So -- what really makes a school a "safety" these days?

<p>Hi--</p>

<p>Am I correct that many schools have rejected otherwise highly qualified applicants because, from the school's perspective, that competitive student is unlikely to attend, and not worth the "hit" to the yield numbers?</p>

<p>If so, how does a "competitive", but not "stellar", applicant determine what is a safety school??</p>

<p>For example, student is a caucasian female, mid-Atlantic states, upper-middle class, decent ECs, with 1440/1600 SATs, 3.99 GPA (school does not provide weighted/unweighted, but gives .5 boost to Ap and honors classes). Liberal arts and/or international relations are her likely interests. Where do we look for "safety" schools? I can understand sending a few applications to "reach" schools in the Ivy/LAC category, but where should we look to expand the horizon to something more realistic?? We want to avoid a lot of rejections and wait lists. Ideas and insights welcome.</p>

<p>Many thanks!!</p>

<p>Apply to the top tier schools that aren't quite Ivy Leagues but are right below them. Also, apply to at least one in-state school just incase, for financial reasons. Google 'top tier universities' and you'll get some good lists.</p>

<p>That profile is extremely similar to mine. I would suggest Patriot League schools and the NESCAC schools (other than Williams, Amherst, and Middlebury, which are reaches for anyone). These are about the level of schools that your daughter would be a likely admit at, and they're all really nice schools. I also looked at some schools in the south like Richmond and Wake Forest as pretty likely acceptances. This list of schools contains my own preferences though. </p>

<p>What schools is she currently considering?</p>

<p>A safety would not be a Patriot League school. That might be a match, but not a safety.</p>

<p>A safety is any school where the average stats of admitted students are below the stats of the applicant.</p>

<p>With a 1440, she is above 75th at Lehigh, Lafayette, Bucknell, American, and Holy Cross. All of those schools have 75th at about 1390, with the exception of HC, which is slightly lower. 1440 would be in the middle 50 for Colgate, but is closer to their 75th (1460). I didn't look up the numbers for West Point or Annapolis because I assume she is not interested in the Academies. (I should admit that I pulled these numbers from College Board for ease)</p>

<p>Academic Safety: You are certain of admission based on your GPA and test scores. You know this because a) the GPA and scores that guarantee admission are posted right on the college/university website (lots of public Us and CCs do this), or b) your HS has years of college admission data that demonstrates you will have no trouble being admitted.</p>

<p>Financial Safety: You and your family can pay for it without any aid other than federally determined (FAFSA) aid and/or guaranteed state aid and/or guaranteed merit-based aid (see Academic Safety above).</p>

<p>Rock-Solid Safety: Meets criteria for Academic and Financial Safety, and also offers your major(s).</p>

<p>True Safety: Meets criteria for Rock-Solid Safety, but also is a place that you would be happy to attend if all else goes wrong in the admissions process.</p>

<p>The single most important institution to identify is your True Safety. Please don't set yourself up to be the author of one of next April's "I didn't get in anywhere that I like and can afford." threads.</p>

<p>Thanks to all for your thoughtful responses. This is very helpful.</p>

<p>The GC suggested the following as safeties: Drew, Kenyon, Earlham. </p>

<p>Otherwise, her list contains most of the usual suspects: a few Ivies, Swat, Haverford, Carlton, Macalaster, Rice.</p>

<p>HappyMomof1--I completely agree with you. We do NOT want to be posting next year about having no where to go. So, any ideas to avoid that fate are welcome....</p>

<p>St. Lawrence University (NY)
Hobart & William Smith (NY)
Skidmore College (NY)
Connecticut College (CT)
Wheaton College (MA) </p>

<p>LACs all over 50k/year, Conn does not have merit aid however, if you are looking for merit aid.</p>

<p>
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Where do we look for "safety" schools . . . where should we look to expand the horizon to something more realistic?

