Studying in America and Canada  

3.5.6 Making the selection

The task of selecting target colleges makes one inherently, but understandably, uneasy. You are making decisions for your future. You really want to go to America or Canada for studies. You would like some assurance that your decisions would get you there. We understand that. While we understand your feelings, desires, and emotions, we can not guarantee success, nor can anyone else for that matter. Pause for a moment and think: Can you or anyone else guarantee you admission in a college in India? Of course not! Yes, we do know of many "donation-based," money-making machines in India; the so-called colleges whose degrees are often ridiculed. Hoping for assurances is natural but futile. So, letís get stated on making the selection.

Your task at hand is to select a handful of schools that would maximize your chances for admission and financial aid. Unless money is no object, a handful is all you can afford since each school requires an application fee ranging from $50 to $100. Here is an approach to selecting schools. You should spread your selection across three categories:

  • Reach: Colleges that are extremely competitive for your level of performance in the entrance exam. You have a small but finite chance of being admitted to these colleges.
  • Target: Colleges that are competitive for your level of performance in the entrance exam. You have a reasonably good chance of being admitted to these colleges.
  • Safety: Colleges that are moderately competitive for your level of performance in the entrance exam. You are reasonably well assured admission to these colleges.

You should apply to a handful of schools because, in so doing, you would diversify the risk of failure while maximizing your chances of getting admitted to the best schools for your level of performance on the entrance exam. Say you decide to apply to 10 schools, you may wish to consider applying to 2 schools in the Reach category, 5 schools in the Target category, and 3 schools in the Safety category. You can adjust the numbers to fit your comfort level. If getting financial assistance is imperative, you may want to lower your expectations and adjust the numbers. The decision is yours!

You may ask: Where do I get the names of these schools that are Reach, Target and Safety for my level of performance on the entrance exam? We have just what you need. The iMahal College Finder in the iMahal Education Channel is designed specifically for this purpose. The iMahal College Finder identifies colleges that best match your needs.

Coming Soon: We will include more relevant information about colleges, including many lists of colleges sorted by location, discipline, and competitiveness.

To summarize, you should carefully balance your desire for attending the best colleges with your need for financial aid. You should target a handful of colleges, ranging from extremely competitive to moderately competitive. The more research you do on colleges, the more informed you will be and the better your decisions will be.

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