Your "safety" and "reach" schools

When you applied to college (in the US), what were your “reach” and “safety” schools?

reach=You fall just short of their criteria, applied anyway
safety=Comfortably meet criteria, prefer better school

I knew that I wanted to go to UF and I knew that I could get into UF. It was the only school I applied to.

I had dreams of going to Penn State or UCLA. After taking the SATs it became apparent I couldn’t even afford to apply to those schools, much less afford the tuition. Applied to U of Md, for the instate tuition, plus it was a very good engineering school, especially for Aero which I majored in. (This was 1981 timeframe)

UF grad here as well. It wasn’t the only school that I was accepted to attend, however it was a great choice for me!! Go gators:)

My parents could afford state college. There was one nearby. I applied there. No question I would get in. No need to apply elsewhere.

I’d already been approached by the University of Houston about scholarships and the like, so that was my safety school, since I grew up in Houston and could stay at home with the folks if need be.

My reach school was Harvard, IIRC. Don’t remember if I was denied or wait-listed; I didn’t have any real intention to go there unless I somehow was accepted and got a colossal amount of student aid.

I ended up going to Texas A&M because they had the same scholarships as the other state schools like UT, and I had some family history there.

My reach school was Oxford, my safety school Cornell. I was an arrogant little shit. :slight_smile:

I had good grades, good test scores, and a good-looking high school transcript. I got accepted at every school I applied to, but ultimately it came down to what could I afford, and that was Salisbury State and Maryland (I also applied to Penn State, Hofstra, and Boston College).

I applied to a bunch of schools in the UC system, and got into every one of them. :smiley:

The thing is, I couldn’t afford to actually go to any one of them, so for the past few years I’ve been attending the local CC and am planning to transfer to the nearest CSU next year.

I’d WAG that many high school/cc students are in exactly the same situation. School is fuckin’ expensive.

Only commenting here because many folks don’t realize that private schools often have more financial aid to offer than state schools. We could only afford state tuition too, but the expensive private school actually did better with grants and other forms of aid than the state did.

Safety- SUNY school in my hometown.

Didn’t really have a reach school but ended up wait-listed at my first choice: Wesleyan U. I had the grades, but I bombed the interview (I was so nervous I couldn’t remember anything I liked about my favorite books, including character names).

I know now that I would have been happier where I went anyway, so it’s all good.

This is a good point. My nephew, for instance, was accepted by the University of Connecticut and an expensive private school. The private school offered a generous scholarship, while the state university offered nothing, so the actual cost was lower at the private school, even though the sticker price was about twice that of the state university. (In short, very few people pay the sticker price for college.)

As for me, the long shots were Yale and MIT. The University of Connecticut was the safety and Carnegie-Mellon and Rensselaer were in the middle.

Reach: Rice, Northwestern (rejected from both, goddamnit)
Safety: U of Wisconsin, SUNY Binghamton

Where I went: William & Mary

I got a full ride to the state university, so my dad told me that’s where I would be going. No point even looking at other schools. I think I briefly flirted with Beloit, but didn’t apply.

I only wanted to go to UC Santa Cruz, so I only applied to UC Santa Cruz. I was a pretty decisive teen.

Reach: Cornell, and the RUMalthough some may have argued that UF could’ve been reach (based on my GPA and the year I was admitted)

Safety: All the others (UPR-RP, UF, Purdue, UW-Madison, and I’m not sure what else).

I was admitted to all right away, except Cornell. Ended up going to UF. Cornell admitted me after a 1 year undergrad at UF, and gave me a very good scholarship. I decided to screw that and continue at UF.

UT (Chattanooga and Knoxville, both) were my safeties. There was no doubt that I’d get into either of them - but because, iirc, at the time both had rolling admission, I didn’t actually apply to them - I would have had I not gotten elsewhere.

My two main choices, Bowdoin (early decision) and Colby were reaches - Bowdoin more so. I didn’t get in there, did get into Colby.

I didn’t really have a safety school because back in the early 90s you could get into any school if you had a high enough GPA and SAT – i.e. near perfect, which I did. But just in case I didn’t make it into Cornell or Yale, I was prepared to go to UCF. I ended up finishing my degree at UCF anyway because Cornell was so competitive (i.e. no matter how hard you tried, a certain percentage of people were guaranteed to not get into their major of choice if other people outscored you.)

I’m with Johnny Bravo. I only applied to the University of Wisconsin. It is where I wanted to go and I knew I would be accepted.

Heh… “reach” I’d say three Ivies plus JHU, accepted at all, ended up at JHU because it provided a full FA package. (Little did the 'rents know I’d wash out after three…)

The ultimate fallback was of course the University of [del]We’re On Strike[/del] PR at RP where I already knew I was admitted by the start of my senior HS year, and which at the time I think was still charging like $10 per credit hour, but I think I’d rather have enlisted than have to stay living at home.

I only wanted to go to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and would have only applied there except my guidance counselor made me apply to an in state school as well. I was accepted to both and chose FIT obviously.