Match schools make great choices because you'll be among peers who have academic abilities that are similar to your own. A match school is a college or university that is more than likely to admit the applicant as a student. The reason for this is because grades, along with ACT or SAT test scores, are similar to average students at the school. When applying to undergraduate institutions, it's important to choose schools wisely.
Is the school a match for you?
If you know your high school GPA, and you've taken either the ACT or SAT, it's simple to figure out if your GPA and ACT or SAT test scores are average for a specific school. There’s two ways for finding out this information:
Find schools that interest you and go to the admissions department page on their website. ACT and SAT data for matriculated students is usually posted. For most schools, the posted information represents the 25th and 75th percentile of students who enrolled. If your ACT or SAT scores are above the 25th percentile number, you're a possible match for the school. Though, the ultimate goal is to be at the middle 50th percentile. If you cannot find the data on the school’s website then give the admissions office a phone call. It doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and ask!
View a sample student body profile (Princeton University).
Your match school choices
You must understand that there is no guarantee of admission. Perhaps, many students with grades and ACT or SAT test scores similar to yours were offered a spot to attend next year. It’s very likely that students with comparable portfolios to yours were not admitted. This is a good reason to apply to safety schools. Try to have a few of these because it can be a shock to find out the spring of senior year that you've received nothing.
Top reasons for why you may not have been admitted to a match school:
• The application was incomplete or had careless errors.
• You failed to show your interest in the school.
• The college has a holistic admissions process. Meaning, your essay or extracurricular activities weren't as impressive as other students.
• You may have been knocked out by applicants who applied early action or early decision.
• Your letters of recommendation contradicted or drew suspicion compared to the rest of your application.
• The school wasn't able to meet family financial needs.
• Many schools believe that a diverse student body benefits the campus environment.
Contact us if you need help determining your match schools.