This is the time of year when juniors tend to kick off the college process. During their first meeting with us, we college counselors ask them, “have you thought about where you’d like to attend college?” We ask about the size of the school they would prefer, what they’d like to study, etc. And then we ask, “Do you know where you’d like to be located for college? What part of the country/ what state(s)? And, in my experience, around 75% of students say, “Someplace warm!”
Part of the college process in the winter/ spring of junior year is deciding what kinds of students you want to surround yourself with in college. Which types of students inspire you and enable you to do your best? Different schools attract different students, which influences the culture on campus.
By now you have likely heard of a “safety school” and have some understanding of what that means. (Read more here) In that sense, we are talking about changes of being admitted to a particular school. But there is a newer phrase in the world of college counseling that you may want to understand better, and it is, “financial safety.” In this blog we will go over what it is, and why it makes sense to have one on your list.
There is a saying when talking about colleges and universities that it’s nice when they have a “work hard, play hard” mix. If you think academics are the only thing that happens in college, you’re wrong. For traditional students, academics certainly come first, but the social aspect of college is a close second.
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.