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</p>

<p>The so-called "Tufts Syndrome" - denial of over-qualiified applicants in the interest of yield-protection - typically isn't a practice at larger public Us which for the sake of logistics tend to be more numerically-driven in their admissions processes.</p>

<p>But FWIW, I don't know that the "TS" phenomenon is that widely-practiced in general.</p>

<p>If you're particularly risk-averse (as we were), you might want to include a public university with rolling admissions and apply there early.</p>

<p>usually safety schools don't really worry about yield...they just accept all/most who have at least the minimum of stats.</p>

<p>That said....a safety is NOT a safety if it will be unaffordable. Safety schools often do NOT give much need-based financial aid. However, some give merit scholarships.</p>

<p>I don't have different categories for safeties unless money is no object. A safety needs to be affordable and you need to be certain that your child will be accepted.</p>

<p>So, for a school to be a real safety, be sure that you have ALL COSTS covered by ASSURED scholarships, small student loans, and family funds. </p>

<p>*The GC suggested the following as safeties: Drew, Kenyon, Earlham. </p>

<p>*</p>

<p>I don't know the FA policies of those schools. If money is an issue and those schools don't "meet need" then those wouldn't be safeties. </p>

<p>GC's are famous for NOT considering how a family will pay for various schools...they often just look at where a kid can get accepted.</p>

<p>Unlike some others, if money is an issue, I think it's very important for a student to have 2-3 financial safeties. That way, if none of the "top picks" work out or aren't affordable, the student still will have choices. No one likes to feel "railroaded" into one school. It's good for morale to have a choice.</p>

<p>
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If you're particularly risk-averse (as we were), you might want to include a public university with rolling admissions and apply there early.

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</p>

<p>Definitely. A student can be in the position of having an acceptance already in hand at the time that s/he is working on an Early Action application. That's a great stress-reliever.</p>

<p>Finding a state school as a safety is an excellent idea. </p>

<p>The only rub here is that daughter wants something that is not enormous in size. (And we are not a "BIG" school would be the best fit, either.) Are there state schools that could accommodate that desire to be have smaller community within a larger community?? (And I don't mean a frat/sorority.)</p>

<p>Someone mentioned Michigan because it has an Honors Program. But would Michigan (which has rolling admissons) be a good option as a safety? Or is that too close to a highly competitive school to count in the safety category? (We are not Michigan residents.)</p>

<p>I believe Michigan is over 50k to OOS students.</p>

<p>Merit</a> Opportunities :: Admission :: Mount Holyoke College</p>

<p>Merit opportunities at Mt. Holyoke (MA) all women, has International Relations as major.</p>

<p>Are there state schools that could accommodate that desire to be have smaller community within a larger community?? (And I don't mean a frat/sorority.)</p>

<p>Yes...there are state schools that have wonderful honors programs that give you that "small school" feel within a larger school.</p>

<p>Someone mentioned Michigan because it has an Honors Program. But would Michigan (which has rolling admissons) be a good option as a safety?</p>

<p>I don't think UMich is a safety . That said, it costs $50k per year for OOS students. What is your budget? </p>

<p>If you can pay $50k per year, then UMich might make a good match choice.</p>

<p>UMich is NOT a safety with a 1440 SAT and a 4.0 GPA.........even if you wanted to pay $50,000 for an OOS public</p>

<p>Marmaduke - You've posted elsewhere that your D looked at schools around Philly and that she's interested in merit aid opportunities. Pitt is one of the top merit aid schools in the country and its selectivity is such that many top students applying to highly-selective colleges use it as a safety. It also has only 18,000 undergrads (compared to around 40,000 at Penn State). This year, PrincetonReview.com's student surveys place it in the top 20 nationally for both "Happiest Students" and "Best Quality of Life." And if you should happen to be PA residents, that would bring the cost down even more.</p>

<p>I have an unproven hypothesis.</p>

<p>Many of the colleges or universities that an academically talented kid might consider a safety track applicants' interest. The thing that I think did the trick for my daughter (who's graduating from HS in a couple of weeks), and kept her safety a safety, was a combination of being at or above the 75th percentile for GPA and SAT/ACT and consistently showing them the love.</p>

<p>As it happens, her Patriot-League safety offered her a big scholarship, she loved the place on admitted-students day, and she decided to enroll there.</p>

<p>But I hesitate to draw definite conclusions from a study with an n of 1.</p>

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Yes...there are state schools that have wonderful honors programs that give you that "small school" feel within a larger school.

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<p>M2CK can give you the details on one that will automatically offer your D free tuition for four years. That would be the safest "safety" you can find while staying among the top 30 or so public universities.</p>