You Should Apply to As Many Schools As You're Interested In!
While college application fee affordability is certainly a consideration, you should apply to as many schools as you have an interest, if you are able to apply to multiple schools. I encourage students to focus on their goals for college admission, as opposed to getting bogged down in the number of schools to which they have applied. If you are interested in programs of diverse types, at ten schools, for example--then apply to ten schools! The only caution I would provide is that should you gain admission to multiple schools which are equal in type, characteristics, and offerings, YOUR decision for which school to enroll in, will become all the more difficult. Further, you are unlikely to be able to visit all of the schools to which you apply, unless they are in an area proximate to one another, and college visitation is of utmost importance to determine the college's visit for your personality and academic goals. In sum, you should apply to schools based on your professional, personal, and academic interests, but don't overdo it to simply brag about the number of schools to which you have applied. When you apply to multiple schools, you are able to entertain the variety of scholarship, academic and other offerings, upon which to base your decision. At the end of the day, you should apply to college to gain admission, not accolades and popularity!