College Safeties (Crosspost)

<p>(This is a cross post from the Parent's Board)</p>

<p>While this is the class of 05's prime decision time, I've also noticed a lot of 06's flocking to the boards. With this, I've been looking at lists and noticed very top heavy lists, often claiming that they are "prime canidates" and "if they apply to so many they're bound to get in somewhere". In lieu of this, I've decided to share a cautionary tale with a vibe we've heard a lot on this board.</p>

<p>Find "sure bets" schools to fall in love with. Fall in love with the upper tier ones later.</p>

<p>This story isn't actually about me, but my friend. He attends a different HS, the hardest HS in our competitive district to be exact. Much of his family has attended very elite schools and he was planning to follow in their footsteps. This friend of mine was ranked 24/460, had only a few b's, and had an SAT score in the mid 1500's. His SAT's were all 700+ and he's taken the hardest courses offered. On top of this, he volunteers regularly (I think he has about 800 hours), has been on the tennis team for four years, plays clarinet in one of the best bands in our state, has been on in the robotics club for four years, and has one other club (I can't remember). He began working on his essays summer of senior year and they were quite good. All in all, a strong canidate.</p>

<p>He applied to Harvard ED, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Dartmouth, Columbia, U Chicago (legacy), Berkeley (legacy), and then University of Washington. When I first saw the list, I asked what he'd do if he only got into Uw. He said, statistically, he'd get into one. His real dream was HYPSM and those were the ones he'd visited over the summer. In short, he'd fallen in love. He also loved U Chicago, and had visited that several times. He explained to me he didn't need a financial safety because his family was more than willing to foot a full tuition bill. In fact, he was the one urging me to "branch out" my list (Reed, Whitman were the "reaches" on mine) while I kept coming back with the fact I probably wasn't competitive enough to even try. Then, I watched as he spent incredible hours on his apps. He didn't give himself a chance to branch out or fall in love with any other schools, he simply didn't have the time for it.</p>

<p>So, ED came back. Deferred. He was a bit downtrodden, but immediatly began sending in extra recs and showing interest and everything else. He was upbeat, even after. Then, I sort of lost contact with him, he became so busy that he didn't have time to talk to me and I became busy with the play. So, finally, April rolls around. He never mentioned college to me and I began to get worried. I was excited because I got the Reed acceptance, and most of my classmates were excited to. Then, the other day, I got the other part of the story.</p>

<p>My friend was rejected at every single school he applied to, except the University of Washington. He hadn't even visited to the UW and isn't too excited about it. When he talks about next year, I can hear the strain in his voice. With his stats, there are lots of schools he could have gotten into. They would have been places he loved, places he was excited about, if only he gave them a chance. However, he got too caught up with the "elite" factor, fell in love with the top, and didn't bother with anything else.</p>

<p>So, in short, do not rely on statistics. College is too important to be left to "that one school I applied to that I didn't visit because I want an Ivy". Don't be close minded, there are so many wonderful schools. Don't get caught up in name or prestige, instead, find the school that fits who you are. And, as has been said numerous times, work from the bottom up. My friend discovered the randomness of college admissions the hard way. Follow your dreams, of course. But be ready for anything!</p>

<p>Best wishes to your friend (I'm sure he can transfer if he feels need). </p>

<p>Thank you for sharing his story. I hope people can take the advice well. :)</p>

<p>Tell your friend he is the perfect transfer candidate. One good semester at UW and some solid ECs and he is in at some top schools.</p>

<p>His high school stats plus a good semester at college will let him transfer, so he shouldn't be too down</p>