Of the approximately 3,500 accredited colleges and universities in the U.S., only about1 00 are considered highly selective. This means that getting accepted to any of these schools is extremely difficult for even the most accomplished student. And recent data shows that the selectivity is only increasing. For example, this past year, Harvard and Yale had more applicants than in any of time in their history. And since class size at these schools remains relatively stable, that means an even lower admissions rate.
This shouldn't discourage your student from applying to highly selective colleges-it just means they need to be savvy about how they do it. Start by reading our post on what a highly selective college looks for, so you know what's important in those applications. At the top of the list, after academics? In-depth involvement in high school activities. Our article about what in-depth really means will help your student be sure they're focusing their energies in the right spots.
If after doing their research, your student wants to apply to one or more highly selective colleges, download our Guide to Highly Selective Colleges, which will walk them through everything, including an application strategy for these types of schools. Our Guide includes:
What Makes a College Selective?
What These Colleges Want to See from Applicants
What Does “Depth” Mean in High School Activities?
Application Strategy: Early Decision vs. Restricted Early Action