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

SarripSarrip 110 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
I have sent 2 children to college and now my youngest daughter will be graduating from HS in 2020. May I also add that there is 11 years between my middle child and my youngest so in essence I am starting this venture as a newbie because many things may have changed. With 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. I don't know or stand in judgement of anyone else's situation but don't really understand the benefit or purpose. Can someone help me out on this one because if I'm missing something I really want to know. Thanks.
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Replies to: Applying to an abundance of colleges, What's the benefit?

  • LindagafLindagaf 8848 replies473 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,321 Senior Member
    edited May 25
    What? 50-100? The only kids doing that tend to be at charter schools and the like where they incentive kids for applying to college. It makes for a good headline.

    No, people are not regularly applying to that many colleges. Not at all. I would say that 20 isn’t uncommon now, but those people tend to fall into two camps: kids hedging their bets by applying to a lot of tippy tops, or kids looking for the best merit or financial aid.

    My kid just applied to college. He submitted 7 apps. He was accepted to five, and given a conditional offer at a tippy top for sophomore transfer. That number is still very normal and common. My D submitted 12 apps four years ago, and it was definitely too many. Here is the key: apply to a range of good bet, match and reach schools that your child would be happy to attend and that are affordable. Doing some research is much better than submitting twenty apps to schools just because they are prestigious. Too many people these days don’t research properly. They are in for a shock when they underestimate just how much work an app is. Don’t let your child fall prey to that panicky mentality.

    And I totally agree with the above about not assuming that a safety then is a safety now. But that is why she needs to research.
    edited May 25
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  • SarripSarrip 110 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    We have made several road trips so far and visited about 13 colleges. We realized that what you see on paper does not always match up to the reality. My son went to an Ivy but that was not necessarily the best fit for him and we learned a valuable lesson from that experience. He graduated and is doing well now but I am definitely doing things differently with our youngest.
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  • washugradwashugrad 1023 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    If you are looking at fairly selective schools, you'll probably want her to apply to a few more than your other kids did. If you live in CA, you should know that pretty much all UC schools are another level of difficulty harder than they were 10 years ago. If you aren't looking at schools in that 'top 50' category you probably can use a similar strategy to what your older kids did.
    (My oldest, high school class of 2015, applied to 10 schools although 4 of those were UCs . We haven't decided yet how many applications for D20 coming up...she wants to do early decision which could cut it down to just her top choice school and maybe UCs if she applies to any of those. Or it could be as many as 10 or so if the ED school doesn't accept her).
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  • bjkmombjkmom 7837 replies153 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,990 Senior Member
    edited May 25
    In my college prep high school, 10 is probably the typical number.
    edited May 25
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5344 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,354 Senior Member
    @Sarrip , do I remember correctly that your DD is at BS? If so, you'll get pretty good guidance on expected outcomes from the CC there. The # will depend on how many reaches, size of the schools, whether you have a rolling admissions school that you like enough that you won't need additional likelies if you get good early news, merit needs, etc.

    And while you may feel like a newbie again given the time that has elapsed since the last time you did this, you are clearly so so so far ahead of the game in understanding how important it is to make the right match for "fit".
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  • SarripSarrip 110 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    @gardenstategal, You are correct! Time does fly doesn't it? We have a fantastic college counselor who gave us an exhaustive list of match schools. We were able to narrow some of them down as DD20 wants a smaller setting and does not want to be farther from home than she is now if possible.
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 656 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 678 Member
    I'm in a similar boat - I have a D20 and a D10 (and DD12 and DD16.) It's changed dramatically since D10 (D16 was auditioning for theater schools and that's a whole other ball of wax.) D10 had 9 schools, applied to one ED, got in and was finished. D12 had 10 schools, applied to one EA, got in and was finished. D20 has 12 on her list now and that will probably go up to 15. It's just so competitive in the range she's targeting (T20s and just under) - they are almost all "reaches" although on paper she should be able to get into them. But the 100-150s? That's social media driven and looking for publicity. I don't know anyone in real life who is doing that. The most I've heard (outside of theater where 15, 20 and even 25 is common) is 17.
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  • SarripSarrip 110 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    @4gsmom, my daughter does have one school she wants to apply to ED. I have never done this with any of the others but there is something about it that scares me. She is the only child left at home, we are middle class. DS was able to graduate debt free because we didn't take out loans. We want her to graduate debt free also if possible.
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 656 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 678 Member
    ED is definitely NOT the way to go if you need to compare FA packages.
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  • ASKMotherASKMother 186 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    Sounds like your GC is great and already helping you by showing your match schools... you are way head of where we were 2 years ago when my D18 (just finished 1st year of college). Our GC was super sweet but not experienced enough to handle kids aiming for somewhere past the in-state safeties. She hasn't even heard of 3 of the schools we were applying to!) So many public school GCs do more counseling than college guidance these days.

    That being said D18 applied to 11 colleges - a mix of safeties, semi-selective and reaches based on her stats (but it's so 'holistic' now days that number stats (GPA, ranking, ACT) are just the starting point... ECs and leadershi, community/volunteer work, athletics/music/dance/art, and essays truly do count in admissions past the rolling state flagship schools!). She got into 9 (UAB, Auburn, Uof Alabama, Bham-Southern, Furman, William and Mary, UofRichmond, UVa and Vanderbilt), was denied 1 (UNC-Chappel) and waitlisted 1 (Wake Forest).

    We had visited 16 (those mentioned plus W&L, Georgetown, Duke, Elon, Rice) and she narrowed it down based on whether she could see herself somewhere for 4 years and if they had the focus of classes/reputation for what she wanted to major in (Chemistry and Education).

    My advice is to apply EA (typically by end of October - but not financially binding like ED) for as many schools as you can on your list ... get that last ACT/SAT testing done this summer and be prepared to fill out the FAFSA on October 1st. Good luck! It's such an exciting time!
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  • SarripSarrip 110 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    @4gsmom Yes, I agree we had a substantial monthly payments to make for DS14 which we managed to do but I would like to continue eating myself while DD14 is at College :-).
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1814 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,884 Senior Member
    "What's the benefit?"

    Assuming that you're applying to "abundance of colleges" that are matches and safeties with a good number of acceptances, one benefit is that it's now your turn to be selective. Not just in terms of an ideal fit school but also the one with the best FA package.

    Of the seven admitted schools that we had, the results in FA offers were quite different from school to school. You want to put yourself in such a position to now be selective in which one to commit to. The ultimate goal for college application ISN'T just being accepted; it's finding the ideal school that's also affordable for your family.

    This makes absolutely no sense, of course, if you apply to mostly reach schools. Makes no difference then whether you're applying to just a few or 50 of these.
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  • anon145anon145 608 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 615 Member
    edited May 25
    @Sarrip @4gsmom how many to apply to depends greatly on how much you want to pay and what state you are in/are your in state publics good options. Finally, how many essays of high quality your kid is willing to fill out/spend time on. If you have good state publics and can use naviance/are accurate in predictions and don't care about getting into the most highly "ranked" school, there is no reason to apply to more than 6 or 7. (this assumes you aren't fishing for merit or need financial aid) . First kid applied to 7, second kid 3. In retrospect reached too high for first kid ED school, but do over would probably apply to 5 instead.

    Of course if the kid will be miserable if they don't go to a top thirty than that probably requires applying to 30 schools
    edited May 25
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28057 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 28,113 Senior Member
    I tend to target 10 schools with my college kids and start with them. Only once did I have to go beyond that.
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