Winter and spring school vacations are the best time to visit colleges. Waiting until the summer means that college campuses will be empty and quiet and hard to gauge. Waiting until fall of senior year means that you will be extremely busy and it may not happen.
As Seniors head back to school and their final year of high school is underway, the reality of college may start to hit. Many students are now stressing about impending application deadlines, completing college essays and making sure they have a well-balanced college list. Sometimes, fear sets in and students begin to think about the worst-case scenario: “What happens if I don’t get into any colleges?”
Although the college admission process isn’t an exact science, Campus Bound counselors give each student a good sense of their chances of admission to the colleges they intend to apply to. Using data published by colleges and our accessibility to previous admissions decisions and trends, we sit down with each student and give him or her a clear sense of what to expect. Of course, nothing is a sure thing, but when students have a balanced list, the odds are in their favor!
So what makes a balanced list? Campus Bound recommends that students apply to roughly 8 colleges. Of those 8 colleges, at least two should be “Likely.” It’s also a good idea to apply to two or so “Reach” schools, and the rest should be in the “Target” zone. A description of each category is below.
A “Reach” school is a school where a student’s chance of admittance, based usually on GPA and standardized testing scores alone, is low. Typically a “Reach” school denies students with a profile comparable to yours.
A “Target” school is a school where the student’s chance of admittance, based on GPA and standardized testing scores, is 50%. This means that a “Target” school sometimes admits and sometimes denies students with a profile comparable to yours.
A “Likely” school is a school where the student’s chance of admittance, based on GPA and standardized testing scores, is high. This means that a “Likely” school typically admits students with a profile comparable to yours.
Deciding which category a school falls into for youcan be tricky, and that’s where a trusted college counselor comes in. We have the experience and knowledge to make informed recommendations and take guessing (nearly) out of the equation. Of course, college admission is not an exact science, but students who adopt the 2-4-2 recommendation will ultimately end up at a colleges that they are happy and excited to attend.
Students, one of the major tasks to accomplish as you head into your senior year of high school is to create a balanced and thoughtful college list. There are many questions surrounding the college list: “How do I get started?” “How many colleges should be on my list?”, etc. The counselors at Campus Bound have broken it down into 5 easy steps and we are available to help at any time.