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help with classifying safeties, matches and reaches for my D

quietdesperationquietdesperation 545 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
edited April 2016 in Parents Forum
we still have three more colleges to visit but we're getting close with my D's list of schools. From what I can see, the challenge is around finding matches that are not really reaches and safeties that are not really matches. Would love feedback if we've classified the schools correctly. She won't apply to all these schools, right now just looking for feedback.

thanks for the help!

basic stats:
caucasian female
4.0 unw, 8aps, two languages
act - 33, 34 superscore
ecs - ok
no hooks

safety
mcgill
university of vermont
tulane
case western
rochester

match
u mich
colby
emory


reach
middlebury
wash U

far reach
duke
dartmouth
williams
amherst
vanderbilt
Rice
edited April 2016
211 replies
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Replies to: help with classifying safeties, matches and reaches for my D

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76556 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,221 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Cost constraints?
    State of residency?

    Remember that cost considerations could move a school to a different category. For example, if a school is unaffordable unless a highly competitive merit scholarship is earned, it becomes a reach.

    Some of the "safeties" listed above consider "level of applicant's interest", so they may not be as safe as assumed.
    edited April 2016
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20455 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,664 Senior Member
    Looks good to me although the reaches and far reaches might be a little interchangable but that is splitting hairs since they are reaches.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20652 replies1977 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 22,629 Super Moderator
    edited April 2016
    I would not call Michigan (especially if OOS) and Emory matches
    edited April 2016
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  • quietdesperationquietdesperation 545 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    edited April 2016
    thanks @ucbalumnus , good points!
    - no cost constraints
    - state is ny

    @doschicos
    we chose those two as reaches (as opposed to far reaches) on the basis of naviance data: seem friendly to our school and they've consistently accepted similar candidates.
    edited April 2016
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  • quietdesperationquietdesperation 545 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    @sybbie719
    yes, I'm concerned about the matches (including colby). here's the naviance data:

    emory - in the last 10 years, emory hasn't rejected an applicant with a 95.5 and a 2100 sat. D's gpa and act score are > than those stats. also, emory superscores the act, the 75th percentile is a 32. so our thinking is match but would appreciate opinions to the contrary.

    u mich - much more problematic, they were taking 75% of applicants from our school and then two years ago it fell to 1 for 9 with just the salutatorian gaining admittance. fwiw, her brother attends, may give her a little leg up.
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  • quietdesperationquietdesperation 545 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    i should have stated in op, she attends strong public school, fwiw, ranked in the top 1.5% in the u.s. by us news.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20455 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,664 Senior Member
    You know, there are always what ifs. Getting WL or rejected by safeties to protect yield, didn't feel the love. Maybe a school is a low reach instead of a match, etc. Regardless, I think you've built a balanced list with a variety of selectivity, size, geographic location and other attributes. Just because a school is categorized as matches and safeties there could be some she doesn't get into, that's why you apply to more than 1 in each category.

    With the list you have built, your daughter WILL get into multiple colleges and she WILL have choices. I wouldn't sweat it any more than that.
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  • qialahqialah 1891 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,899 Senior Member
    I think your school's naviance is a much better estimator of admissions chances than CC. If she likes all of them you are good to go. She does have s safety she likes?
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4165 replies47 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,212 Senior Member
    Tulane may think your D is using them as a safety. To ward against a wl there, make sure she shows a lot of interest and writes strong, targeted supplements.
    Applying ED to Wash U would likely move it to a match
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29393 replies170 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 29,563 Senior Member
    Unless at least one of those on the safety list guarantees admission for students with her stats, and that particular institution also is fully affordable for your family without any aid other than guaranteed merit aid and/or guaranteed state or federal aid, then she doesn't have a real safety. Have her work on that issue.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3318 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,330 Senior Member
    My son's school's Naviance was 100% accurate as far as admission is concerned. Cost is a completely different issue. If you are chasing merit money it can be quite variable, and for middle to upper middle class families you may see tuition (without FA) of $60-$70K. FA can vary wildly depending on things you may not have considered such as: # of siblings, #of siblings in private schools, # of siblings in college for undergraduate, home equity, and your pre-tax retirement contributions, even capital gains and dividends.
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  • mathmommathmom 32030 replies158 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,188 Senior Member
    I never felt the need for a 100% stat safety school. My older son heard from his safety before Thanksgiving that he was in via a priority application. If any of those schools have EA - getting in early is the ultimate safety. When my kids were applying Emory had pretty unpredictable admissions. I think your daughter will have plenty of good choices with that list.

    As for what is a match - a match doesn't mean you will get in. Just that you have a decent chance of getting in. That's why you have safeties.

    My philosophy is have two safeties you are happy with and don't worry about the rest of the list.
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  • quietdesperationquietdesperation 545 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    edited April 2016
    @wisteria100 she was thinking the same thing about wash u but her dream school is Duke, Dartmouth a close 2nd. At least right now, she doesn't want to give up a very long shot at Duke ED (and then dartmouth rd) for a surer bet at wash u. She'd be very happy attending any of her matches so she's more willing to roll the dice.

    @happymomof1 we think mcgill is a guarantee. The others have been very friendly to our hs though I am concerned, as others have pointed out, about yield protection.

    for those that asked about the need for merit aid, we're going to be full pay.
    edited April 2016
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4165 replies47 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,212 Senior Member
    @quietdesperation In that case, ED Duke. They make a point of saying ED can give your app a boost
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19095 replies454 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    If Duke is a clear favorite and you can afford it, why not ED? Unless she's the kind to have buyer's remorse.
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  • rosered55rosered55 4164 replies124 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,288 Senior Member
    UVM gives merit aid to out-of-state students with certain stats, and I think you're right that it's a safety for your daughter. If she liked it, I suggest keeping it on your list.
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  • 2muchquan2muchquan 1998 replies32 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,030 Senior Member
    How will you treat 'Reaches' differently from 'Far Reaches'? I don't see the need for both, unless you plan to treat them differently in some way.

    An interesting mix of big/little etc.

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  • quietdesperationquietdesperation 545 replies60 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 605 Member
    edited April 2016
    @2muchquan We plan to have her apply to 3 safeties, 4 matches, 2 reaches and 2 far reaches.

    I realize now I've left off cmu, which we think is a reach as opposed to a far reach. I think we're also moving u mich to reach.
    edited April 2016
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  • WhataProcessWhataProcess 564 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 580 Member
    Intended major? Some schools, CMU for sure, have VERY different acceptance rates for different colleges/majors. For ex, at CMU, computer science rate is ~5%, vs A&S ~20%. Just something to keep in mind.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 8973 replies485 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,458 Senior Member
    I don't think Rochester is a safety. They had their most selective year ever this year. You can't call a school with an acceptance rate in the 30th percentile a safety. They very strongly encourage interviews and consider interest. They WLed a girl at our school with stats almost exactly like your D's. Your three matches are reaches, IMO. Your "reach" of Wash U is as much a reach as Amherst if you are going by acceptance rate, give or take 1%. From what I see, I think UVM is your only true safety. CW is probably a good bet.

    Here is something I learned this last year in helping my senior navigate the process: stats might look great on paper, but there are other super important variables that you aren't considering. Essays are super important, so are teacher recs, ECs, and a bunch of other important and not quite as important factors, including interest as someone mentioned. They all work together to guarantee nothing for the vast majority of colleges on your list.
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