What separates a reach from a match school?

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Discus: College Search and Selection: June 2004 Archive: What separates a reach from a match school?
By Chocoman (Chocoman) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 04:05 pm: Edit

I have a general idea of the difference between a reach and a match, but what exactly separates them?

For example, I'm applying to Williams, Swarthmore, Vassar, Haverford, and other top LAC'S with a 1470 and a 4.0. Would Vassar and Haverford be matches and Swat and Williams reaches? Or are all reaches?

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

Just a theory:

For a match, you are at or above the 50th percentile for SAT scores, GPA, and class rank.

For a safety, you're at or above the 75th percentile for all of those quantifiable elements.

A reach is a place where you are under the 50th percentile in one or more.

Obviously there are other factors, which your college counsellor should help you with... your ECs, essay, recs, URM status, geography. Also if the admission rate at a college is ridiculously low (under 20%), it that can lead to arbitrary results.

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