How Likely Are You to Get In?

"Will I get admitted?" While there is no magic answer to this question, you can get a fairly good idea of your chances.

Figuring out which colleges are likely to admit you is not an exact science. But you can find out what a college is looking for and look at the credentials of students who got admitted, and then see how you measure up.

Start with Data About Who Just Got In

Data about the students recently accepted to your favorite colleges is easy to find. Just look up a college using a search tool such as College Match. You'll see the GPAs and test scores of enrolled freshmen and the factors the college values most in applicants.

See How You Compare with Those Who Just Got In

Comparing your own credentials with those of current freshmen will help you figure out whether you stand a chance. The higher you are within the range of accepted students' GPAs and test scores, the higher your chances are of being admitted.

See What the College Values—and How You Stack Up

Almost all colleges consider the student's grades to be the most important factor in admission decisions, particularly in challenging courses. But colleges vary in the weight they give other factors, such as test scores, essays, and extracurriculars. These factors can also be important to your chances.

Talk to Your Counselor

As you build your college list, talk it over with your college counselor. He or she has a valuable perspective on your strengths as a student and your chances at the colleges you are considering. Your counselor can also suggest colleges you can research further.

Consider Your Chances When Building Your College List

Your college list should include colleges from each of these categories: "Likely to Get In," "A Good Chance of Getting In," and "Might Get In."

Think twice about this category: "Takes a Miracle to Get In." Highly selective schools, such as those in the Ivy League, turn away thousands of qualified applicants.

What's Next?

  • Spend some time with Admissions Tracker. It shows you the actual GPAs and test scores of students who were recently accepted to specific colleges.
  • Try out the College Chances Calculator, which estimates whether any college on your list is a "reach," a "maybe," or a "good bet" for you.
  • Use College Match to look up admission stats and top admission factors for individual colleges.

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