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Searching for “Safety” Schools

Looking for a few safety schools to add to your college list? Dave Berry investigates: https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/searching-for-safety-schools/

Replies to: Searching for “Safety” Schools

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,818 Senior Member
    edited January 17
    There are many well known national universities which qualify as safety schools according to Dave Berry's definition based on an 80% acceptance rate.

    University of Iowa
    Iowa State University
    Arizona State University
    University of Arizona

    Catholic University
    Auburn University
    University of Oregon
    University of Colorado--Boulder
    Colorado State University

    Marquette University
    Drexel University accepts about 79% of all applicants
    George Mason
    University of Montana

    University of Nevada--Reno
    Univ. of South Dakota
    UMass-Dartmouth
    Old Dominion

    Indiana Univ.-Purdue U. in Indy
    East Carolina
    University of Wyoming (best university in the state!)
    Kansas State
    Univ. of Kentucky

    Univ. of Mississippi
    Kent State
    Seattle Pacific
    Montana State
    Utah State

    Univ. of North Dakota
    Univ. of South Dakota
    Suffolk University
    Pace University

    Missouri Univ. of Science & Technology
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    University of Alabama-Birmingham
    Illinois State
    University of Kansas
    University of Illinois-Chicago

    In my opinion, it is best to apply to at least two safety schools which engage in rolling admissions so that applicants alleviate stress by having acceptances in hand early in the process.

  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 2,108 Senior Member
    They accept slightly less than 80%, but Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, & Nebraska are all pretty, safe, friendly, fun places which make nice safeties.
  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 625 Member
    Google "super safety colleges forbes"
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 75,341 Senior Member
    80% admission rate does not necessarily mean that the college is a safety for all applicants. For 20% of applicants, it obviously is not a safety.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,818 Senior Member
    edited January 18
    For those 20%, maybe attending a four year college or university at this stage of their life is not the best route to take. Community college may be a wiser & more affordable option.

    @ucbalumnus: Plus, most of the universities that I listed in post #1 above accept over 80% of all applicants. For example, Kansas State University accepts 95% of all applicants, Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham accepts 92%, University of Kentucky accepts 96%, Seattle Pacific Univ. accepts about 91%, Univ. of Wyoming (the best university in the state) accepts 97%, North Dakota State accepts 92% & the Univ. of Montana accepts 93%. And this list of four year schools which accepts over 90% of all applicants is just a partial list.

    Iowa State University--an excellent school--accepts 89% & the University of Iowa--a Big Ten school--accepts about 86% of all applicants.
  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 2,108 Senior Member
    I wonder what the atmosphere is like in the admissions offices of Wyoming & Kansas State...Instead of arguing the case for their favorite borderline applicants, does the staff focus on composing denial letters that deliver the heartbreaking news with a personalized silver lining?
  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 732 Member
    I know at Kansas State (which is an excellent school even though they do accept most applicants!) the admissions office spends most of their time working on ways to encourage applicants to apply. It is in the middle of nowhere but has a great college town, not too far from Kansas City and has an excellent veterinary college and great research opportunities. It is a safety for most but financial safety maybe not for all OOS if you can't meet their scholarship requirements (which are really good). Example: with no need based aid this semester we paid about $7000 for tuition and that included a $3000 study abroad program for the summer and a global campus course (more expensive). With food and housing will be about $10,000 all other semesters have been about $7000 total. Not a bad deal at all for an OOS. Just stating to show that you have to take the financial part of Safety into account as well as the admission number. (Oh and we chose this school for the quality of their pre-vet program, atmosphere on campus, fit for our student, and positive impression the faculty made on all of us, not because it was a safety)

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,291 Senior Member
    Often overlooked in searches for a safety school are Canadian universities. They admit exclusively or at least primarily based on stats: UW GPA and SAT/ACT scores. McGill for example is strictly based on stats and they publish minimum requirements. You do not have to deal with the holistic admissions "black box". If you are above the minimum requirements it would be a safety. And it is a name that is widely recognized in academia in an incredible city.
    https://www.mcgill.ca/applying/requirements/usa
    They do have limited merit and need based aid for American applicants.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,818 Senior Member
    But don't Canadian universities charge a higher tuition rate for international students ?
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,291 Senior Member
    University of Wyoming (best university in the state!)
    Only university in the state! :D
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,291 Senior Member
    @Publisher Yes but in terms of admissions they may be a safety.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,936 Forum Champion
    I always suggest people apply to a couple of non-binding EA (if allowed) or rolling.admission schools. If they get in by December and the school is affordable then it becomes a safety regardless of the college's overall admission rate. The early acceptances also took a lot of anxiety out of the process for both of my kids.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 75,341 Senior Member
    Publisher wrote:
    But don't Canadian universities charge a higher tuition rate for international students ?

    Yes, and they may also charge different amounts based on major (like some US universities, but the spread may be larger).

    Here is McGill's cost estimate: https://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/yearly-costs (note: in Canadian dollars)
  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 2,108 Senior Member
    This Canadian U doesn't charge much more for foreign grad students; foreign undergrads get a good price too ( don't forget to convert to US $)

    https://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/fees_funding/

    https://www.mun.ca/undergrad/money/
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