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Slang Dictionary: Safety School

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What Does "Safety School" Mean

What Does “Safety School” Mean?

“Safety school” is a slang term used in the context of college admissions to describe a university or college that is considered to be a less competitive and more achievable choice for a student. It’s a school where the student is confident they will be accepted based on their academic qualifications and other factors.

Related Words

Related slang words to “safety school” include “fallback school” and “backup school.” These terms are often used interchangeably to describe universities or colleges that are less competitive in terms of admission.

Where Does This Term Come From?

The term “safety school” comes from the idea that it provides a safety net for students during the college application process. It’s a school where they can be reasonably certain of gaining admission, providing a sense of security in case they are not accepted by their top-choice or more competitive schools.

Who Uses This Term?

“Safety school” is commonly used by high school students, parents, and educational professionals during the college application process. It helps students plan their college choices strategically and consider a range of options.

Examples of Using This Term

  1. “I applied to several reach schools and a few safety schools to keep my options open.”
  2. “Her safety school was a great fit for her, and she’s thriving there.”
  3. “Having a safety school in mind can ease the stress of the college application process.”

What to Replace This Term with in Academic Writing

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

“A safety school can be a smart choice for students, offering a solid education and a secure path to higher learning.” – Educator Jane Smith


“Safety school” is a commonly used slang term in the world of college admissions, describing universities or colleges that are considered more achievable and less competitive in terms of admission. While it simplifies discussions about college choices, it’s important to remember that the college application process involves various considerations. In formal writing, other terms can be used to convey the same concept.