Apply to universities at various levels of selectivity with at least one school that you will likely be accepted to. Assess a universityís selectivity by researching the percentage of students accepted versus how many students applied. Decide whether or not your accomplishments fit the criteria the university bases acceptance on.

Selectivity Percent accepted Acceptance Focus Other Focus
Open All high school graduates Accept students on first come, first served basis
Focus: High School Diploma
  • Courses taken
  • Counselor/teacher recommendations
  • Ethnicity
  • Grades
  • Application questions and essays
  • Geographic location
  • Grade point average
  • Personal interview
  • Alumni relationship
  • Rank in class
  • Activities outside the classroom
  • Major/college applied to
  • Admission test results
  • Special talents and skills
Less Selective More than 75% Whether applicants meet minimum requirements
Focus: GPA
More Selective 50-75% Whether applicants are ready for college-level study
Focus: course work, grades, test scores, recommendations, and essays
Very Selective Only admit a small percentage of applicants
Fewer than 50%
School officials look carefully at every aspect of a studentís high school experience, from academic strength to extracurricular activities. Since most applicants are strong in these areas, other factors such as the essays are critical.
Typical GPA: Top 10% of graduating class
Typical SAT score: 600-800 on each section

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