Include safety schools in your list of potential college

College committed students, in New Jersey and across the country, are finding that gaining admission to coveted colleges has grown increasingly competitive in recent years.

Even students with near-perfect SAT scores, weighted GPAs above 4.0, and many advanced placement courses find it extremely difficult to secure an “approved” email from the highest levels of schools.

Recent statistics from US News & World Report show that the acceptance rate at the vast majority of the most selective “Top 100” colleges was 25% or less. It included famous schools such as the Universities of New York, Boston, Northeastern, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, and Duke. Not surprisingly, Ivy League schools have single-digit acceptance rates, with the exception of Cornell University at 11%.

The lesson from these bleak statistics is that high school students need to include “safety schools” in their list of potential colleges. These are the colleges a student expects to be accepted, based on a comparison of their GPA and SAT scores with the scores of accepted students in previous years. High school students should use Naviance, or whatever software their school uses, to compare their academic statistics with those of former students from their high school who applied to any particular college. It will show how many students were accepted and rejected, and how their SAT scores and GPAs compare.

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