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Choose a College

Understand Your Chances of Acceptance

Information adapted from adMISSION POSSIBLE®.

As you’re thinking about colleges you might want to apply to, you can take into account your chances of acceptance by sorting them into reach, good chance, and safety colleges. It’s important that you apply to a mix of the three and to make sure that you would be happy attending any of the schools you apply to, even the safety schools.

Reach (aka Long Shot):

You should consider a college to be a Reach if you have a 25% or less chance of acceptance because your GPA and test scores are lower than those of applicants who’ve been admitted in the past. For a Reach school,

  • Your standardized test scores are near or in the bottom 25% of accepted students. Students accepted in the 25% and less range are often athletes or a different kind of special admit.
  • The school has an acceptance rate of 35% or less.
  • You have a possible chance at acceptance, but it’s not probable.

Good Chance (aka Target, Good Match, Possible):

You should consider a college to be a Good Chance if you have a 50% or better chance of acceptance because your GPA and test scores are in the middle 50% of the applicants admitted in the past. For a Good Chance school,

  • Your standardized test scores are within the 25th to 75th percentile range. The closer your scores are to the 75th percentile, the better your chances are for acceptance.
  • The school has an acceptance rate closer to 50%.
  • You have a decent to good chance of acceptance.

Safety (aka Pretty Sure Thing, Good Bet):

You should consider a college to be a Safety if you have a 75% or better chance of acceptance because your GPA and test scores are better than 75% of applicants admitted in the past. For Safety schools,

  • Your standardized test scores are near or in the top 25% of accepted students.
  • The school has an acceptance rate higher than 50%.
  • You are reasonably sure you will be admitted.