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Read on to learn more about how to organize and categorize your college list. To help you create a balanced college list, it’s important to organize them by admissions likelihood. On myOptions, we use the terms the “far reach,” “reach,” “target,” “likely,” and “highly likely” to help you categorize your college list.

Far Reach Schools

These colleges are considered “shoot for the stars” schools that you are unlikely to get into. Maybe you’re just applying for the heck of it; what have you got to lose? Don’t sweat it if you don’t get into far reach schools. You should only apply to 1, maybe 2 of these at most.

Reach Schools

Reach schools are difficult to get into, so be sure to keep your expectations realistic. The likelihood of being accepted to one of these schools is slim, but there IS still a chance! If you’re applying to 10-12 schools, you’ll want to have about 3-4 reaches.

Target Schools

These are schools where your GPA/test scores fit into their average admitted rage so you have a decent chance of getting in, but nothing is ever for sure. You’ll want the bulk of your list to be target schools.

Likely schools

These are colleges in which your GPA/test scores are towards the high end of what they are looking for, so you have a great shot at being accepted.

Highly likely

These schools aren’t a guaranteed acceptance, but you should feel really solid about your chances. Your GPA/test scores likely exceed their standards.

We can help!

By filling out your academic profile with your GPA and test scores on our app/website, we will be able to categorize schools for you! We use the terms “stratosphere,” “reach,” “target,” “likely,” and “highly likely” to identify how your test scores/GPA compare to previously admitted students. Things can change, so be sure to always keep your academic profile updated with your most recent GPA and test scores. That way, we can provide the most accurate categorizations for you.

Keep in mind, everyone’s college list is going to look different, and that’s completely okay! Don’t overexert yourself (and your wallet) by applying to an excessive number of schools. Remember, you’re not doing yourself (or anyone) a favor by applying to schools just for the sake of applying. You may also find that your dream school falls into your highly likely category, and that’s amazing! Don’t feel pressured to attend the school that was the “hardest to get into” just because you got in.