Reach, Target, and Saftey Schools?

<p>Hello there! This is mostly a hypothetical question, although it will pertain to myself quite soon. If you know you have the academic stats (GPA, AP's, SAT/ACT) down for some of the top schools, and have adequate or above average Extra Curricular work, what exactly is a target or safety school, and what is a reach?</p>

<p>I find myself looking at prestigious universities, simply because of their superior facilities, and their fantastic histories as educational cornerstones, but I am unsure as to whether it is feasible to apply to ONLY those type of schools. </p>

<p>Should I be looking in a somewhat selective field of colleges, such as colleges who accept 50% or more for my target/safety schools? Or can I designate a college who accepts only 30% as a target, or even safety school? I plan to apply to 8-10 colleges, and of those 8-10, I would suppose 1-2 are going to be safeties, 3-4 target, and 3-4 reaches. </p>

<p>I am concerned that if I don't understand this aspect of the application process, I may leave myself vulnerable to not attending college at all!</p>

<p>It really depends on your stats. If you have a shot at top schools, then your safeties/targets will probably accept less than 50% of students. For example, I applied to schools such as Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Wesleyan as "target" schools. A "safety school" simply means a school to which you will (most likely) get in. If you are a Nobel Prize winner, or your father/mother is the president of the U.S., Harvard, Yale, and Princeton might be your safety schools (just an example - those particular schools still might not be safeties even for the President's child, but you get the point). It is all relative, and safeties and targets are very loosely defined. Just make sure that you apply to enough schools so that you can be sure that you will be accepted somewhere.</p>

<p>That is what I suspected, and I should probably take a hard look at where I am in that gauge. I am planning to apply to schools such as Cornell, but as reaches. Thank you for the input. Any other comments?</p>

<p>There is a wealth of information on this board. Another good resource is the "Common Data Set" that most schools make available. Just Google for [school name] plus "Common Data Set" for lots of information about admitted student qualifications, aid, average class sizes, etc.</p>

<p>For your safeties, I'd recommend that your stats be above the 75th percentile. Even then, so9me safeties aren't always safe.</p>

<p>You also need to sit down with your parents (or whoever it is who is helping you pay for college) and talk about just exactly where the money is going to come from. Every single year there are multiple threads here at CC with titles like "I just found out that I can't afford the college I want to go to" and "I didn't get into anyplace that I can afford". </p>

<p>Please do yourself (and the readers here) a favor and identify at least one True Safety. This is a school where you know you will be admitted based on your stats (many public institutions publish specific stats that guarantee admission), that you can pay for without any financial aid other than federally determined (FAFSA) financial aid, that offers your major(s) (or the first two years if it is a community college), and that you will be happy attending if everything else in your application process goes bad. Can't find a True Safety? Well, look around for some places that come pretty close to scoring in those four criteria (admissions, finance, major, happiness). Chances are that these will be rolling admissions institutions, so apply early to get yourself in line for any goodies they have to hand out (priority housing, special scholarships, priority registration, etc.). With one admission in the bag early on, the rest of the year will go much more smoothly.</p>

<p>Thank you all! Yes, I will soon be discussing with my parents all my "safety options", I am sure that I can find someplace that will almost definitely admit me, while still being financially feasible for my family. Money is a concern, and as of now, I am targeting institutions known for giving out generous financial aid based on need. I unsure of where my stats exactly fall, however, I do know that I am well qualified. I simply wanted to avoid attending an institution that would be academically insufficient for my needs/wants.</p>

<p>A safety school is a school that...</p>

<p>1) you're certain that you'll get admitted</p>

<p>2) you know for certain that you'll have all costs covered thru family money, small student loans, assured grants, and/or assured scholarships.</p>

<p>A school is not a safety if you're not sure if you'll get the money/aid to go there.</p>