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While high school students across the nation are submitting their college applications, the work here at CollegeFit is just getting started. On November 5th, we had our last mentor training of the semester, bringing the total number of trained mentors to a whopping twenty-six people. The mentors are absolutely wonderful and we’ve been getting some great feedback on their mentoring sessions. 

President Tara Nored trains a new cohort of mentors. After being trained, mentors will be paired with high-school students and begin working through the college application process.

CollegeFit also had their first Committee Preview Night on November 4th, where interested mentors heard about different committees through their respective board members. The committees to date are the Engagement Committee led by Management Chair Bailey Montgomery, the Outreach Committee led by Community Outreach Chair Tran Nguyen-Phuong, and the PR Committee led by Public Relations Chair Laura Tucker. Engagement focuses on voicing CollegeFit to the Tulane community, Outreach forms partnerships with local schools and other organizations, and PR manages all social media initiatives. 

During Committee Night, Mentors joined committees focused on Outreach, Engagement, or Public Relations

We are looking forward to getting input from mentors, as one of our primary goals is creating accountable avenues for mentors to share their voices with the board. One exciting event coming up is the Mentor Dinner, which will give mentors a chance to meet each other and bond as a group. Increasing campus presence is another goal of ours, and we’ve been making some great strides by speaking at Equity Thursdays, College Coffee, and TIDES classes.

We’re looking forward to expanding our outreach capabilities in New Orleans. We have partnered with ECCO, another non-profit dedicated to providing educational resources to hispanic students. Moving forward, we are hoping to partner with some local New Orleans high schools to do in-class presentations and provide promotional material to guidance counselors. 

CollegeFit partnered with ECCO to provide educational resources to hispanic youth at a local conference!

Some exciting ideas that are currently in the works include a CollegeFit podcast where high school students could hear from current undergraduates and receive college application tips. We are also working on a promotional video for CollegeFit to increase our online outreach.

CollegeFit is officially a 501(c)3 NonProfit Organization and any donations made to CollegeFit are now tax-deductible. CollegeFit was also officially recognized by Tulane University as a campus organization and we have achieved provisional status with Tulane Undergraduate Student Government. We are on track towards achieving active status in coming months. You can read about CollegeFit in an article published by the Tulane Hullabaloo, find us online at yourcollegefit.org, and keep up-to-date with everything happening at CollegeFit on our instagram @yourcollegefit. Thanks for reading our mid-year updates! Stay tuned for more. 

Helping students find the right fit is what CollegeFit is all about! Therefore, we've released five Fit Tips to remember during your college search:

1- Consider all your options. Participating in a gap year program, going to trade school, applying to a specialized school for art or music are ALL great options. Don’t feel pressured to have a direction and plan for your entire life. It’s hard to know what you want to do at 18. So, keep your options open, and go easy on yourself. You are never stuck. Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming post on gap year programs.

2- Think about what makes you happy. It sounds silly, but often we get so caught up in rankings and prestige that we don’t think about finding the best possible fit. Do you value downtime and look forward to watching Netflix at the end of a long day? Consider looking at schools that offer apartment-style living, with your own room. Or, think about which schools emphasize autonomy. Do you like to get highly involved in your community? Consider a small school where involvement is encouraged! Overall, think about what brings you joy, and apply those things to your college search.

Finding a school that makes you happy is more important than finding a school with a high ranking

3- Talk to real students rather than watching YouTube. When researching schools, try to talk to actual students there, rather than scouring YouTube or College Confidential. You’ll want to have an authentic depiction of the school you’ll end up at, so ask tough questions when you’re on a tour, in an interview, or chatting with a current student.

4- Be authentic in the application. This is probably the most important tip, because colleges want to admit students who will be happy there. So, for your own sake, be yourself! Sometimes, it can be tempting to over-edit an essay. Don’t. Over-editing takes “you” out of your essay. Let a parent or friend read it, ask them if it sounds like you, check for grammar mistakes, then let it be. Don’t use big words you don’t normally use. Don’t exaggerate. Just tell a true story about yourself, and you will end up in the right place.

When writing your college applications, be authentic! Nothing is more important when it comes to finding a school that is the best fit. Don't think about "what it takes" to get in. Just be you.

5- Try not to stress. Go with your gut. There’s not a right or a wrong choice, and nothing is ever truly set in stone. The college admissions scandal broke out because people are way too obsessed about name brand schools. College does not define you. We want to help you find the right fit. After all, we believe in finding the best fit rather than striving for the best figures.

Do’s and Don’ts of College Applications

How to have a healthy mindset when applying

Do: Focus on Fit rather than figures

“Fit over figures” is CollegeFit’s motto for a reason. We want to help students get admitted to college, but beyond that, we want students to be happy with their choice. The admissions process is more competitive than ever, and because the pressure is so high, students tend to believe the most selective schools will be the best choice, thinking more about getting in than what life will be like once you get there. And who could blame them? Admissions is a business, and the market is built upon comparison: endless cycles of standardized tests, YouTube videos titled ‘a day in the life at Harvard,’ and skyrocketed tuition. We reject this pressure-cooker culture, and instead recommend that students look for the best fit by asking questions like…

-How far away from home am I willing to go? Do I spend a lot of time with my family now, and how much will I miss them when I go to college?

-Do I typically like to be a “small fish in a big pond” or a “big fish in a small pond”?

-Do I like small college towns or major cities?

-Etc… we provide evaluative questions like these in our initial assessment.

Don’t: Binge “Day in the Life” at college videos on YouTube

Although it may be tempting, watching other people in college won’t help you decide on a school. Everyone is different, so one person’s day at college might be very different from yours. Plus, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and other forms of social media come closer to reflecting a “dream version” of life rather than a reality.

Do: Ask questions!

Going to college is one of the biggest transitions of young adulthood, so it’s natural to feel apprehensive. Rather than binge watching college YouTube channels, we recommend sitting down face-to-face with people and asking them about their college experience. Not sure who to ask? Anyone who has applied to college! And get different perspectives; It helps form a well-rounded viewpoint.

Don’t: Try to create a false image of yourself

Your college application is not the same as a social media page. You want to highlight adversity, challenges, likes, dislikes and hard work as much as the highlights of your life. More than anything else, be genuine. Don’t over-edit. We provide more tips on how to be genuine in our mentorship program.

Do: Keep a healthy mindset

While college is a big deal, it is also only four years of life. It is not the end-all be-all, and it certainly doesn’t define you. Think of yourself as choosing between candy bars, rather than choosing a “right” or “wrong” path of life. You have many good options, probably more than you know!