Where to Apply


There are many things you should consider when you are deciding where to apply, including type, size, setting, and character, among others, but for most students at Tolman, the most important factors include:

  • Match
  • Location
  • Affordability

Match

To determine whether a school is a safety, likely or reach for you, check out their statistics. Go on www.collegeboard.com and search for each school you are considering individually.

Click on the “At-A-Glance” tab.

  • Selectivity
    • What percent of applicants are admitted?
  • Class rank
    • What percent of accepted applicants were in the top 10th of their graduating class in high school?
    • What percent of accepted applicants were in the top quarter of their graduating class in high school?
    • What percent of accepted applicants were in the top half of their graduating class in high school?
  • GPA
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs of 3.75 or higher?
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs between 3.5 and 3.74?
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs between 3.25 and 3.49?
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs between 3.0 and 3.24?
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs between 2.5 and 2.99?
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs between 2.0 and 2.49?
    • What percent of accepted applicants had high school GPAs between 1.0 and 1.99?
  • SAT/ACT
    • What did the middle 50% of first-year students earn on the SAT Critical Reading section?
    • What did the middle 50% of first-year students earn on the SAT Math section?
    • What did the middle 50% of first-year students earn on the SAT Writing section?
    • What did the middle 50% of first-year students earn on the ACT?
    • Are SAT and ACT scores required for admission or optional?
      • If your scores aren’t up to par and they are optional, don’t submit them!

So, how do you measure up? If your academic profile is below that of the school you are interested in, then it may be a reach school for you. If your academic profile exactly or nearly matches that of the school you are interested in, then it may be a likely school for you. If your academic profile greatly exceeds that of the school you are interested in, then it may be a safety school for you.

Location

To determine whether a school is too close or far from home, you should visit their individual website and answer the following questions for yourself.

  • Where is the school located?
  • How far is the school from where you live in miles?
  • How would you travel to and from school for breaks and summer vacations? By car? Bus? Train? Plane?
  • About how much would it cost to travel to and from school for a single break or summer vacation?
  • About how much would it cost to travel to and from school for breaks and summer vacations for a single academic year?
  • Would the cost of transportation to and from school prove to be a financial burden to you and your family?

Affordability

To determine how much a school costs and learn about their financial aid statistics, go on www.collegeboard.com, and search for each school you are considering individually.

Click on the “Cost & Financial Aid” tab.

  • What is the total cost of tuition, room, and board?
  • What is the average percent of need met?
    • If your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), or the amount the government determines your family is able to contribute to your college education via the FAFSA, is $0, in all likelihood you are going to need a great deal of financial aid. If a school meets 100% need, then they will provide you with a combination of scholarships/grants and loans/jobs to cover the entire cost of tuition, room, and board. If a school only meets 50% of need, then they will provide you with a combination of scholarships/grants and loans/jobs to cover, on average, around 50% of the entire cost of tuition, room, and board, and you and your family will be responsible for the rest. Remember that this is only an average; some students will have a higher percentage of need met and others will have a lower percentage of need met based on a number of factors.
  • How many freshmen were judged to have need?
  • How many freshmen were offered aid?
  • How many freshmen had full need met?
    • Even if a school’s average percent of need met is low, you could be one of the lucky few to have 100% of your need met.

Although you shouldn’t shy away from applying to a school that has a low percentage of need met, the vast majority of schools you apply to should meet between 90 and 100% need. This will give you more options when you are faced with making your final decisions in May.

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