From a recent post in the "Cafe" section...
"I was rejected by Taft, Andover, Exeter, and Middlesex last year and was looking for some easier schools to get into."
This is exactly the sort of situation that I'm helping people try to avoid when I give advice here.
Here's the link to the thread (which is really just getting started): Repeating 9th Grade and Lower tier Boarding Schools
FWIW, I loathe the term "lower-tier". Because how would you like it if someone characterized your application profile/your child as "lower-tier"? Speaking to selectivity does the trick, without the "if you don't go to XYZ Academy, you are lesser than" implication.