Every student should apply to a “balanced list” of colleges complete with Reaches, Targets and Safeties. By creating this “balanced list”, the college search and application process is less stressful and is guaranteed to produce a successful outcome.
Reaches: Many colleges and universities report highly competitive admissions, meaning no student should expect admission. Highly competitive schools receive far more applications from qualified applicants than they can admit. Thus, for Reach schools, students are encouraged to do everything possible to achieve admission, but the college list must contain postsecondary options to which gaining admission is easier.
Targets: Target schools are schools that fit a student’s academic background and to which a student has a reasonable chance for admission.
Safeties: Schools from which the student can fully expect an offer of admission. Safeties must be options the student would be happy to attend.