When searching for a right-fit college, most students focus on the basic qualities that a college has to offer, such as whether or not the school has their major, whether there are extracurricular activities that interest them, whether they feel safe on the campus, and whether or not they can actually afford to attend the school. While those are relevant questions, students all too often approach the college search process without having first considered their own intrinsic values. Students that have explored their individual preferences in advance may have noticed that they are interested in a more customized college experience. Luckily, the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) often encompass a variety of unique features that enable students to experience college on their own terms.

CTCL schools pride themselves on being able to provide a student-focused atmosphere conducive to student growth and achievement. Many of these schools hold true to this by placing a great deal of emphasis on undergraduate students. Also, professors are active in a number of academic activities, including mentorships and research programs, allowing students to strengthen their knowledge outside of class. These schools also provide a flexible learning approach, often offering a distinctive choice of majors and minors, and sometimes the ability to design your own major. Abstract thinkers could definitely benefit from attending one of these schools, as many of the curriculums allow students to take on concepts from a vast variety of perspectives, including philosophy, psychology, art and even law. The idea is to provide students with a well-rounded education, which is one of the key characteristics of CTCL schools and many other liberal arts colleges.

Another noteworthy attribute of CTCL schools is the close-knit communities they tend to foster. Since these schools generally have a small student population, students may be more likely to live on campus, become involved in extracurricular activities, and develop long-lasting relationships. Students may also benefit from the small population while in the classroom. With fewer students to attend to during class, professors can give each student more personalized attention. Students that experience anxiety due to population size may find that a CTCL would be a great place to call home for the next four years.

There are multiple perks involved in attending any one of the 44 Colleges That Change Lives, but it’s up to the student to figure out which ones would benefit them the most. The process of coming to that conclusion can take careful deliberation and even a bit of soul-searching. You may be wondering, “What does my soul have to do with looking for the right college?” Well, the answer is that it has everything to do with it! Looking for a college should be much more than a checklist of “yes and no” questions. Find a college that speaks to who you are as a person. A CTCL college may be just the place to bring out the “inner you.” If you would like to discuss a CTCL school or how to research colleges further, give your CAA coaches a call!