What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How do I find the right balance between reach, match, and safety schools?

Hey guys! I'm a junior trying to create a balanced college list, but I'm not sure how many reach, match, and safety schools I should have. What's a good balance between these types of schools, and how do I know which category a school falls into? Thanks for your help!

10 months ago

Hey there! Creating a balanced college list is definitely important, and I'm glad to see you're thinking about it early on. When my child went through the college application process, we found that a good rule of thumb is to have about 2-3 reach schools, 3-4 match schools, and 2-3 safety schools. This may vary depending on your preferences and application strategy, but it's a good starting point.

To determine which category a school falls into, consider factors like your GPA, standardized test scores, and the school's acceptance rate. A reach school is one where your academic credentials fall below the school's average or middle 50% range for its accepted students, making acceptance less likely. A match school is one where your credentials are in line with the average accepted student, giving you a reasonable chance of being admitted. A safety school is one where your credentials significantly exceed the school's average, making admission highly likely.

Keep in mind that these categories aren't set in stone and may change as you gather more information about the schools and your own academic achievements. You should also consider factors like location, campus culture, and academic programs as you create your list. Good luck with your college search!

10 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.