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JAN 12, 2021 • 6 min read
When applying to colleges, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. It’s important to aim high, but applying to a range of schools ensures that you’ll have options when it comes time to enroll! At Crimson, we use this principle to assess students’ goals, skills and preferences, then help them build lists that contain three or even four categories — match, target, reach and even hard reach schools.
Your match schools are the universities where you feel especially confident in your application. Your academics, extracurriculars and essays are even stronger than the average applicant’s — so effectively you could be a shoo-in!
Your target schools are realistic options where your academic and extracurricular profiles are on par with those of admitted students. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but your odds of acceptance at your target schools should be relatively high.
Your reach schools are aspirational (but definitely not impossible!). To get accepted to your reach schools, you’ll have to present a near-perfect application with test scores, grades, extracurriculars and essays that stand out among a crowd of ultra-qualified applicants.
Your hard reach schools are your ultimate dream schools — which means in order to gain admission, your applications need to be among the best of the best! This may seem impossible, but hundreds of Crimson students have defied the odds, receiving offers from schools which once felt entirely beyond their grasp.
So...how do you know which schools belong on your specific application list?
There are a number of factors to consider, but the first one is objective: your standardized test scores. Your scores are a straightforward indicator of eligibility, and they’re a helpful tool in figuring out which universities belong on your initial application list.
Crimson’s new US College Admissions Calculator is a great place to start, given you can simply put in your SAT score and gain instantaneous college list results. Better still, we can also calculate where you could be with SAT score increases — something our tutoring teams support their students in regularly, often helping them increase their score by 100 points or more!
Once you know how your test scores stack up, you can begin the process of building a college application that shines. Whether that means strengthening your scores or dedicating time to other parts of the application, Crimson has experts in every area to ensure you have access to the resources you need.
For Crimson students, reach or even hard reach schools often become real admissions possibilities. Thanks to our vast network of expert strategists, tutors and mentors who are all former or current students at top universities, we know the US application process inside out. We can help take your test scores to the next level, and that’s just the beginning: we also have dedicated mentors to help improve your essays, interviews, extracurriculars and more.
Want to learn more about what Crimson can do to ensure you put your best foot forward on your college applications? Schedule a free consultation with one of our academic advisors today.