It’s standard advice for college applicants: apply to “reaches,” “matches,” and “safeties.”
However, as admit rates have dwindled and college costs have risen in recent years, the counseling field, as a whole, has gotten more conservative in its definition of a “match.” The current thinking, as outlined in the Washington Post, is that “matches” shouldn’t be schools at which you’d be just an average freshman. Rather, they should be schools at which your credentials (e.g., high school GPA, test scores) surpass those of 75 percent or more of current freshmen. Yes, “matches” are now schools for which you’re somewhat overqualified.
Submitting the majority of your applications to such colleges can do the following for you:
- Boost the number of acceptance letters you receive.
- Make you likely to receive better financial aid packages.
If you select your “match” schools with this new definition in mind, you’re likely to have a greater number of palatable options (i.e., acceptance letters from colleges offering generous aid) at the end of the application process. Click here to read more on the Washington Post.