Students sometimes let the hype around the college admissions process get them down. They may feel unworthy, not competitive and just plain discouraged about their chances of getting in. Such students are often surprised that they get admission offers from their "reach" schools.
Many factors are involved in college admission decisions including how many students apply in relation to the number of seats available and whether the student is a member of a group the college is trying to recruit.
Students and families should keep in mind that most colleges are eager to accept them and happy to receive their applications. The balanced strategy of applying to safety, likely and reach colleges with respect to how student metrics stack up compared to the average admitted student at each college is a sound one. Some of the responses that surprise students include: