A few days ago a parent of a high school senior mentioned that their child did not get into their "safety" college, New York University. I gasped.
First, there are no "safety" colleges these days with acceptance rates plummeting. Second, many colleges, even with higher acceptance rates, deliberately do not accept high-achieving students who haven't shown "demonstrated interest" in them. And, third, NYU's acceptance rate this year is 12.8%. That means NYU is one of the most selective colleges in the U.S.
It reminded me that we all need to adjust our sense of selectivity when it comes to building a college list. Here are five top tips to ensure you have a balanced college list for you:
1. Rely on the college's most recent acceptance rate listed on its website.
2. If a college has an Early Decision program and you plan to apply to it, you can guarantee that the acceptance rate will be higher in Early Decision.
RELATED READING: The Key to Getting Into College? Apply Early