How to choose a safety school?

For most students, their first choice university is probably an extremely competitive school or at least to their own personal standards. And therefore the chances of them not getting into their first choice school increases dramatically. And even though it is better to think and act in a way that will help you achieve your goals. Having a backup school is a great resource to have if things don't go your way.

Before Choosing

It is very important to know that having a backup school should not discourage you from doing your absolute best. Having a backup school doesn't mean that you are dropping your dreams, or lowering your standards. It should be a way to encourage you even more into working hard to achieve acceptance into your dream school. knowing this we can now answer the main question.

Let's get started

How to choose safety schools? In order to choose the best alternative school for you, you need to look for schools that have similar characteristics of your first choice but just with a lower acceptance rate. Let’s look at a scenario where this rule would be applicable. This example should illustrate the best way of choosing a great backup school.


John’s first choice school is Harvard University and his safety school is Texas A&M University. If you look closely at these universities they can be very similar, they have a lot of the same values as a school, Harvard is known for having a top business school in the world, Texas A&M is known for having a top business school in the country. Texas A&M is sometimes even referred to as “The Harvard of Texas”. Now let’s compare the acceptance rates of both universities. Harvard coming in with astonishing 5.4% acceptance rate, and Texas A&M coming in with a respectable 66% percent (we have to take in consideration that A&M is a much larger in volume, and that affects the high acceptance rate).

This example shows how to choose the best alternative school for you, and remember having a backup school shouldn’t be an option, if you gave it your best and still were not able to get into your first choice that is completely fine, and that’s when your alternative becomes of great use, but don’t let it discourage you from doing your very best.