Academic fit is a measure of the likelihood of a student being admitted to a college, based on the student’s academic performance. The simplest method of measuring academic fit is to compare the student’s high school grade point average (GPA) and college admissions test scores with the typical range for students enrolled at the college. The college’s admissions test scores may be found on College Navigator and College Scorecard. For example, the student’s SAT or ACT scores might be compared with the performance of the middle half of the test score distribution for the college’s freshman class.
This leads to the following definitions of reach, match and safety schools:
These definitions are illustrated by this graphic:
Students should apply to several match and safety schools to increase the student’s chances of getting in to at least one college. This should include at least one in-state public college.
A financial aid safety school is a college that will not only admit the student, but where the student could afford to enroll even if he or she gets no financial aid. Use each college’s net price calculator to determine how much gift aid the student might receive at the college, as well as the college’s net price.
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