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How Many Schools Should I Apply To?

Narrowing down the list of the right colleges to apply to is an overwhelming and tedious process. Sometimes students find ten colleges that each offers something unique that sparks their interest. But do you really need to apply to that many colleges? Unfortunately, there really is no correct answer to that question. As a general rule many high school counselors will recommend that students send applications to five to eight colleges; this generally yields acceptance to at least one on your top list. Researching the colleges and visiting the campuses can help you narrow down your list to make your final selection of which to apply to. Start the process by listing roughly ten to fifteen of your top choices and begin the process of elimination.

A staggering 79 percent of students are actually admitted to their top choice selection. Even with this data a high percentage of students still apply to more than the recommended eight schools. Avoid sending too many applications and create a more focused list of possibilities. If you find yourself applying to a large number of schools you should re-evaluate your list to find out if you really have a real interest in any of the schools to which you are applying. In addition applying to a large number of schools can be extremely costly, as many colleges require an application fee. If you�re not sure of your desire to attend the schools don�t waste your money by sending in a useless application.

Here is a helpful guide to assist you with making your selection.

Divide your top choices into three separate categories, dream, perfect match, and back-up schools.

*Dream Schools have a highly competitive admission rate. You may have slacked a few times in class so your grades and other criteria may be slightly below the medium of its admission criteria. Applying to these schools is purely a long shot; but you�re confident so go for it.

*Perfect Match Schools are colleges that meet your personality, goals, and academic requirements 100% across the board.

*Back-up Schools are those that you feel you may be over qualified for and exceed the admission criteria and based on those factors you believe acceptance is guaranteed.

Select two to three colleges from each category to create your application list. These well rounded choices should leave you happy regardless to which school you receive acceptance too. If you still find yourself unsure of how many applications to send out talking to a counselor may help.