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Is A 24-College List Unreasonable?

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 77 Editor
The school counselor thinks your college list is too long, but you think you should apply to 24 schools -- who is right? Find out what The Dean thinks: https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/is-a-24-college-list-unreasonable/
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Replies to: Is A 24-College List Unreasonable?

  • Apollo16BApollo16B Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Not to mention the increase in workload and stress due to scholarship applications for those schools you are offered admission to. I personally applied to around 15 colleges... Luckily I found the process entertaining. I can't imagine a student who dislikes writing going through that process without bouts of overwhelming anxiety.
  • El-CeeEl-Cee Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    There is actually a time when 24 schools is appropriate and that is if you are applying to an audition based BFA-program for musical theatre, acting or dance. those programs receive thousands of applications and accept only a handful of each sex, making the acceptance rate miniscule at each program. many of these kids apply to 20 schools just to yield 1 or 2 acceptances, and that is with a well-balanced list of fit and reach schools.
  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,356 Senior Member
    Many colleges don't require extra supplements or essays, and some hand out fee waivers like candy. It's only unreasonable to have a long college list if you are applying to those colleges with a ton of supplements, or if you're on a fixed budget but don't qualify for fee waivers.

    If you need to shop offers on midrange schools then adding more schools is just smart application strategy.
  • OttermaOtterma Registered User Posts: 1,380 Senior Member
    Another exception to the "of course it's a bad idea" reaction is if 9 of those 24 universities happen to be the UC schools. Or something like 6 UCs and 6 CSUs. This isn't uncommon for California students. It's no more work for the high school counselor or the student, so as long as parents are willing to pay for it, that's fine.

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,942 Senior Member
    edited November 7
    Wait til the parent has to provide all the FA info to 24 schools. They will be sorry.
  • chercheurchercheur Registered User Posts: 892 Member
    edited November 7
    Wow! For us, 8 schools seemed like a lot. On top of the admissions applications were university and outside scholarship applications, university and/or departmental honors applications, and interviews; it was a lot of work!

    My student used a spreadsheet to keep track of all the due dates, what was sent when, awards, and decisions. If he hadn't, I'm certain something would have been missed.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 708 Member
    I would be interested to know the breakdown of reaches, matches, and likely schools out of that 24. I'm guessing there are two matches and 22 reaches, and not a safety in the lot. Or the kid has a fistful of fee waivers and couldn't be bothered to do any research.
  • Darcy123Darcy123 Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    We're still a year away and I can see it happening. I've spent so much time de-emphasizing the "dream school" mentality that for the most part my D20's list just keeps growing. We'll hopefully be able to do some visits and narrow things down, but right now she has 10+ reach schools, 10 matches and 6 safeties.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 2,992 Senior Member
    I think students and parents totally underestimate the number of supplemental essays that can be attached to these applications. My daughter applied to 8 schools and wrote 19 essays. I'm sure it depends on the type of school but if students are targeting competitive schools, there will be supplemental essays and they need to be as great as possible.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,326 Senior Member
    And I think students and families underestimate how bad it is to receive 16 rejections! Even if you have 8 acceptances, if the rejections come day after day, or 10 on March 31, it's tough to hear over and over 'you are not good enough for us.'
  • sdscoutmomsdscoutmom Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I do tend to agree with Otterma. We are in CA, and, my daughter is considered a "bubble" student. Meaning she has some above average aspects to her grades, activities and resume, but it's by no means a guarantee that she will get into a UC school. She can get in to the Cals, but they don't seem to have the programs we are looking for. So, we are applying to 7 of the 9 UC's, 5 Cals, 4 WUE (one in each CO, WA, UT, and OR), 3 privates where she will likely get in and get strong merit aid to make them affordable, and then 3 reach schools - just for kicks. We are applying for honors at 6 of the schools. And, with the Common App, UC and Cal State consolidations, she is filling out 6 applications total. She has ended up writing 7 essays, and most of them can be re-purposed with minimal tweaks for both the entrance and honors. The UC, Cal State and WUE's don't really take recommendations. And, the counselor just pushes the same letter and evaluation out for each app. We also have a substitute counselor for her senior year, so we are doing most of this on our own.

    Now then, I agree this has been a huge load of work! But, it has been a great experience for her. Tulane flew her in for a weekend to tour, and Carnegie Mellon is flying her in in January. She has an interview with Georgetown on Friday. She wouldn't have these experiences if she didn't throw such a wide net.

    If every single one of her schools had required a fully separate application and multiple essays and recommendation letters, we would have stopped long ago. But, we are expecting all of her applications completed and submitted by November 19th, well in advance of the November 30th deadline for much of them. We did early action or regular deadline for everything, so we can be done with it all and enjoy our holidays!

    I do hear you twoinanddone, though. I don't know how we will feel if we get rejected across the board. Luckily my daughter has a very open mind, and doesn't have her heart set on any one school (yet).

    Best wishes to all! I hope you find the right level of applications and schools that fit you and your loved ones best!
  • Anne ShirleyAnne Shirley Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Personally I think this is insane. My daughter applied to three colleges 2 years ago. Got into all 3 - two in-state and 1 out of state. When the process was over I realized she really only needed to apply to 2 because she never intended on going to the third.

    This year for my son, he applied only to 2 colleges, one early decision. I'm willing to bet he gets into both. Both are large unis with 100's of majors. If he doesn't get into his first choice then over winter break he'll apply to his safety school.

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,420 Senior Member
    edited November 8
    This basic question really isn't about the kid so alert and organized, and with parental help, that it's defensible. Nor just the multi school UC app.

    It's about kids who really aren't able to be on top of all. And who think casting a wide net means more admits. @sdscoutmom, I might call your list "6 schools plus in state publics."

    Many kids have trouble knowing how to make the best of their apps. They need a couple of reasonable safeties, a few matches, then decide on maybe a reach or two. 20+ is dreaming, making this a crapshoot. You don't get in based on dreaming.
  • sdscoutmomsdscoutmom Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks Lookingforward, I like that title. 6 schools plus in state publics is about the speed we feel we are going. :)
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