Choosing what colleges you’ll apply to is no easy job! There are hundreds of schools in this country, and they’re all different! You may find fifty schools that offer your major, and while you’ll narrow down your selection with questions such as “Is this school too far away?” and “Does this school cost too much?” it’s also important to consider what the chances will be that you’re accepted to these schools. You don’t want to apply to five really tough schools, and find yourself going to none of them, nor do you want to cut yourself short by applying to the places you know you’re guaranteed. You’ll want to apply to one school you’re practically guaranteed acceptance, one or two schools you have a pretty good shot at, and one school you’re taking a chance on.
When choosing where to apply, here are some more questions you may want to ask yourself:
What are the average SAT and ACT scores of accepted students, and do I fall above or below that mark?
If your test scores fall in the average or above slot for this school, your chances of being accepted are better; however, just because you meet the average test score doesn’t mean you’ll be accepted, and many will find their below-average test score won’t prevent them from getting in.
What is my GPA? Is it above or below the average for accepted students?
Similarly to test scores, you’ll have a better chance of acceptance if your grades are average or above for that school; however, your GPA isn’t the only criteria admissions departments consider. If you fall below the average, you may want to apply anyway!
What is this school looking for in their students? Am I that type of student?
Just as you look for a college that will be a good fit, colleges look for students who will be a good fit.
What would I be able to offer this school? Do I have any talents, knowledge, or experience that will make this school want me?
For those students who are exceptionally great at a sport, or have won a variety of awards in a given subject, it certainly doesn’t hurt to apply to schools that value those areas.
What can this school offer me?
If you’re able to articulate why you’re choosing a particular school, you’ll have a better chance of acceptance than if you’re unsure. Also, even though some schools may be on your list of “safety schools,” don’t be dismissive of what they can offer. A “back-up” school attitude on your part during the application process may lead to a rude awakening!
Cappex has lots of resources to help students find their perfect college match.