How do I figure out which  schools to apply to? How do I decide  if a school is the right fit for me?

McDaniel Was My Dress - Jade, McDaniel Student, Dunbar '16
00:00 / 00:00


Academic Profile — Research the GPA and average SAT/ACT scores for incoming first-year students to see if your academic achievements fit the general profile of admitted students.

Type of College — Do you want attend a two-year college or a four-year college? Do you want to attend a private school or a public state school? To learn more about the types of colleges that exist, check out Big Future’s guide.

Majors — What interests do you want to pursue? Have you started thinking about your career goal and path? Every school offers a different variety of majors. Do the school's academic programs match your interests?

Class Size – Do you learn better in a small classroom setting or a big lecture hall. Some schools can have class sizes as small as just 10 students per class, while others may have hundreds of student in a class. Figure out what style would work best for you.

Academic Fit

Financial Fit

Will you have the resources to attend this school? Does the school offer need- and/or merit-based aid? If the school is in the state of Maryland, does it offer in-state tuition rates? Are there special programs for students from Baltimore City? The sticker price of a college is usually different than what you will actually end up paying.

Social Fit

Location — Do you want to be close to home? Do you want to live somewhere new? Do you want to live on a rural, suburban, or urban campus? When making this decision, consider factors like the availability of public transportation, the need for a private vehicle, and the cost of travel — whether it’s airfare, train, or bus fare.

Campus Life — Do you want a college with great sports teams and lots of spirit, one that prides itself on an intellectual atmosphere, a small liberal arts school, or a large student body and campus? Do you want to be around lots of different kinds of people or people with similar experiences and interests?