No Magic Number
There's no formula for determining how many college to which you should apply. Some student apply to as few as 3-4 - while others go a bit overboard and apply to 12-14. Rather than focusing on how many schools should be on your list, try to compile your list by including three TYPES of schools: safety schools (schools to which you are pretty sure will accept you); realistic schools (schools to which you have a realistic chance of getting in); and reach schools (schools where your chances of acceptance are very slim). In order to determine which schools are your safety schools, realistic schools and reach schools, look at the median GPAs and test scores of the admitted freshmen for those schools during the previous school year. That information can be readily accessed through individual school's websites and through guidebooks such as The Fiske Guide of Colleges. While compiling the list -- be thoughtful and flexible! It's okay if your list changes from time to time. The important thing is to focus on selecting schools that you'd be happy to attend if accepted -- no matter if they are your safety, realistic choice or reach school.