How to Choose the Right College Using S.A.F.E

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

Navigating the college selection process isn’t easy. That's why we created the S.A.F.E framework, which helps teens and parents understand how to evaluate colleges in each key area. We break down what to consider for each factor: social, academic, financial and employment in order to zero in on the right college fit. The intent is to help students find the right fit the first time, avoiding costly transfers and major changes—not to mention unnecessary debt. Figuring out how to choose the right college can feel overwhelming or impossible. However, the process is easier if you have timely, relevant information at your fingertips. With HelloCollege’s college placement consulting services and the S.A.F.E. framework, you can be confident you’re on the path to finding the right college fit.

Choose the Right College

How to Use the S.A.F.E College Fit Methodology
Social Fit

Ensuring the school matches up with the student’s unique personality will mean they stay for the long run and enjoy their time at the school. There are many schools to choose from—over 5,000, in fact. Find a college where you will fit in.

Academic Fit

Basically, academics and admissions break down into two categories: factors you can choose and factors the school requires. You want to match your academic interests with a college, but ultimately you must be able to get in.

Financial Fit

College costs can be confusing and intimidating, but if you know how to navigate them, you’ll be able to take control. The sticker price is rarely what you will actually pay to attend a college. Outside scholarships are a key method to reduce your costs.

Employment Fit

College is all about your future. Your college choice greatly affects your career and earning potential. You need to consider specific goals and aspirations, such as the lifestyle your desire.

HelloCollege Founder, Kevin Krebs' Says...

"Many students’ college lists are based on what their friends are talking about, their parents’ alma mater, or high-profile college sports on ESPN. That may be a fine way to begin the conversation about college, but ultimately, families need to approach college planning more strategically."

How Do I Find the Right College for Me?

College exploration involves research, both online and in-person. Take your time evaluating each of the four key areas in S.A.F.E. We've created a simple College Research Guidebook to help you evaluate college options. HelloCollege’s personalized, comprehensive college placement consulting services make choosing the right college simpler. There is no question that finding the right college takes work. However, when you put in the time and effort to carefully evaluate the options based on your specific circumstances and goals, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions for the future.

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Terri Houston or “Mrs. H” as her students call her is a mentor and guide at HelloCollege.  For more than 13 years, Terri has served in admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Iowa State and Robert Morris University. Terri enjoys helping families through the complicated college planning process. 

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