How many schools should students apply to?

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Our counselors answered:

How many schools should students apply to?

Roby Blust
Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Planning Marquette University

How many schools should students apply to?

Here is my video response to the question.

Eric Furda
Dean of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

How many schools should students apply to?

Here is my video response to the question.

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

How many schools should students apply to?

At least 1 safety school, 2 realistic and 1 reach...no more than 10 total.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Magic Number

There's not really a magic number, but I do think that there are 3 categories of schools that students should consider when compiling their college lists: safety schools, realistic schools, and reach schools. Be careful about those "reach" schools because some schools (the fancy pants ivies, for example) are "reach" schools for EVERYBODY. When categorizing the colleges on your list, be sure to check the median GPAs and test scores (if applicable) for the entering freshman class for the prior year. And remember, choose wisely. Choose schools to which you would be happy to attend if you were admitted. That way -- you are practically assured to have many awesome options in the spring!

Maura Kastberg
Executive Director of Student Services RSC

Apply to a mix of reach, match and safety schools

As students begin the application process they need to have a plan and a back up plan in mind. That being said students should apply to six schools with a mix of at least 2 reach, 2 match and 2 safety schools. Reach schools are schools where you are at or slightly below the admission requirements these are your long shot schools, Match schools are where you are at or slightly above the admission requirements these schools you have a good shot at getting into them. Then there are the safety schools where your stats are above the admission requirements these schools you can be reasonably sure that you will get in. Make sure that all the schools you apply to you would be willing and happy to attend. Some students change the mix up slightly or have 2 reach, 3 match and 1 safety school.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

The College List

A carefully crafted college list should consist of around 9 schools. If you have done your research and have evaluated your high school record candidly, you should be able to create a list of 5 target schools, 2 likely schools and 2 dream schools.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Numbers Game

No more than a dozen, preferably less. If you must become an expert on each college to which you apply, keep your focus narrow and resist the temptation to use all of those VIP apps if you have no intention of applying to said school. Ensure that your list is balanced with reach and within reach colleges so that you are creating options, not unrealistic expectations. PS-Has anyone noticed that application fees for domestic students have creeped up to $70 per application? Even high schools have begun to charge students per transcript request. Who hasn't got their hand in the applicant's pocket? It's become a money hemorrhage.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

The Magic Number of College Applications

With the advent of the Common Application, it has become way too easy to submit way too many applications. If you have a good balance of schools on your list, 6-8 submissions should be sufficient. There is nothing gained by accumulating acceptances as badges of honor. If you haven't figured out the school is the best fit for you before you apply, having to sift and winnow through a pile of offers isn't going to be much easier. Granted, financial aid may be a critical component in your decision making process and that is something you learn only after you're in. Otherwise, do yourself and the admission readers a favor, and be reasonable about where you apply.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

between 5 to 10

if you are not going to take the advantage of early decision option, you should consider between 5 to 10 schools to apply through either regular or early actions. the best combination is to select 2-3 safty schools, 2-3 likely schools, and 2-3 reachable schools. how to identify those schools is the key and students should work with their counselors closely.

Ellen erichards@ellened.com
Owner Ellen Richards Admissions Consulting

How many schools should I apply to?

Some student intend to apply to many school as possible to ensure that they will have different option or to at least have one school that will accept their application. On the other hand, if the student has one dream school in mind and confident enough that they will get into it, they will send their application only to that school. Honestly, there’s no particular number of school application is required for the student to sent out. But most of school counsellor’s recommend student to apply to five to eight schools. This can guarantee you that you won’t be left with nothing. At the end of the day what you should keep in mind is to apply only to school that you really want to have and stop yourself from applying to many just because you’re not that confident or applying too few because you’re too proud.