

Higher education can be a game-changer for your and your family’s future. College acceptances can also bring up a lot of questions and decision points. As you celebrate this momentous achievement, you might be thinking: “how do I go about making a decision?”  

In this resource article, the Making Waves College and Alumni Program team shares the top three factors to consider when choosing the right fit for college. 

Academic Fit 

The academic rigor and the academic resources of a college or university should be a priority consideration in your decision-making process. 

To find the right academic fit, you want to be sure that the college or university offers the following: 

Social and Emotional Fit 

The right social and emotional fit is important for your wellbeing in college since being on a college campus will bring different social and emotional experiences than you’ve experienced in high school. 

To consider the right social and emotional fit, consider the following offerings colleges or universities might provide: 

Financial Fit 

Financial fit and affordability are key to making a college decision and ultimately graduating with as little debt as possible.  

Make sure to review your financial aid award letters carefully, including the following steps: 

In addition, be sure to stay organized, especially if you’ve been accepted to multiple colleges or universities.

The arrival of financial aid award letters varies by institution, and it is highly likely that there will be different portals for accepted students – so set up a system for keeping track of acceptance and award letters, special dates, and portal logins. If you need to provide further verification for your Free Application for Federal Student Assistance, or FAFSA, start that process early to ensure there aren’t delays. 

Next Steps 

While there are many resources and many people – including the College and Alumni Program team at Making Waves, your family, friends, counselors, and teachers – to help you in making a choice about college, the decision is up to you.

Once you make a decision, you will complete your State of Intent to Register (SIR), submit an enrollment deposit, register for orientation, and submit a housing application as applicable. 

Congratulations on this next step of your educational journey! 

Dr. Kristina Wright

Director of Learning and Design
ABOUT MAKING WAVES FOUNDATION 

With a unique focus on college attendance and graduation, Making Waves Foundation supports historically underrepresented and underserved students in pursuing their dreams. Making Waves Academy is a public charter school in Richmond, California, educating more than 1,100 students and Making Waves Foundation’s college success program, known as CAP, provides coaching, scholarships, financial literacy, and career support for more than 500 college students as well as a network for more than 500 Wave-Maker alumni.