Why would you like to apply to a "safety school"? The fact that you are calling a given program "a safety school", you are making a mockery of it. Would you like to go to a school that you won't consider worth it? I think it would be better to save your money than to apply to program that is not going to give you a good return-on-investment.
The problem is that without current rankings I only have a general idea of which the top schools are. The other problem is that in the nj/ny area most seem to be ranked highly. Are there any in this area that you would consider to be in that "not that selective category?" If there arent any in the area any that you could list based on your opinion would be great. Thanks.
alain, if you dont like my srategy then dont comment. And by calling a school a "saftey school" I am not making a mockery of it. I simply used that term so people would know what I meant. I am talking about a good program, that may be slightly easier to get into.
I do understand exactly your strategy. And here is my dos pesos.
Have you taken a look at the wiki ? It's at www.quantnet.com/wiki
Take away the top programs in NYC, you are left with quite a few in NY/NJ area.
Your best best would be with relatively new programs such as Fordham, New School or those without a strong location advantage/local reputation/pull such as Polytech, Stevens, Rutgers. On the national scale, you may want to look at IIT and bunches of other program in midwest, central US.
You can even apply to Columbia MF/MFE program. From what I read, if you don't get in, they would gladly "recommend" you to some of their other programs. Very convenient.
Those are just names that ought to meet your criteria. A more defined list would be filtered down by you or by people with knowledge of your background, strength, weakness and career goal.
Try looking on the IAFE-International Association of Financial Engineering, website. Look under Stusunt resources/Academic Program link. They list most of the FE program in the US and around the world.