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Okay, now let's actually talk about today's topic. How many colleges should I apply to?
My advice... apply to 3-5 schools MAX! It is so important to do the research BEFORE you start applying to schools so that you aren't applying to 10+ schools. There are three different types of categories colleges fall under when it comes to applying - safety, target, and reach.
Safety - this is the college where your GPA, test scores, etc. place you within the top 10-25% of their admitted
student profile. This is the school that you feel very confident about being accepted to. Just be careful that you
aren't too cocky by letting the admissions counselors know that school is your safety. I would recommend
applying to at least two of these schools.
Target - Applying to this college could go either way. Your GPA, test scores, etc. are hovering around the middle 50%
of their accepted student profile. This is the college that would be a great match for you academically.
Definitely apply to at least two of these schools.
Reach - Your reach school is the one where you fall in the lower 25% of their accepted students profile. This is one of
the schools that you have to work realllyyyy hard to convince the admissions counselor that not only is that
school perfect for you, but that you are the perfect addition to their campus. Don't apply to these schools just
to see if you can get in. These applications are typically long and expensive, so make sure that you truly want
to go to this school before you dive in to the application process. I suggest applying to one, mayyyybe two, of
Ms. Lipford's Application Tips:
1. Do not apply to a college just because they email you a fee waiver.
2. Do your research - first and foremost, make sure they have your desired major and that is affordable for you.
3. Apply to at least one school in each of the categories.
4. Understand the difference between "Early Decision" and "Early Action". Applying to several schools Early Decision and getting accepted to several of them can create and embarrassing and frustrating situation for you and the university. On the other hand, apply Early Action all you want!
5. Try to avoid writing your college application essay about sports.
6. Don't let the deadlines sneak up on you. Try to set aside at least and hour each week beginning in September to begin working on your applications. Begin the ones with the closest deadlines first.