Applying to schools
You need to apply to as many schools as you feel comfortable applying to. However, narrowing down your options is going to benefit you in the long run. Researching schools you are interested in, visiting the campus, talking to students who are currently attending that college, can all be helpful to you, in narrowing down what college is going to be the best fit for you. Most of the students I work with apply to 4 of 5 colleges, and I always tell them that it doesn't hurt to apply, and have an application on file, just in case something happens with their first choice.