A good College list
How many reach, target and safety one should apply to for a good college list.
Is hard Target similar to reach?
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With admit rates at the top schools in 3-8%, and tier 2 schools from 10-15% I would not use the 25/50/25 system. Personally, I think it's no longer a good strategy. Applications at most of your reaches and hard targets are most likely to keep going up, thus pushing down admit rates. The probability of getting is greatly reduced so you want to apply to more reaches and targets and fewer safeties. This year I watch a lot of schoolmates limit the number of reaches and guess what, 9 out of 10 of them didn't get into any of their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choices. This was the year to apply to all 5-8 Ivys if you wanted to get into 1 or 2 of them. The caveat is that if you have 4.0 UWGPA, 36 ACT/1600 SAT, 15 APs, and a US Presidential Scholar finalist and have superior independent research and ECS, well you have nothing to worry about. Just apply to your top schools and forget about targets and safeties.
If you are someone that has a 3.90+ GPA and 99% Percentile Test scores, and exemplary ECS, I would use the funnel approach. If you are applying to 15-20 schools, I would pick 8-10 Reaches, 4-5 Hard Targets, 2-3 Targets, 1-2 Safeties.
If you are someone that has a 3.50+ to 3.8 GPA and 90% Percentile Test scores, and excellent ECS, I would use the funnel approach. If you are applying to 11-15 schools, I would pick 5-6 Reaches, 3-4 Hard Targets, 2-3 Targets, 1-2 Safeties.
If you are someone that has a 3.00+ to 3.40+ GPA and 75% Test scores, and very good ECS, I would apply to fewer schools, say 8-12 schools, I would pick 3-4 Reaches, 2-3 Hard Targets, 2-3 Targets, 1-2 Safeties.
This really depends. Generally, I'd say a strong college list is comprised of 25% safeties, 50% targets, and 25% reach schools. It is your decision on how MANY schools you should apply to, but these are just general percentages of what it should be composed of.
As for hard targets being similar to reach schools, kind of. A hard target is pretty much right in between a target and a reach. Relating to this and your school list, maybe have a fourth of your target schools be hard targets? This is just my perspective.
Hope this helped! :)
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