College Kickstart assigns a list grade based on the mix of schools in a student’s list. Our overarching objective is to promote the importance of a balanced list, and a higher list grade indicates a more balanced list.
There are three steps to the grading process:
- Categorize schools into likelies, targets, reaches and unlikelies based on the selectivity of the schools in a student’s list and the student’s academic competitiveness relative to each school’s entering class.
- Compare the resulting mix of schools to our reference standard. We like to see at least 2 likely schools, 3 targets and 2 reaches in an ideal list.
- Assign a list grade based on this assessment (including the presence of unlikelies in the list)
Based on counselor feedback, we’re pleased to introduce two new refinements for 2018:
- Two likely school minimum. The minimum number of likelies in an ideal list increases from 1 to 2.
Grade adjustments for lists with too many schools. Historically, list grades in College Kickstart have been driven by the presence of a minimum number of likelies, targets and reaches in a list. In 2018, we adjusted grades downward in situations where there are too many schools in a list. This will begin to occur when there are more than 4 likelies, 5 targets or 6 reaches in a list and the deductions will increase as the overages become more pronounced.