"Excellent" Stats, Low Chance
I entered all of my stats and it says my stats are "excellent" in the GPA, coursework, and extracurricular category (I haven't taken the SAT or ACT and the school is test-optional). However, it says it is a reach school that I only have a 12%–25% chance of getting in. Is there a particular reason for this and how do I improve?
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First, keep in mind what a reach school means: CollegeVine lists a school as a reach based on your personal, projected chance of admission. For schools that have wide variance in admissions decisions (for example, they weigh essays more, there are a ton of qualified applicants, etc.), most students will see their admissions chances hit ceilings around 30-40%. This simply means that even given an excellent profile for the school, the actual chance based on the data is around 30% (1 out of 3 equally qualified applicants with this profile gets in -- that's why these schools are selective and sometimes subjective in their decisions). I don't know which school you're looking at but you should compare your projected admissions chance to the school's actual acceptance rate. If the school has an acceptance rate of 12%, CollegeVine is saying your admissions chance is ~19% (midpoint of 12 and 25%). That's 50% higher than the average student applying, and that's why the platform is also saying your stats are excellent!
The other thing I'll note is that the variance in admissions projections in our algorithm is going to be higher for test-optional applicants purely because applying test-optional removes a set of parameters from the algorithm. If you're applying test-optional to very selective schools this year -- even with stellar grades, coursework, and ECs -- our platform will likely still project a reach category because of how much of the data on the admissions decision has been removed (but keep in mind that your projected chance might STILL be 30-50% higher than the average applicant). Hope this helps!
Some schools like the Ivys have and accept students with extraordinary stats, and they pick students who are unique. Also, there are many unique students which makes the admissions process a little random compared to other schools. Due to the randomness, the chances are lower since we can't really be for sure whether this is what the school wants.