Finding Your Fit: The THS Approach to Navigating the University Search Process

  • 2024
  • High School
Patrick DeFazio, High School College and Career Counsellor

What sets apart a good university experience from a great one? If you were to ask most people about the best universities, you'd likely receive familiar answers: Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and MIT. Similarly, if you were to inquire about the top car brands, Bugatti, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Bentley would probably be mentioned. However, just as performance and prestige aren't the sole factors to consider when choosing a car, they aren't the only criteria for selecting the right university. While I may dream of driving a Ferrari, the reality of using one for daily transportation would prove impractical for various reasons. The same applies to selecting a university—although places like MIT, Oxford, and Harvard may be considered "the best" on paper, they aren't necessarily the right fit for every student.

Choosing the right university is a pivotal decision in a student's academic journey. The university a student chooses can profoundly impact their educational experience, personal growth, and future career prospects. It is crucial to find the perfect university "fit" that aligns with a student's sense of purpose, autonomy, and community to ensure a rewarding and successful college experience. 

At THS, our focus is on helping each student find the ideal fit for their individual needs. By empowering students to make informed choices based on their developing sense of self and personal values, they will be better equipped to determine which university is most appropriate for them. Taking the time to thoroughly research universities and reflect on personal priorities can make all the difference in setting our students up for four years of intellectual challenge, personal development, and future success.

Our college counseling program recognizes that every student is a unique individual and requires an appropriate environment to unlock their full potential. We firmly believe that when a student finds a school that aligns with their individuality, motivation, and values, they have a significantly greater chance of flourishing in the world. To achieve this, we emphasize three key components in the college search and selection process: purpose, autonomy, and community.

We encourage students to have a sense of purpose or, at the very least, an understanding of their interests that they can continue exploring in college. In concert with this, we want our students to have a strong sense of self and view their community as a valuable network of mentors who can assist them in achieving their goals. Students are encouraged to be active agents in shaping their own lives and to act in harmony with their evolving sense of self. Finally, we seek to aid students in determining the right environment that supports and enhances the meaningful pursuit of a student's purpose taking into account practical considerations such as location and campus size, as well as qualitative factors like teaching methods, distinct characteristics, and most importantly alignment of values.

By emphasizing purpose, autonomy, and finding the right community, our program aims to guide students toward a college experience tailored to their individual needs and aspirations. Through this approach, we feel that students are empowered to make well-informed decisions as they embark on the important journey of self-discovery and academic growth.  

With this philosophy at the forefront of our students' university application process, I am thrilled to announce that the class of 2024 has been admitted to the following universities: Arizona State University, Baylor University, Belmont University ,Cornell College, Emerson College, Franklin Pierce University, Franklin and Marshall College, Hartwick College, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Loyola Marymount University, Macalester College, Pace University, Pacific University, Queen Mary University, Rutgers University, San Francisco State, State University of New York at Geneseo, State University of New York at Oneonta, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stonybrook University, Syracuse University, Temple University, The College of New Jersey, The New School, The Ohio State University, University of Arts London: Wimbledon, University of Birmingham, University of California: San Diego, University of California: Santa Cruz, University of Connecticut, University of East Anglia, University of Glasgow, University of Kent, University of Lancaster, University of Liverpool, University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of Reading, University of San Francisco, University of Sheffield, University of South Carolina, University of Staffordshire, University of Strathclyde, University of Sunderland, University of Surrey, University of Surrey, & The University of Washington. 

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