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Help with finding "Safety Schools"

marshallmeyer12marshallmeyer12 Registered User Posts: 445 Member
edited November 2012 in College Admissions
I have narrowed down my application list to two "reach" schools (Claremont McKenna and Williams,) two "match" schools (Pitzer and Occidental,) and now I need two safety schools. Does anyone have any ideas? I like small campuses, LAC's in general, strong departments in economics, nice weather (California/Florida are nice,) D3 Athletics, and an overall welcoming student body.

I have not yet visited Occidental or Williams, do you think I won't like these schools? I am a libertarian and have hear Oxy is homogeneously liberal and somewhat heteronormative. Is this an accurate assumption? I am having a lot of trouble with this... Claremont and Williams seem to be schools that are politically moderate, while Pitzer and Occidental seem to be full of flaming liberals. This list just doesn't add up. Any suggestions?
Post edited by marshallmeyer12 on

Replies to: Help with finding "Safety Schools"

  • wrldtravlrwrldtravlr Registered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    My son is interested in business and/or economics, and some of the schools that he has liked that may meet your criteria are Rhodes in Memphis, Trinity University in San Antonio, and Rollins College in Florida. They are probably more in the line of matches.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,330 Senior Member
    A safety meets these four criteria:

    1) You can pay for it without any aid other than federally determined (FAFSA) aid and/or guaranteed state aid (ask your counselor to help you figure out the situation in MD because it changes every year) and/or guaranteed merit-based aid offered by the college/university itself. Sit your parents down, and find out just exactly how much money they are ready, willing, and able to pay each year for all four years. Without that figure you can't even begin to look for a safety.

    2) You are flat-out guaranteed admission. You know this because the GPA and/or exam scores that guarantee admission are posted right on the website (see guaranteed merit-based aid above, sometimes these are linked). If your high school has years worth of records that clearly indicated that every single applicant like you has been admitted at College X, well then College X may be pretty safe. However this could be the year that College X tightens up its admissions standards, so don't count on College X being an admission safety. Put it in the "very likely" category instead.

    3) Your major is offered. Or if your safety is a community college, the first two years of a transfer program that will get you ready to continue your major at a 4-year institution.

    4) You are fully willing to attend if you aren't accepted anywhere else you can afford. If you can't "love your safety", it is no good to you. Come up with a Plan B for the year after HS instead.
  • marshallmeyer12marshallmeyer12 Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    wrldtravlr: Thanks, I think I should check out Rhodes. I have heard a lot about it, but haven't done my research on it. I think it is a member of the Colleges That Change Lives? There are a lot of good, non-selective schools there.

    happymomof1: Thanks for that, I guess I should be a little more clear. "Schools that I should be able to get into pretty easily." I would hate to see a possible valedictorian, with national recognition and a ton of EC's end up at community college so i'll have to make sure that I get into one of the schools that I apply to.

    Thank you both for you help!
  • BeanTownGirlBeanTownGirl Registered User Posts: 2,731 Senior Member
    How does Williams meet your requirement for nice weather, it's pretty far from CA or FL :-)
    Use a college search engine to find schools that match your stats. campus size and weather requirements. There is SuperMatch here on CC for example.
  • marshallmeyer12marshallmeyer12 Registered User Posts: 445 Member
    Williams is an exception to the weather because it's just so damned great. The oxford style tutorials and balanced student body is exceptional. I think i'll just pick 2 schools from Colleges That Change Lives. Thanks!
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 Senior Member
    Have you checked out the University of Richmond?
  • peetamellarkpeetamellark Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Williams is beautiful :) If you're a person who loves rural areas, go for it! As for safeties, my list (since I am applying to about the same types of schools as you, i.e., Williams, Claremont, Bowdoin) are Centre, Denison, Knox, and I would look at Hendrix and Earlham. A word to the wise: even if you are sure you can get in, make sure you like it! The last thing you want is to be forced to go to a school that you aren't even interested in.
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