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Applying to an abundance of colleges, What's the benefit?


Replies to: Applying to an abundance of colleges, What's the benefit?

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 9,284 Senior Member
    @anon145 , that requires more than 30 apps for sure. Applying to more top colleges does not improve the odds of getting into them. It would be 30 apps, plus more for match and safety schools.

    30 app fees for 30 tippy top schools, btw, will cost over $2500. And remember with the Common App, you can apply to twenty schools max.
  • RichInPittRichInPitt Registered User Posts: 470 Member
    edited May 25
    The “benefit” of applying to 100+ schools is you get a story on TV/radio where people who have no clue marvel at how smart you must be and how you got “millions” is scholarships. All while wasting the time and effort of a lot of people.

    My D applied to 7, and one was because it was a free checkbox on the common app. She was well qualified for all of them (got into all), wasn’t interested in reaching beyond her stats, and most had decent acceptance rates. For those applying to elite, low acceptance schools, I can see adding a few more, plus safeties, but over 10, or certainly 15, seems to be unnecessary.
  • anon145anon145 Registered User Posts: 615 Member
    there's really no reason to go beyond 5-7 unless someone needs merit aid or wants to shop financial aid. If you have a great public flagship or two where your kid is a safety no need to go above 5 (again assuming aren't looking for aid)
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,888 Senior Member
    edited May 26
    ith my older children we visited colleges, selected 6-8 to apply to and awaited results. results came in, we narrowed it down to 2 or 3, attended admitted students day or made another visit and made a decision. I now see that people are applying and getting accepted to 50 -150 schools and wondering what the purpose for this would be.
    In the most recent CIRP survey, only 7% of students said they applied to 12+ colleges. It's rare to apply to a dozen. Applying to 50-150 is extremely rare, which relates to why it gets mentioned in news stories. The minuscule portion of students who apply to 50+ colleges are mostly applying to colleges that require little relatively little time and effort beyond a shared application. They often also have fee waivers.. For example, the Common Black College application websites advertises, "Thanks to this quick and streamlined college application process, students can apply for fifty HBCUs in just ten minutes." A small minority of students do what the website advertises and select all >50 colleges when filling out the application. I'd guess that they favor the approach of first seeing who accepts them, then later once they have a reduced number of colleges who accept them, learning about the individual colleges and figuring out which of the accepted colleges they like best and/or can best afford.

    Many posters on this site seem to apply to far more colleges than typical, although well below 50. For example, some posters mention applying to >20. Among website posters, I'd expect different reasons. Many posters are emphasizing highly selective "reach" colleges for which they believe their chance of acceptance is low, but don't know how low. Some figure that if they apply to a large number of "reach" colleges, they have a greater chance of at least one hitting the mark. Many are wealthy enough that fees are not a problem, and dedicated enough to spend the time and effort to fill out many applications. Some posters also apply to a large number of colleges, so they can compare FA offers at a large number of colleges, as costs may differ from NPC estimates.
  • SarripSarrip Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    I also wondered if there was a fear factor involved since the competitiveness is so fierce at this point people are over applying. We have heard the stories about the perfect SAT scorers not getting into to top colleges etc. I remember when DS14 was applying to colleges he didn't have a dream school. we chose colleges that we could afford to send him to. During the application process a teacher asked him why he was not applying to any Ivy League schools and that she was not giving him a recommendation if he didn't. When he came home and told me what she said I was a little upset because we knew what we could afford but added 2 to the application. One he ended up attending and the other he was waitlisted. So this kid who never even thought about attending an Ivy went to one. Yet there were others in his class who simply could not go on because they dreamed of going to a certain school since they were 6 and did not get admitted. You just never know.
  • massmom2018massmom2018 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    edited May 26
    My son in 2018 applied to 10. Got into 4 rejected at 4 waitlisted at two. I met a student from a higher socioeconomic town than ours and the advice from her school was 10 to 15. Ours still recommends 8. I have two more kids and will likely stick with around ten. It is a lot of work to apply to colleges with supplemental essays. I think it depends how many reaches you have because it is really difficult to predict admissions to reach schools.
  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia Registered User Posts: 3,393 Senior Member
    My D17's school recommended 6-8; she applied to 9 because we were seeking merit scholarships. Got into all 9, with merit awards at 8. Only one of those schools was a high reach for admission, and six were reaches for merit.

    However, the admissions landscape looks increasingly competitive just two years later, no matter how high one's stats. Even so, we will try to limit my D21 to a judiciously chosen ten when the time comes. As mentioned above, the supplemental essays can be very time consuming.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,948 Senior Member
    edited May 26
    6-8 optimal, max 10. (Excluding kids applying to UCs which can hit that number with 1 app).

    Quality over quantity- If there are supplemental apps, they have to be great! No way they can be all great and authentic if you have to do more than 10-12.

    Having a match or safety EA is wonderful... But many schools are getting rid of EA in favor of more EDs (looking at you BC)
  • milgymfammilgymfam Registered User Posts: 632 Member
    edited May 26
    My daughter’s scholarship advisor told her that they prefer students apply to between 9-12, with an even mix of safety, match, and reach schools. They then determined that all but two on my daughter’s school list were reaches, so they asked her to add more schools. She ended up with a list of fifteen schools. She also ended up accepted into her ED school so the rest of the apps were kind of all wasted, but they really didn’t think she had a shot.. so I guess I wouldn’t feel they were wasted if she had needed them.
  • SarripSarrip Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    @milgymfam, that sounds pretty close to the advice that we received from a consultant. We now have a list of 13 schools and have visited all but 1 and to tell the truth she said that she can be happy at any of them but 1 has really caught her eye more than the others. I'm sending her to NY where my son resides during the summer to see the last one with him, I trust his judgement.
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 Registered User Posts: 3,777 Senior Member
    50+ is excessive. But 8 can be too limiting for many. My D applied to 17 because she was looking for a competitive full ride (extremely low odds for almost all of them). It was a good number for her strategy.
  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    edited May 26
    I believed 6-8 applications was a good number, but my daughter chose to apply to 11 after eliminating 3 colleges and adding 1. This decision did work for her in that she was accepted to one of her top choices (a high reach school), and another extremely selective college. Interestingly, she was waitlisted at what we thought would be a safety school based on her stats, and she (and all the other 4.0 UW students in her year) were not accepted to the flagship state university’s honors program. The application and decision process was definitely a learning experience. That said, I believe she chose the correct number of schools for her. It all worked out very well in the end with a good number of acceptances and waitlists.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,956 Senior Member
    Yes, applying to more colleges can improve the outcome. However, it is not as direct or sure of a relationship as statistics may show. It is difficult to put the same amount of interest and accuracy into an application or s school, and some schools do have holistic application appraisal processes.

  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,948 Senior Member
    It makes sense to wait to push the button on RD schools for the EA results. We slashed a few potentials after a great EA acceptance.
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