Student starts nonprofit club to help local students in college search

Gabrielle Abrams, Contributing Reporter

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CollegeFit founder Tara Nored is passionate about helping high school students find the college that is right for them.

Nored created CollegeFit in the spring of 2019 after applying for and earning the Changemaker Catalyst Award. This award is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a social innovation/social entrepreneurship objective. 

Though Nored was able to attend a college preparatory school where she received college guidance counseling, she decided to apply for the grant when she became aware of just how many high school students do lacked access to the counseling resources she had.  

Especially after the college admissions scandal in which parents and college coaches were charged with bribing students’ ways into elite universities, Nored felt motivated to “make an organization that helped close the college admission equity gap and emphasized fit.” 

Her nonprofit organization CollegeFit seeks to achieve these goals by offering free application assistance. CollegeFit matches high school students with college undergraduates to advise them on topics including filling out the Common Application, taking standardized tests, writing essays and making college decisions. 

Throughout the process mentors are trained to “really get to know their kid,” Nored said. “A large component of fit is getting to know them and what they’re used to.”  

Mentors are also encouraged to be honest about the pros and cons of their college experience, meaning they should not avoid discussing issues like Tulane’s party atmosphere rather than depicting the university as a utopia. 

CollegeFit is currently in its first round of mentees, and the oldest students are current seniors applying to college in the fall of 2019. The most significant progress that Nored has noticed so far has been in seeing students “apply to schools they wouldn’t have thought of and have [an] application better represent their authentic selves.” 

In the near future, Nored hopes to increase the involvement at Tulane to include 100 mentors and connect to high schools in the New Orleans area. She said she also wants the organization to expand across multiple campuses and include trained mentors from across the U.S. 

Nored’s ultimate goal of CollegeFit is succinctly stated in the organization’s motto, “fit over figures.” She hopes that the organization helps shift mindsets during college decisions toward thinking about what the best school for a student is instead of what the best school they can get into.

If you are interested in becoming involved in CollegeFit, attend one of two mentor training sessions on Sept. 23 and 25 from 6-7 p.m. in LBC rooms 210 or 211. You can also email Tara Nored at [email protected] 

If you think someone you know would benefit from these services, you can direct them to yourcollegefit.org to fill out the interest form.