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3 months ago
Admissions Advice

Have anyone gotten into colleges marked as "hard target" by collegevine?

One of my dream school is marked as a "hard target" for me by collegevine. I'm wondering if anyone has gotten into colleges marked as "hard target"?

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2 answers

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3 months ago

Yes, I got into one with a 34-44% hard target. I'm happy considering that real-world rates were 10 times harder at this school.

Intuitively some would say it makes mathematical sense to apply to 10 similar hard targets because you are going to get into a few of them. I don't agree with this. If you are an amazing student, you have a much higher probability of getting into a lot of schools and that is why some kids who apply to 8 Ivys get into all of them. But most students who apply to all 8 Ivys, get into none of them.

There are literally 200 reasons why someone might get in and someone might not get in. And mathematically, it's virtually impossible to figure that out. Therefore I applaud CollegeVine for having the best free Chancing Engine out there.

If you think that the college you are interested in applying to would really want someone like you on campus because you can fulfill multiple roles of what they need students for then make notes of this and self-advocate for yourself in the Add'l Info section or the Why ABC College essay.

If you think each college is like a Circus, and you are Clown, well there are plenty of Clowns to choose from. But if you can juggle swords on fire while riding on the back of two stallions galloping in a circle, well everyone wants one of those. So my advice to the younger readers is, don't be a clown, be something unique.

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3 months ago[edited]

Hi there! Thanks for your question - I want to take the opportunity to explain what exactly it means when a school is a "hard target" for a student. Let's say you have a 30% chance of getting in and the school is a hard target.

This may not sound super favorable, but there will be people who get into hard targets. This 30% means that about 30% of students will similar profiles will get into that particular school. In the past, when we said students had an X percent chance, very close to X% of students of that group actually got in (for example, for those who had a 30% chance, 28.7% actually got in).

Of course, we can't yet account for things like essays or rec letters, so if those components of your application are better than those of the average accepted student at that school, then you individually may actually have better chances (and if they're worse, then your chances may be worse). The point is that these chances are probabilities, so there will be people who get in and those who don't, even if the chances seem more or less favorable.

We recently published a blog post that explains more in-depth how our chancing works and how to use and interpret your chances: https://blog.collegevine.com/is-collegevine-chancing-accurate/. There are more data points comparing our predicted chances to actual results. Let us know if you have any more questions, and best of luck this admissions cycle!

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