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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What's a hard target school?

Hey everyone, I keep hearing the term 'hard target school' but I'm not quite sure what it means. Can someone explain this concept to me and maybe give a few examples? Thanks in advance!

6 months ago

Hello! A "hard target school" refers to a college or university that has very competitive admissions standards but isn't quite as selective as top-tier schools, sometimes also called "reach" schools. Although the acceptance rates at hard target schools might be slightly higher than those of reach schools, they still present a significant challenge for applicants and require a strong overall application.

Examples of hard target schools may vary depending on an applicant's profile, interests, location preferences, etc. However, generally speaking, some examples of hard target schools include Boston University, Lehigh University, New York University, and University of California - Los Angeles. These schools usually have acceptance rates between 15-30%, with rigorous academic expectations for their applicants.

Keep in mind that the label of "hard target" or "reach" is subjective, and what might be a hard target for one student could be a safety school for another—it all depends on the strength and fit of one's application as well as personal preferences and circumstances. Make sure to research thoroughly and consider your own academic background, extracurricular activities, and other factors when evaluating potential schools for your college list. Good luck!

To learn more about these classifications, read this blog post: https://blog.collegevine.com/the-college-list-decoded-safeties-targets-and-reaches/

6 months ago

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