While apparently students applying to the most selective schools often seem to apply to all of the most selective schools, a Connecticut newspaper reports that it works a little differently for students applying to other schools. In the Stamford Times, Danielle Capalbo writes that:

David Bonner, a college counselor for King [School] seniors, said that of about 4,000 [colleges] nationwide, fewer than 90 schools accept 30 percent of applicants or less.

“‘Be a consumer.’ ‘It’s a $155,000 investment.’ This is what students hear over and over again here,” said Candy Cushing, a college counselor at King, where 100 percent of the school’s seniors go to college within two years of graduation.

Bonner and Cushing said they seek to push students’ sites beyond the relatively small — albeit well-known — pool of hyper-selective universities by encouraging students to forego prestige for “fit”: the way a school actually satisfies a student’s needs and wants.

Most students don’t actually apply to really selective schools. They don’t need to. In other words, most applicants do get into the schools they apply to, provided they apply to the right schools. Most colleges that American students attend have very, very high admissions rates. The goal of the King School isn’t so much to help their seniors to get into Yale; the goal is to help students find and succeed in the right schools.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer