1 Reason to Apply to 10 Colleges and Universities

Written by Ben Warner, MSHS Principal

There is only one way to attend a college or university: A student must apply and be accepted!

Applying to college is often a stressful process.  The most stressful part, though, is not completing and submitting the applications.  What’s stressful is waiting to hear back about acceptance, especially when students are uncertain if they will get into the college or university to which they applied.  So, how can the stress be taken out of your spring? Apply* to three types of schools: “Reach,” “Target” and “Fall Back.”

*Before applying, students must accurately understand their student profile: GPA, SAT/ACT scores, rigor of high school courses (AP and honors), community service, leadership experiences, etc.

The first category of college a student should apply to is a “Reach” school.  These are the prestigious schools, colleges or universities that would be a dream to attend.  These are also schools that are known for having extremely high admission standards. Even if those standards are above the student’s profile, it is still worth applying and chasing the dream.  When applying to a “Reach” school, a student should use Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA). ED is a contractual agreement that can be made with only one school. If accepted through ED, a student is contractually obligated to attend that school.  EA is simply applying early, showing interest in that school ahead of the application deadlines. ED and EA typically report on acceptance in the fall! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Consider applying to two or three “Reach” schools.

The second category is the “Target” school.  These are schools that most closely match the student profile.  The admissions requirements are right at or perhaps just above the student profile.  At face value, it would make sense that the school would accept the student. These schools are realistic and are often the perfect match.  Students should desire to attend and to earn a degree from the school. Students will most likely choose from one of these schools in the spring.  Consider applying to four or five “Target” schools.

The third category of school is the “Fall Back” school.  “Fall Back” schools are those that quite frankly would love to enroll the student because of his or her qualities!  The student’s profile exceeds the admissions requirements and acceptance is almost guaranteed. These should be schools that the student would be content attending, knowing that it could be a four-year destination, or it could simply be a one- or two-year stop on the way to a more desirable school.  One nice thought about “Fall Back” schools is that there may be excellent opportunities for scholarships in several areas: academics, athletics, leadership, service, and more, because they want so much for the student to attend. Consider applying to two or three “Fall Back” schools.

So, won’t applying to ten schools take forever?  Well, no it won’t. It really could be as simple as completing just one or two applications!  By utilizing the Common Application and the University of California (UC) Application, students can apply to several schools at one time by simply checking the boxes next to the schools they desire.  Students can even pay the application fees for all the schools at one time.

There is only one way to attend a college or university: A student must apply and be accepted!  By applying to these three types of schools, the fear of acceptance in the spring will be replaced with excitement, curiosity and wonder.

So, how do you want to spend your spring?



1 Reason to Apply to 10 Colleges and Universities

Written by Ben Warner, MSHS Principal

There is only one way to attend a college or university: A student must apply and be accepted!

Applying to college is often a stressful process.  The most stressful part, though, is not completing and submitting the applications.  What’s stressful is waiting to hear back about acceptance, especially when students are uncertain if they will get into the college or university to which they applied.  So, how can the stress be taken out of your spring? Apply* to three types of schools: “Reach,” “Target” and “Fall Back.”

*Before applying, students must accurately understand their student profile: GPA, SAT/ACT scores, rigor of high school courses (AP and honors), community service, leadership experiences, etc.

The first category of college a student should apply to is a “Reach” school.  These are the prestigious schools, colleges or universities that would be a dream to attend.  These are also schools that are known for having extremely high admission standards. Even if those standards are above the student’s profile, it is still worth applying and chasing the dream.  When applying to a “Reach” school, a student should use Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA). ED is a contractual agreement that can be made with only one school. If accepted through ED, a student is contractually obligated to attend that school.  EA is simply applying early, showing interest in that school ahead of the application deadlines. ED and EA typically report on acceptance in the fall! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Consider applying to two or three “Reach” schools.

The second category is the “Target” school.  These are schools that most closely match the student profile.  The admissions requirements are right at or perhaps just above the student profile.  At face value, it would make sense that the school would accept the student. These schools are realistic and are often the perfect match.  Students should desire to attend and to earn a degree from the school. Students will most likely choose from one of these schools in the spring.  Consider applying to four or five “Target” schools.

The third category of school is the “Fall Back” school.  “Fall Back” schools are those that quite frankly would love to enroll the student because of his or her qualities!  The student’s profile exceeds the admissions requirements and acceptance is almost guaranteed. These should be schools that the student would be content attending, knowing that it could be a four-year destination, or it could simply be a one- or two-year stop on the way to a more desirable school.  One nice thought about “Fall Back” schools is that there may be excellent opportunities for scholarships in several areas: academics, athletics, leadership, service, and more, because they want so much for the student to attend. Consider applying to two or three “Fall Back” schools.

So, won’t applying to ten schools take forever?  Well, no it won’t. It really could be as simple as completing just one or two applications!  By utilizing the Common Application and the University of California (UC) Application, students can apply to several schools at one time by simply checking the boxes next to the schools they desire.  Students can even pay the application fees for all the schools at one time.

There is only one way to attend a college or university: A student must apply and be accepted!  By applying to these three types of schools, the fear of acceptance in the spring will be replaced with excitement, curiosity and wonder.

So, how do you want to spend your spring?