When you apply to colleges it is important to diversify your applications. Most students have a dream school they want to apply to that is very competitive. Even if you meet all of the requirements for admissions, these schools may not offer you a spot. When you are applying to a competitive school it is also wise to apply to a safety school. Safety schools offer a safety net so that if you don’t get into your dream school, you will still have a great option for enrolling in the fall.
An Excellent Education
A safety school should have admissions requirements that you are certain you can meet. They should also be slightly less competitive, so that you can be sure you will be granted admission if you meet or exceed the standard requirements. A safety school doesn’t mean a poor education. There are many schools that offer excellent opportunities that aren’t as competitive. Large public universities have prestigious staff, excellent research opportunities, and challenging academic programs, as well as a broad range of majors. Choosing a safety school doesn’t mean settling, it means finding a school that will meet your academic needs and be a sure bet for acceptance.
Keeping Options Open
Applying to multiple schools also keeps your options open. You may decide you want to go to a larger school, or a smaller school. Maybe you would prefer to stay closer to home, or didn’t get the financial package you were hoping for. Students often discover that their dream school may not be the best fit. If you apply to multiple schools, you won’t feel backed into a corner when it comes to enrollment.
In addition, the New York Times explains that some competitive schools are experimenting with deferred admissions These schools know that not all freshman who enroll will continue into a second year. So, they offer students guaranteed enrollment if they maintain a certain GPA at a different institution for a semester or a whole year. If you don’t have an alternative available, you won’t be able to pursue this option if it is offered.
For a variety of reasons, you will want to have the safety net of a safety school in place. This doesn’t mean going overboard on applications. Applying to schools takes both time and money. Choosing three or four schools to apply to, some that are reach schools and some that are safety, will give you a range of choices so you can make the best decision about your future education.