How did I know that a school was right for me? For starters, it was all about money. I listed colleges and universities that I thought might enroll me along with cost of tuition, room and board-the whole package. I did the same for a whole list of similar colleges. I am Catholic, so I thought a Catholic college would be welcoming. Then I drew a circle around the colleges or state universities with the program I wanted for myself and drew a circle around them. I did not consider distance because I was quite capable of supporting myself with the GI bill and vacation work. Then, I applied to those with the highest number of circles around my possible choices.
Catholic colleges were too expensive as were all other colleges with the exception of some state universities for in-state students. I could have moved to the state of my choice and worked to establish residency and then enrolled. But I did not want to wait because I was not getting younger, so I chose the University of Maine, my home State.
How does anyone know that a school is right? If they award you not a token but a worth your while scholarship, something more than half the cost of attending, it might be worth considering if you have the balance and it won’t be held against you for having it. Believe it or not, some scholarship money is awarded that way. It is given on the one hand and taken away at the other end because you already won a scholarship. You get a $1000.00 from Kiwanis and your college, which has awarded you $1000.00, takes it away because of what you won. My contention is that a school may be the right school if the school is fair in awarding scholarship money. I never earned scholarship money in high school.
The right fit for me is mostly all academics. If I were to succeed in school the way I planned by working hard and tending to my studies, then I would consider other colleges for graduate school.
Other than academics, people are people and there is no problem with my fitting in anywhere. I planned to be on campus for the time it takes me to graduate, no longer, so fit was not all that of a problem. As my mom always said, He can take care of himself.
There are, apart from their academic qualifications or lack thereof, three types of students going to college: Those who will graduate debt free: Those who will graduate owing a lot of money to somebody: And those who will graduate as a new class of citizens, the new indentured servants with more debt on their backs than they can ever afford to pay back. That’s why I will use my credit card, but I will charge no more than what I can afford to pay when the charges come in due.