Seniors – For years you have been told to use the terms Safety and Reach colleges when making a college list. The first thing to do is to STOP CALLING THEM SAFETY SCHOOLS! Just like you don’t want to be called a “safety date” for your prom, why would you call the place where you will call home for years a “safety school?” Or, when you go to the prom and you go with someone who is “too good for you,” do you call that person your “reach date?”
If you end up at a college after careful thought and acceptance, it most likely was the right place for you. Picking colleges is hard but using the right approach to finish your college list will make all the difference in the end. To start your path to college on the right foot, throw away the terms Reach and Safety school. While you are at it, toss aside Target schools because if the school wasn’t a possible target, why would you aim for it? Instead of these antiquated terms, let’s use the concept of how you “match” and then what probability you have of matching at that school.
For example, if you have grades and test scores that exceed the college average, and the college has high acceptance rates, then that school is a “high probability match.” If your grades or test scores are below the average, then that school is a “low probability match.”
Up to that point, people consider this to be similar to safety and reach schools. Where these terms let you down is when your grades and tests scores exceed the averages, but the college has a large number of applicants and a very low acceptance rate. Technically this should be a target school, but because there is a low probability of acceptance, it really isn’t a target. It isn’t a reach school either because you clearly “match” in terms of grades and test scores. Because of the weakness of the old classification, the term “low probability” or “medium probability match” work so much better because it explains how you rank.
To learn more about this concept, watch the video STOP CALLING THEM SAFETY SCHOOLS!