I don't like the term “safety school." By strict definition, a safety school is a college where you have at least an 80 percent chance of getting into, so you can typically assume that you're unlikely to be rejected.
So why am I writing about safety schools? Well, my 30-plus years of admissions counseling experience have shown me that researching, selecting and -- especially -- visiting potential safety schools is one of the most overlooked aspects of high schoolers' college processes. Safeties have a kind of lowly status. They're almost an afterthought. Why is that?