College Acceptance Rates and the Right School For You

If you’re starting your senior year this post is for you. There is something happening in the college admissions process that is unprecedented. Acceptance rates at various colleges are plummeting. This isn’t to say there aren’t schools that have had freakishly low acceptance rates for the last ten years but there is an overall trend of fast declining acceptance rates across the country.

Now, this isn’t about getting more anxious about the college admissions process but about being informed. Whatever you do, don’t panic!


There is really only one thing that this unprecedented acceptance rate drop means for you. These dipping admit rates means that you need to widen your options. So what does widening your options looks like?

Good news is that you can still apply to your dream schools and you can still apply to your target schools! What you do have to keep in mind however is to focus on finding safety schools that you are excited about. This isn’t supposed to be discouraging but rather be a stress reducer. If you find safety schools that you can really see yourself at, no matter what colleges you get into you know you will be happy in the end.

Really the point of this post is to tell you that the acceptance rate of a college does not define you or any college. Don’t just choose colleges because they are more selective than another. In the end, the goal of the admissions process is to find your home for the next 4 years of your life and you can’t let a single number determine that for you.

Challenge yourself to research colleges and universities that may be slightly less selective than what you had in mind but are known for providing a quality education. Honestly, applying to schools that are less selective has more than one benefit. For example, if you are slightly overqualified for any given school you are more likely to receive a merit scholarship from that college to subsidize your college bill (that is always a good thing!!!!). In these ways, broaden your options and you may run into opportunities that you never even imagined.

Good Luck!



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  • Myka Yamasaki

    Myka will be attending Occidental College (located in Los Angeles) in the fall and is very excited! She is looking forward to reflecting on her high school experience to help others do their best on the SAT/ACT and in college admissions. She loves cats, food, and friends.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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