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Getting Into Your Dream College

Updated on January 10, 2013

The pressure of selecting a college is as stressful as the examination process itself. It is typical for high school students to already have their eye on certain colleges or universities. Getting into your college of choice will actually boil down to the manner by which you selected these schools and in the number of colleges you have applied in.

Selection Process

Select the top five to seven schools. Never mind that you have your eye set on just Yale or Harvard, noting down the top five to seven schools in still a must. There is a huge risk behind applying only at one or two schools. There is after all a chance you may get turned down and it is simply not a wise move to be narrowing your options so early on in the game.

Strategic Planning

Strategy is necessary when determining the top seven schools on your list. It is vital that during the application process, that you position yourself in the best way possible. Sounds confusing? Simply put your university list must comprise of a good mix. It should comprise not only of your “target” school, it should also have some “long shot” universities and of course some “safety” options.

Target Schools

Target schools are colleges or universities where your academic position meets the schools admission requirements perfectly. These are the schools where you will feel the most confident in applying in. the type where you know your chances of admission are pretty high. Even with this frame in mind, try to keep your optimism in check since there is still that slight chance of rejection.

Long Shot Schools

Long- shot schools are colleges deemed as very competitive and can be tough to get into. Admissions to these schools are based widely on how your admission requirements stack up. The admission panel will be thorough when it comes to deciding who they accept in their institution. In general these schools are the kinds you feel that you have the slightest chance of being accepted in just by comparing your current academic standing and the schools admission requirements. It may sound like you are shooting for the stars; there is never any harm in trying though.

Safety Schools

What are safety schools? As you may have already surmised, a safety schools is one you know you are an absolute shoe in for. This is the school wherein you know that admittance to these schools fits perfectly with the requirements of the school’s admission. Do not however pick just any safety school. Select one that you actually want to be enrolled in. an institution that you know can meet your educational needs and aid you in your future profession. Going with just any random school will not be beneficial for you in the long run.


The process of school selection is vital. You need to be realistic while noting down what you like and dislike. Take sufficient time to scrutinize every college or university you are interested in. find out more about the courses, the campus, the extracurricular activities, etc.


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    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 4 years ago

      Awesome, helpful tips. Getting into your chosen institute can be tough, especially just now with all the competition. As much as it pains me to say it, I would always suggest people have a backup, just in case they don't get into their first choice. This is one situation where you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.

    • Ms._Info profile image

      Ms._Info 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Great tips. My son is only in first grade so I haven't started thinking about college yet, but I have many nieces and nephews who will be going through the process in the next couple of years. I will certainly share the tip about applying for a safety school.

    • Learning in Life profile image

      Megan Sisko 4 years ago from SW Florida

      The safety school is one most high school grads forget about when they have their sights set on a big time school. I have watched friends miss out of great opportunities because they didn't keep their options open.