Tips on Applying to Your “Reach” Colleges
College application season is in full swing for high school seniors across the country. By now, you should have made your “list” of colleges that you have either already applied to or are going to apply to.
A good rule of thumb is that you should have a list of four to five “target” schools, one or two “safety” schools, and a couple of “reach” schools.
A reach school is a college you would love to go to, but it is a reach due to the high competition of that college or maybe you most likely won’t qualify because of grades or test scores.
However, it is always good to apply to a few of these schools because you never know; you may just be the student that college is looking for.
Here are some tips in identifying your reach colleges:
- Know how your GPA and SAT or ACT scores match up with the range of the colleges that are your reach schools. You can find this information on a college’s website that will tell you the average GPA and SAT or ACT scores.
- If you are in that range, many admissions departments may give greater weight to your essay, letters of recommendation, and other evidence of excellence, including leadership and community service experience.
- Don’t be afraid to apply to any college that may have slightly higher standards than your statistics.
- Know what you want to major in and make sure your reach colleges offer that specific major.
- Remember what you want from a college. If you are applying to a reach college just because it is prestigious, you may want to reconsider applying.
- If a college is possibly out of your reach academically, but you can demonstrate a specialty in a specific extracurricular activity, apply and make sure you mention this particular interest in your essay as well as contacting someone at the college who is the program coordinator of this interest. Being able to identify an advocate at your reach school may be very advantageous for you.
We have worked with hundreds of students not only to help them get admitted and arrange financial aid, but also to help them select colleges that are a good fit. In doing this, we look at many factors that the normal student may not always consider. We want to help you (or your son/daughter) get into the right college! Contact us today for more information. We’re happy to assist you.