While your college search should begin with a self-exploration, after you have begun to narrow in on a list of possible schools keep the following in mind: apply strategically! While it is impossible to know whether you will be accepted to any given school, you can manage the process by preparing yourself for likely outcomes. Develop a balanced list of colleges/universities to which you will apply.
The number of recommended applications per category represents general guidelines and may vary according to individual applicant circumstances.
Schools that seldom reject candidates with your credentials. Your grades and test scores are at the high end or well within the mix of the enrolled student profile. Consider applying to one or two of these schools
Financially Feasible Schools
In addition to you having a very good chance of being admitted, this option is also affordable should the financial aid packages at other schools prove disappointing. Apply to at least one "financially feasible" school
Schools where your chances of being accepted are better than chances of being rejected, though there is no guarantee of admission. There is strong compatibility between your grades and test scores and the school's enrolled student profile. Consider applying two or three of these schools
These accept a smaller percentage of applicants and your chances of being admitted are relatively low because your grades and test scores fall toward the bottom of the school's enrolled student profile. Optional
The Statistical Reach!
A school you would like to attend but where your chances of acceptance seem slim. Your grades and test scores do not fall within the enrolled student profile OR no one's chances of admission at these schools are high. All highly selective schools - accepting a relatively small percentage of applicants - fall into this category. Optional
The concept of "Academic Fit" can be a difficult concept for students to look at objectively. The best place to begin is with a student's GPA (grade point average), class rank, and SAT or ACT scores: these are among the most important factors in college admissions decisions.
The question each student should be asking is "Am I in the mix?"
Where can you obtain information about academic fit? Many schools publish an enrolled student profile that is often available on the college's website. If not, statistical information pertaining to a college or university is usually readily available through guide books and college search websites such as the College Board.