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. Once you’ve narrowed your list of schools, sort your choices into four tiers according to your chances of acceptance. Applying to at least one school in each category can help maximize your options.
At the TOP of the academic profile:
Your grades and test scores are at the high end or well within the mix of the enrolled student profile, as a result your chance of being admitted is very high. Consider applying to one or two of these schools
In the MIDDLE of the academic profile:
There is strong compatibility between your grades and test scores and the school’s enrolled student profile, as a result you stand a good chance of being admitted. Consider applying to three or more of these schools
At the BOTTOM of the academic profile:
Because your grades and test scores fall toward the bottom of the school’s enrolled student profile your chance of being admitted is relatively low.
Consider applying to one or two of these schools
Regardless of your academic profile, all highly selective schools (those accepting a relatively small percentage of applicants) fall into this category.
“FINANCIALLY FEASIBLE” school:
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
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 (Class of ####) 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.