Building a College List
With more the 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States, it can be (understandably) overwhelming for students to narrow down that list to just 10-12 colleges to which they will apply. Not only that, but a college list should contain options across a range of admissibility (Likely, Target, Reach) to ensure a student has options that they’re happy about at the end of the process.
What do we mean by this?
· “Likelies” (3-4 on your list): A student has an estimated greater than 75% chance of admission based on their academic profile and test scores. However, this process is not perfect, and even colleges we believe will accept you may not if they suspect you will not attend or if you have applied to a particularly competitive major.
· “Targets” (3-4 on your list): A student has an estimated 50% chance of admission based on their academic profile and test scores. We want you to have some nice options, even beyond your Likelies.
· “Reaches” (3-4 on your list): A student has less than a 25% estimated chance of admission. Every list should have a few Reaches, and typically these schools are the easiest ones to find.
Want to learn more about Dunbar’s recommendations for narrowing down your college list?
Check out this section in our Handbook for tips on how to get started!