Target vs. Reach vs. Safety Article Type: Fight Club
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These are the schools you shouldn’t need to sweat about. Your target schools should be places you really want to go, and the ones you should be fairly confident you will be accepted into.
You just might get in. A strong application (that doesn’t have to involve your rockin’ essay about funding a prostitution ring) with the majority of requirements for admission exceeding the mark, may make up for one area that falls short. You might also fall in that demographic the school is looking for to round out their freshman class (Southpaw gluten-free vegan from the Isle of Wight…).
You’re going to get in. And since you did your research, you would be happy attending Community Fishing College of the Puget Sound (home of the Plankton-Eating Killer Whales!) if it came down to that.
You didn’t put in the research, and this school ends up being your only option and it isn’t for you. Gap year (bring your shirt-folding skills) here we come…
Bet on a school as a target if: You meet or exceed their GPA, transcript, and standardized test score requirements, and the rest of your application is strong.
Bet on a School as a Reach If: You fall short in one area, but exceed the other requirements, and have a strong essay and letters of recommendation. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.
Bet on a School as a Safety If: You feel very confident about your chances of getting accepted, you wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell people about it, and you would genuinely enjoy attending that college.