When I first started to apply for colleges in September, my list was a respectable 5 colleges long. I really thought those were the only schools I was going to apply to! But, as the weeks went on, my list started growing and growing and growing…
By January, when I applied to my last school, my list was 12 colleges deep. When I was asked how many colleges I applied to, people were in shock! However, it made perfect sense to me!
The method to my madness…
My list consisted of three categories: safeties, matches, and one big reach. Remember, safeties, matches, and reaches will widely vary between people depending on your GPA and ACT.
My “safeties” consisted of 4 in-state schools and 1 out-of-state school, all of which had an acceptance rate of 65% or more. I made sure my GPA and ACT were above average before applying, because these were the schools I was pretty sure I would get into, and hopefully even get a scholarship for! These schools included the University of Alabama and Virginia Commonwealth University.
My next category was my match schools. I applied to 6 match schools, all of which I had an average or slightly below average GPA and ACT. These schools had an acceptance rate of between 20% and 50%. Some examples are UVA, Sewanee, and Wake Forest.
Lastly, I applied to one reach school. This school had about a 10% acceptance rate, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get in 🙂
I got into 8 schools! I got into all of my safeties and 3 of my match schools! I was rejected by 2 schools and waitlisted by another 2 schools. I said no to all of my waitlists offers because I honestly didn’t feel like waiting haha.
Whenever I told people I applied to 12 schools, they were appalled that I was probably spending $1,000+ in application fees. While the application fees were expensive, almost all of my safety schools were free to apply to.
If you are applying to college, take advantage of local schools that are free to apply to! Usually, the application is simple, and you never know how much money you will get in scholarships!
Many states have a college application week, so ask your guidance counselor about that and if they have any application fee waivers. I know the University of Alabama has a free application week, along with many other schools.
When deciding match schools, I recommend asking yourself how likely you are to get in. If you think you have a 50/50 shot of getting in, its a match. If you have a 20/80 shot of getting in (or lower!), its a reach.
Anyways, thanks for reading my blog! If you have any requests for posts or questions please let me know 🙂