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Slang Dictionary: Reach School

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What Does "Reach School" Mean

What Does “Reach School” Mean?

“Reach school” is a slang term used in the context of college admissions to describe a university or college that is highly selective and academically challenging. It refers to a school that may be difficult to gain admission to due to its competitive nature, and it is often considered a “reach” for many applicants.

Related Words

Related slang words to “reach school” include “stretch school” and “dream school.” These terms are often used interchangeably to describe universities or colleges that are a significant academic challenge to get into.

Where Does This Term Come From?

The term “reach school” originates from the competitive nature of college admissions, especially at elite institutions. When students apply to colleges, they categorize them into safety schools (where admission is highly likely), match schools (where admission is probable), and reach schools (where admission is challenging and uncertain). The term “reach” reflects the idea that it’s a stretch for the applicant to gain admission.

Who Uses This Term?

“Reach school” is commonly used by high school students, parents, and educational professionals involved in the college application process. It helps applicants categorize their college choices based on their academic profiles and goals.

Examples of Using This Term

  1. “Harvard is my reach school; I know it’s highly competitive, but I’m giving it a shot.”
  2. “She’s excited about applying to her dream reach schools, even though the acceptance rates are low.”
  3. “Gaining admission to a reach school can be a life-changing achievement for some students.”

What to Replace This Term with in Academic Writing

In academic writing, it’s important to use formal language. Instead of “reach school,” you can refer to it as a “highly selective institution” or a “competitive university.” This ensures clarity and professionalism in your writing.

“Applying to a reach school can be a daunting but rewarding experience, pushing students to excel academically and personally.” – Educator John Doe


“Reach school” is a commonly used slang term in the world of college admissions, describing universities or colleges that are highly competitive and academically challenging to gain admission to. While it simplifies discussions about college choices, it’s important to remember that the college application process is multifaceted, and other formal terms can be used in academic writing to convey the same concept.