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How many Colleges should one apply to?

Some people apply to a lot of colleges while others apply to just one. What's the difference? #college #college-admissions #applying

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Stephen’s Answer

My neice recently graduated from High School and wanted to major in a particular field: she want to be a social worker who works with individuals with disabilities. There were only so many schools she found in her research that supported that major and she applied to all of them. My point: if you are going for a specialized degree you may find it beneficial to apply to several schools because speciality degrees can only support so many students in the program. If you have one particular school in mind I would suggest applying to it, but it may be a good idea to have two or three others as plans "b", "c", and "d" in case your first choice does not pan out. Best of luck to you!!

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice! I will make sure to keep several schools in mind. Jeffery
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this! Jeffery
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EmilyAnn’s Answer

Applying to schools can get expensive, so you want to apply to more than one but be smart about where to apply. It isn't so much about the number of schools you apply to as it is about the range. You should be applying to some safety schools where you are very confident about getting in (so maybe 85-95% confidence), some that are ideal but realistic (maybe 50-80% confidence), and then some reaches which you are unlikely to get into but are worth a shot. As long as you get the right balance, you will be setting yourself up to get into some good colleges with some as backups if you don't get into your ideal schools.

I applied to 12 schools and (somehow) hit the nail on the head (probably because of my dad's help). I got into 5, waitlisted at 2, and rejected from 5. There isn't anything wrong with applying to less or more schools, it really just depends on what schools you're interested in. If there is, however, one school at the top of your list that you KNOW you would attend if you got in, think about doing Early Decision. This way, if you get in, you don't have to apply anywhere else, but if you don't, you still have time to apply other places. Just know that this is binding, but you can look at doing Early Action too (which has similar benefits but non-binding).

If you're not sure how to figure out your chances of getting in somewhere, you can usually find some statistics on the acceptance rate for your GPA/SAT scores. I remember my high school used a site called Naviance, where you can see the stats on people from your school who were accepted, waitlisted, and rejected, and where you lie. Getting accepted or rejected anywhere is never guaranteed, but you can make educated guesses. Hope this helps anyone still wondering!!
Thank you comment icon Having a good GPA and SAT score helped me with admissions and college courses! Thanks Jeffery
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Vic’s Answer

I would say figure out a strategy that incorporates:

- reach schools
- at level schools
- safety schools

With that you will be able to compare different financial packages and diversify the risk.
Thank you comment icon Thanks! I agree with this. People have different goals and should consider which a good strategy Jeffery
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Simeon’s Answer

I think four colleges is a pretty good number to shoot for. You want to apply to more than one college so that you can see what financial aid and scholarship packages are offered to you. I think it's good to shoot for one stretch goal college, two mid-level colleges you are more interested in, and a cheaper option as a back-up. You'll want to have price as one of the main considerations. Then, spend time comparing the different universities to get a sense of which one will be the best fit for you between degree offerings, professors available, and opportunities to participate in groups and clubs on campus.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Simeon! This was posted my sophomore year of High School. Senior year I applied to 7 schools and got into 5 of them. I didn't know until I was applying that I would base my decision on athletic/academic value. Jeffery
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