A Guide to University Matching

BridgeU uses your profile to score every undergraduate university and course in the countries you are applying to, on two main axes: Chance of Acceptance and Preference Fit.

Chance of Acceptance

This is the likelihood you’ll be accepted if you apply to the university or course. See "How is your Chance of Acceptance calculated?" section below.


Your matches are in three groups - Reach, Match and Safety.

BridgeU uses Chance of Acceptance to group university and course matches. Matches are grouped into these Chance of Acceptance ranges:

Reach: <35%

Match: 35–75%

Safety: >75%

BridgeU uses a combination of a universities entrance requirements, their international ranking and your grades to group into buckets. For example; a high performing student would place in the match bucket for a highly selective university while an average performing student would place in the reach bucket. Take a look at Which countries can I be matched with? for more information. 

Preference Fit

This indicates how closely the university or course aligns with your own preferences.

How is your Chance of Acceptance calculated?

We calculate your Chance of Acceptance by combining:

  1. The percentage of successful applications to this university/course,
  2. Their stated entry requirements, and
  3. Your grades.

Percentage of successful applications

This is the percentage of applicants who receive offers at this university or course. For example, a successful applications rate of 80% means that 4 out of every 5 students applying to that university or course received an offer.

BridgeU considers below 20% to be a low successful applications rate. This will inevitably impact your own chance of acceptance, which might be lower than you had expected. Even if your grades are very strong and easily exceed the entry requirements, a very low acceptance rate can bring your overall score down by quite a bit. Watch out for this!

Entry requirements

These vary between universities and between courses at the same university. They can be based on the GPA, UCAS tariff, A-levels or IB scores that a university provides.

Your grades

Enter your grades in the Education section of your Profile. We currently support grades from the following systems:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • French Baccalaureate
  • UK System
    • A levels
    • AS levels
    • BTECs
    • Pre-Us
  • SAT
  • ACT
  • 4–point GPA

If your school uses a different system, then please convert your grades to an equivalent GPA, and use that.

How is Preference Fit calculated?

Preference Fit is calculated by taking the information you entered in the Preferences section of your Profile and cross-checking it with data we have about each university.

Each attribute is scored according to your preference, and then these scores are aggregated together into a single Preference Fit percentage score for that university.

For example, if you express a preference for at least 20% international students, then any university with more than 20% international students will score highly for this specific preference.

Individual preferences explained:

How selective do you want your university to be?
How big do you want your university and classes to be?
Do you want the student body to be co-educational or single-sex?
Do you want to live in a rural, town/suburban or city environment?
How much do you want your university to cost?

Salary (UK only)

          Is graduate salary important to you? 

Employability (UK only)

          Are graduate employment rates important to you? 

Assessment Type  (UK only) 

          Do you want a course that is mostly exams or course work?

Type (The US only)
Do you want to study at a pre-professional or liberal arts institution?
Do you want to be surrounded by international students at university?
Are your subject interests a good fit with this course, or with courses available at this university (US).
Region (US and Canada only)
Which area of the country do you want to study in?

This indicates how closely the university or course aligns with your own preferences.


If you have any questions, need further assistance or have some general feedback for us - we’d love to hear from you! Contact our Support team via Live Chat and by emailing hi@bridge-u.com.

If you have yet to join, our BridgeU Community is available.  A space exclusively for our BridgeU counsellors to gain or share practices, discuss general questions or share your own successes with other BridgeU counsellors.

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