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On average, how many colleges should I look into applying to?

I am currently in my junior year, a crucial time for many high school students around the world. I have to focus on keeping my grades up, while studying and taking the SATs. This is also the time I have to start applying to colleges and then hoping that they would later accept me as one of their own. I am not well-off financially. I don't have the extra money to be spending on SAT classes or private tutoring. I don't want to waste my parents' money on applying to colleges that won't even accept me. I would probably have to take out loans to pay off my college debt in the future. Knowing that, how many colleges should I plan on applying to? I know many college applications cost money, some even over $100. I know eventually I will financially drain myself, but I don't want to start just yet. college money student high-school college-applications student-loans money-management financial

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Loida Otero ➢’s Answer

Hello Karen P.,

I understand your anxiety and concerns, but this is a loaded question that requires a deeper analysis. The ability to find a solution relies on several factors: academics, long-term goals, geographic location, financing options etc. I suggest you make a "balanced" list of schools that align with your future goals and research each school to ensure your academic profile aligns with the prospective school(s). The only way to prevent wasting your time is to do your home work and make sure you fulfill all the criteria schools are seeking. Some quote 8, while others tell prospective students to apply to 10-15. Remember, this is your future, so much of how you approach this depends on you and your parents ability to emotionally and financially support you. There are college application waivers that you may qualify for, please ask your guidance counselor or read the information I have attached below. Also, if the decision process is weighted strictly or very heavily on the economic aspect, then separate the private, SUNY and CUNY schools to evaluate the annual costs. Try not to base your decision purely on the price tag, as some schools offer comprehensive scholarships, but it does help delineate the cost and realistic price points you and your family are willing to afford. Also, take a look oat some scholarships and requirements for applying, as you may be an ideal candidate for many of them! Much of the research involved will take time, but it's all worth it. I have attached some interesting articles, read them to learn more about the process. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to post them on the site! Good luck Karen!

College Application Waivers:


College Selection Process/Advice:

Happy school hunting!

Loida, I can see this helping me already! Thank you so much! Karen P.

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Kristi’s Answer

Hi. So proud you for being about your business! You're making boss moves. Apply to as many as you can afford. Those application fees can mount up. If you have a good GPA and test scores, you shouldn't have a problem getting into the school you desire, so focus on the schools of genuine interest. If you are interested in HBCUs, Follow the link below to a common application for 50 HBCUs for only one $35 fee.

Good Luck!