How to Pick Your Safety Schools

Safety schools can be difficult to pick because it’s often hard to find ones that we like. Schools with great academics are usually highly selective, while educational standards at safeties can be subpar. Nonetheless, we all need to add a decent number of safeties to our lists just in case other colleges don’t work out.

Only apply to schools you want to go to

Just because it’s a safety, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to hate it. No matter what happens, you want to feel excited for college. So even in the worst-case scenario, your last choice is still a school you love. You’ll feel reassured that you’ll be okay, even if your grades substantially drop.

Be sure it’s a safety

Acceptance rates are growing lower and lower at most schools these days. A college you thought was a safety may have become more of a target or even a reach. Check that statistics on accepted students’ GPA and SAT scores are up to date.

The whole point of a safety is that you’re almost completely positive that you’ll get in. So you need to be sure that you’re correctly classifying these schools.

Don’t worry about other people’s opinions

Like with reach schools, other people’s opinions don’t matter. Think about how you’ll feel when you get to that college and people from high school are a distant memory. Will you be happy and satisfied? If yes, then apply.

Treat safeties like reaches

Research the school thoroughly. Try to visit the campus. Put as much effort into applying as you would with a reach school.

This way, you’ll get to know the school better, which will allow you to truly decide if you like it. Also, by making sure your application is the best it can be, you’ll ensure your acceptance even more.


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  • Nadira Berman

    As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.

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