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Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

How many applications are too many?

CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
Hey y'all! Since I need full financial aid, I've been starting candidate profiles (on Gateway) for so many schools. Like.. 16 schools. I really want to go to BS and so I'm like absurdly ready to fill out 16 applications. Is this too many? I figured since I'm applying for sophomore year and I need full FA it'd be better to cast a *very* wide net.
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Replies to: How many applications are too many?

  • CaliPopsCaliPops 358 replies3 threads Member
    How many applications, interviews, etc. can you complete with high quality but without sacrificing your grades or sanity? It seems to me that the last thing you want to do is to start working on essays for a school only to decide later that you lack the time or energy to thoughtfully complete the application.

    I think the number is different for everyone, and it depends a lot on what else you have going on. My child, who had significant EC involvement and attended a middle school where the typical homework load was between 2-3 hours a night, was pretty drained during application season and applied to only six schools.
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  • AltrasAltras 354 replies6 threads Member
    My son applied to 5 and I think our whole family still has PTSD from the experience. Better to do a great job on 4-6 applications, than to do mediocre on 16 applications. If you want to be sure you end up going to BS, just make sure 2 of those schools are true safety schools. The potential loss of quality in each application when applying to to so many schools may paradoxically result in a higher likelihood of disappoint on 3/10. IMO, the incremental effort spent on applications beyond 6 would be better spent on improving an SSAT score, improving essays for those schools, reaching out to coaches, doing your best to secure strong LORs and improving or ensuring excellent grades for the current trimester or semester (which are part of the transcript that is sent).
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  • BRG2019BRG2019 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Its always a frantic time when applying for colleges. I applied to about 15 different colleges. I had my favorites of course, but I always wanted to be sure I had a few to choose from. I got finical aid from all the offers I received. I got replied back from 7 colleges. None of them were my favorite but none of them were bad.
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  • GoatMamaGoatMama 1215 replies10 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    @BRG2019, this is the prep school forum and the OP is asking about applications to boarding schools, not to colleges.

    While @Altras's advice may be correct in general, I don't think it applies in cases of full or nearly full financial aid. You cannot afford to apply to 4-6 schools only when you need so much aid. Quantity vs quality is a false dichotomy too. You need both! Many essay prompts are similar and you can adapt the same essay without having to write something entirely new. In my experience, what's harder is not the work of tweaking essays or answering short questions but staving off interview fatigue, even if interviewing by Skype. If you space out your interviews you should be able to pull it off. [Personally, with nearly full FA needs, my kid applied to 12 BS and one local option as a safety. It was hard work but it paid off and she had good options on March 10. Also, a number of school waitlisted her due to FA, stated in admisison letter.] Good luck in your application!
    edited November 2018
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4148 replies89 threads Senior Member
    My nephew a few years ago must have visited and applied to about 20 places all over the country, California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. I would have never had the patience to see that many quite frankly. (He ended up at Lake Forest Academy north of Chicago).
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
    Thanks for the responses everyone! I'm just so nervous about not getting in anywhere because I need full aid. I've already interviewed at 7 schools (Brooks, Concord, Choate, Loomis, Hotchkiss, Exeter, SMS (which I'm cutting off)) and am scheduled for 2 more (Andover, NMH). Idk I'm just so anxious about being rejected everywhere. I'm not a particularly fantastic applicant where a school would be drooling to have me and I need aid so I just... idk. I've been thinking of adding Lawrence Academy and Vermont Academy as 2 schools which aren't *quite* as difficult to get in but since I need full aid I don't consider them safeties. Thank you all :D
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
    @GoatMama Thank you! I quite enjoy the interviews- scheduling them is the trouble, cause my school is an attendance stickler. I've been making it work, though.

    @ProfessorPlum168 I wish I could visit all of my schools, but my current school would (quite literally) kill me lol (and so would my Dad's bank account). I've only visited Loomis, Hotchkiss, and Choate. The trips were super stressful though and sort of "draining" because of the pressure I felt to be perfect.
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  • SportyStudent21SportyStudent21 69 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I totally understand where your head is at because I was in the same spot last year. I didn't know that I wanted to apply to Boarding school until December, so I was very pressed for time. I had a list of 14 schools to apply to and I ended up applying to 9 due to school, time, and mental sanity. I suggest applying to some schools with some higher acceptance rates and maybe 10-12 schools (you don't want to burn out). The biggest thing against you is FA. I needed it as well and when I talked to many directors of admissions, that was their number one issue. Good Luck!
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 threads Member
    edited November 2018
    Imho anything over 10 is excessive and over 20 is lunacy if you have done your research and are realistic about this process. Throwing darts in the air isn’t going to magically raise your chances of acceptances or dramatically lower COA. You’ll just end up adding unnecessary congestion to the process for everyone else.
    edited November 2018
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
    @CupCakeMuffins @SportyStudent21 Thank you for the replies! I've done some trimming down so that my list is at 11 right now. Again, I'm just super nervous because aid. That's my biggest concern. I really really want to go to BS! I've got Vermont Academy on my list which seems to be *safer* but I don't consider any BS a safety just cause full aid.
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 threads Member
    What are your stats and what’s your EFC on FAFSA?
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
    edited November 2018
    @CupCakeMuffins FAFSA for BS? I do know our EFC is 0. Also- 3.9 GPA, 1420 SAT, 99th percentile practice SSAT, all that.
    edited November 2018
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  • MA2012MA2012 1236 replies1 threads Senior Member
    @CavsFan2003 FAFSA is for college not BS. @CupCakeMuffins This is a boarding school forum so the finance part is a little different than college.
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  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom 1659 replies10 threads Senior Member
    One admission officer, which happens to be where my daughter eventually enrolled, suggested visiting no more than a dozen with the eventual intent of applying to about six. We visited 13 and applied to 7 with a good mix of acceptance rates.
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 threads Member
    If your EFC is 0 then FA part is moot for any system but probably not going crazy with number of applications still makes sense. Good luck with your journey.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39585 replies7183 threads Super Moderator
    then FA part is moot for any system
    It's really not moot. For BS, even more than college, needing full FA limits options. Schools have a limited FA budget, particularly past the Andover/Exeter level. Applicants needing full FA need to cast a wider net than most, because it is not unheard of for one to be accepted with no FA, which is not much better than getting rejected outright. But yeah,16 applications is too many to do them all well.
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  • SportyStudent21SportyStudent21 69 replies3 threads Junior Member
    11 seems like a good number of schools to apply to. Don't worry about FA as of now. Just worry about putting together good applications because that is the only thing you can control. Good Luck!
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
  • buuzn03buuzn03 1555 replies15 threads Senior Member
    OP, we applied to 11 schools because of FA...our mistake was not widening our net...we applied to very similar schools across the board...with very high SSAT scores, A+ grades, multiple high performing sports and extracurriculars...we were accepted to 1 with FA. When DD applies, we will probably apply to the same number of schools but we are much more informed now as to varying our options. You are repeating, correct? And upper level applicant? I would say in your case that 10-12 is not too many...you don't want to go through M10 disappointment...
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  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 900 replies72 threads Member
    @buuzn03 Yup, I am repeating 10th grade. I think I've settled on 11ish schools.
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