8. Realistic

It is important to approach a college search from the point of realism with yourself as well as others.  If a school has an admission rate of five percent and a student looks great on most admission factors except one, the odds of admission are likely around five percent.  It may still be worthwhile for the student to apply since the school may be looking for someone just like that particular student – the excellent student who plays French horn, a girl who excels at physics and wants to major in it, a boy who dances ballet, etc.  You just need to recognize what the odds are and have alternatives in place.