I just read an article on another site that argued that it is easier now to get into a selective college than it was 30 years ago. The argument is that some selective colleges have added seats in the last 30 years and some colleges that didn’t use to be selective now are so those seats are also available.
An interesting argument but what concerned me about the article was the statement that students no longer had to worry about reach, match and safety colleges. Just apply to enough schools, the article suggested, and you are bound to get into at least one.
I have seen this argument made many times by students. And sometimes, it works. But more often, the result is a student that come April of senior year, has been rejected by every selective college they applied to and has no college options whatsoever.
Here’s the deal. Just because you apply to 20 colleges that all have a 5% acceptance rate doesn’t mean that you will get into at least one of those colleges. You must, and I can not stress this enough, must have at least two colleges on your list at which you are very confident that you will get accepted.
If you get accepted into a selective college and choose not to go to the less selective college, that is your choice. But you only get to have a choice if you have at least two colleges where you are sure you will be admitted. Otherwise, your choice might be the local community college.