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My advice is that you should find a less selective college that matches what you want out of your education. Do not just use the rankings as a tool, use what you expect to get out of college as the main factor of how to find a safety. I'd suggest writing down the qualities you see in your top choice schools that make you want to go there.
Let's use me as an example. I have a goal reach school of UC Berkeley or UCLA. The qualities that attract me there are their strong engineering program, strong LGBTQ advocacy and rights, activist culture, and access to internships. With these qualities in mind, I looked for a college with those same qualities that also was able to give FINANCIAL SAFETY (as in easily affordable). So I settled on UC Santa Cruz, which has all these qualities listed before: a decent engineering program, access to a large jobs market (Silicon Valley), and strong progressive values. Similarly, you can use the same qualities to find a safety for you.
Also, keep in mind that many safety schools are widely well regarded in industry (think Rutgers, UConn, Stony Brook). And if you're worried about students being below your caliber, keep in mind that many of these colleges have honors colleges, where high achieving students can gather to take a set interdisciplinary pathway.
I hope this helps!
It really depends on what you want out of a school! I found one of my safety schools, Emmanuel College in Boston because they wouldn't stop emailing me. I brought it up with conversation with my grandma and she toured it with my cousin and loved it. So, I went to tour and also fell in love with it. Think about what you want in a school when looking for safeties. With Emmanuel, I wanted a small school in a city with a good biology department. Emmanuel is in the heart of Boston, it only has about 2,000 students, and they have a partnership with a pharmaceutical company that allows them to have state-of-the-art science labs: it was perfect for me! This mirrors my reach school, Tufts, because it's near the same city, it's very small, and it has a good biology department. I'd see what all of your reach schools have in common, and find a safety school that mirrors that. Niche is a great tool to see what a school has to offer, as it gives each school a letter grade based on different aspects. Also, I wouldn't feel bad about schools being lower in terms of scores. College is what you make at it, and I believe you can do just as well at a local state school as an Ivy, perhaps even better if you like it. Good luck with everything!
So for one try to find a school either instate or within 3 hours drive of your home that you’d think you can easily get into. Then ask yourself is that school the same size as I want is it a research school etc and ask yourself if youd like it.
You should feel okay about not loving it but it should be bearable. Personally some NE safety schools UConn some of the Public Massachusetts schools and some of the update NY schools like buffalo.
Personally I’d also use the filter on find schools and try to get a school that fits all of your needs (major costs etc) and fits 70% of your wants size town ranking prestige etc.
I’d also heavily recommend applying to one of/the main state public school that’s a safety or target. If you don’t get into a 100% need met school these are likely the cheapest so if cost is a concern definitely do this. (If you live in Michigan apply to MI St not Mich)
Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!
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