It's easy to figure out where high achieving students with stellar GPAs and near-perfect standardized test scores should apply to college. Lists of the top schools are filled with places that everyone has heard of, whether because a school is Ivy League or has a fabulous football team. Competition to get into these schools is notoriously fierce. Stanford University, for example, admitted just 5% of its applicants for the Fall 2015 semester.
For the majority of students, straight A's and sky-high SAT or ACT scores simply don't happen. With the number of students applying to college each year increasing, the odds of getting admitted to a "reach" school get lower and lower. So where should a B/C student apply to college? As deadlines loom ahead, it's a good idea to look at some of the lesser-known and perhaps under-the-radar schools that can offer your student the same college experience he would get at a larger, more selective school.
Here are ten universities that have much to offer students who are not at the top of the class.
Colorado State University - Fort Collins, Colorado
Colorado State offers early action admission, with the deadline of December 1. Early acceptance rate for admission is 96%, and regular admission - deadline February 1 - is 80%.
With a gorgeous climate and outdoor lifestyle, this school is a good choice for an active student.
University of Hawaii - Manoa - Honolulu, HI
Located in a tropical paradise, University of Hawaii has a March 1 application deadline. The acceptance rate for Fall 2015 was 77%. Parent's weekend will be a vacation at University of Hawaii.
Ohio University - Athens, Ohio
Ohio University offers rolling admissions, with a 76% acceptance rate for Fall 2015.
Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, LA
With rolling admissions and a 76% acceptance rate, LSU Baton Rouge is a good place if you're looking for a southern school. Take a side trip to New Orleans when you visit your LSU student.
University of Illinois - Chicago - Chicago, IL
An urban school for those looking for a city experience. Admissions deadline is January 15. Acceptance rate Fall 2015 - 72%. Easy to get to, with O'Hare airport nearby.
Biola University - La Mirada, CA
Biola is a small, Christian university. Rolling admissions with a 73% acceptance rate. Early action applications are due by November 15. La Mirada is located in Orange County, near beaches, mountains and more.
New School - New York, NY
Located in New York City, New School is a private university, with a strong arts program. Applications are due by January 15. The Fall 2014 acceptance rate was 65%. Living in New York while getting an education sounds exciting and enriching.
University at Albany - SUNY - Albany, NY
Part of the State University of New York system (SUNY), University at Albany has a March 1 application deadline. Its acceptance rate for fall 2015 was 55%.
Howard University - Washington, DC
A historically African-American school, Howard University has an application deadline of February 15. The acceptance rate for Fall 2015 was 48%.
For information about financial aid and other ways to pay for college, take a look at About.com's Paying for College page.