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Monday, October 19, 2015
The Beauty of the Safety School
Years ago, when I was applying to colleges, there was a sort of unspoken routine to the application process. This was before the Common Application and, frankly, the Internet, so we filled our applications out by hand. That, and the cost of each application forced us to rein it in a bit. I only applied to five different schools.
I applied to one college that was out of the solar system for me. I applied to another that was a stretch. My top choice was a maybe. The other two were certainties, and I would have been happy enough to attend either. As it turned out, I got into all but the one out by Pluto. And because I had so many options, I wasn't heartbroken about it.
Forbes has a great list of 107 "Super Safety Schools", many of which also offer big tuition discounts. I love that Forbes does this. Like a moth to a flame, the media is fixated on the tiny handful of exclusive private colleges with the most ridiculously exclusive acceptance rates.
Harvard and Stanford will never be in most students' stratospheres. Which makes me wonder why we spend so much collective time talking about them.
There are over 4,000 public and private universities in the U.S. Many accept at least two-thirds of applicants. There is no reason why most students shouldn't be considering many of them. Pedigree is helpful, but it isn't everything. More importantly, just because a school is name brand, doesn't mean it will be a great fit.
I get it. It's hard not to want the shiny stuff that other people covet. But college is just too important to be looked at that way. Check out Forbes' list, and most of all, keep an open mind.
Labels: The Beauty of the Safety School
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