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Is It Okay To Apply To A College Just To See If You Can Get In?

LaPazLaPaz Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited March 2009 in Common Application
For the longest time, I have wanted to go to UCLA. But, I kind of deferred my dream and focused on something closer; University of Missouri - Columbia.

I will need to start applying for colleges next fall and I was wondering if it was stupid to apply to a college just to see if you get in it? Now, if I did get accepted, that really could change everything (proving to my parents that I can get in, etc.) and I might be able to go. I think that if I was in-state I would have a pretty good shot of getting in, but because I am out-of-state it makes things 100 times harder to get in. But, I was reading about it and to me sometimes it seems kind of random who they let it. Most of the time it is the really high achievers, but once in a while it seems like they might let a few slip through if they have a great essay or something like that.

Anyways, will it be stupid to (most likely) waste 90 bucks on applying to a college that I am probably not going to get in to? (Btw, the 90 bucks isn't a big deal to me, I don't mind using it.)


Post edited by LaPaz on

Replies to: Is It Okay To Apply To A College Just To See If You Can Get In?

  • Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,765 Senior Member
    Unless you have a vested interest in going to a particular college, applying just as a whim isn't a good idea. If you have no intentions of attending and are accepted, you may be taking a spot away from someone who is truly motivated to attend. I suggest that you give careful consideration to those schools where you apply.
  • LaPazLaPaz Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I think you misunderstood. I WANT to go to UCLA more than anything. I just know how hard it is to get into, so I pretty much gave up the dream. We visited LA a couple of times and I fell in love with it, never visited the campus but when we go back to visit family in August I want to go look around at it.

    I really do want to go. But, I just don't think I can get in, that's the thing. For example, it would be like a straight C student applying for Harvard or something like that. They probably won't get in, well, I'm not saying that it's a comparison of that same proportion because I have a high GPA and a lot of extra curricular, but it seems like you have to find a cure for cancer to get into it, especially if you are not in-state.

    So, yeah, I didn't mean that I was just doing it for the hell of it, just because I could, I am really interested in going, I just think that odds are against me.

  • toadstooltoadstool Registered User Posts: 1,145 Senior Member
    If you seriously have a reach-type chance and the financial wherewithal to go out of state, then apply.

    but please don't clog up the admissions system with "what if" applications.

    Would your parent let you go, and could they pay for it?
  • hellojanhellojan Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    The application pools at top schools around the country are flooded with this kind of thing. Because of the exaggerated numbers, seats are taken away from qualified/motivated candidates.
  • python38python38 Registered User Posts: 1,304 Senior Member
    You know what? I think you should do it. Just try your best, and you'll deserve to be in the application pool just as much as we top students do.

    Good luck.
  • goddessxxgoddessxx Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    There's never really a case of applying "just to see if I can get in". It's always "no way in hell am I going to get into that elite school, but I'll try anyway but brush it off as something casual so the wound, which I know for sure is coming, wouldn't hurt as bad; but if i DO get in it will be a sign from God that I should party for the entire summer".

    (been there, done that haha... and the wound hurts)

    I had my schools divided into tiers
    Tier 1 - top ivies
    Tier 2 - mid ivies + berkeley
    Tier 3 - convenient local canadian school
    Tier 4 - Backup: UCLA/NYU, low for financial reasons
    Tier 5 - back up canadian school

    So i had a back up to a back up to a backup. Tier 1/4/5 were all "seeing if i can get in".
  • EmpEmp Registered User Posts: 1,011 Senior Member
    If you want to go there, of course you should apply!!! If you don't apply, you'll never know :)
  • johndoemanjohndoeman Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Sure, but spend arduous amount of work on that app if you hope to see a pleasant surprise.
  • aakaak Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    You'll never be able to get over the regret of not applying. All you'll ever think is"what if..." and basically drive yourself mad by wondering what could have been.
    If money isn't such a huge issue, I see no reason why you shouldn't apply, even if it is a reach.
This discussion has been closed.