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I am often asked by students to suggest "safety schools" to include in their portfolios. My (almost) universal response is this:
The concept of the safety school relies on highly misguided notions regarding the education process and personal motivation. Apply only to schools that genuinely interest and help you achieve your goals. If you are unable to gain acceptance to a school of sufficient quality (however you have defined this) in the present round or year, improve your application and reapply. After all, if you are spending 50,000 + on this endeavour you might as well get what you want . . .
Of course, some observers find some utility of the safety school concept. Reasonable minds can differ, but I find whatever comfort they allegedly provide to be illusory at best.
Not Everyone wants to go to Harvard [#permalink]
12 Jan 2005, 00:38
... and Harvard only accepts about 10% of TOP applicants... however they define them.
Look for school that move you and that you can see yourself attending. 9 out of 10 applicants to Harvard or Stanford are turned away. Some of those have top GMATs, but it takes other things to fit in there. These two school have the option to turn away perfectly good candidates.
Another thing worth mentioning Harvard and Stanford are always at the top in every major. There are other schools that are better in certain areas. Like Finance: Chicago, Northwestern, Duke, NYU, Rochester Cornell, Columbia (usually the ones near NY)... for marketing it is mostly the midwest schools: Northwestern, Michigan, Indiana, Duke, U North Carol, and Emory.
For operations and technology it is the east coast... MIT, Carnegie, Duke Cornell, Purdue...