App. Question: "What Other Colleges Are You Applying To?

<p>A lot of these questions have only six blanks, so I just put in the six least selective schools to which I applied.</p>

<p>Fresnomom My recommendation is to answer that question very carefully, if at all.</p>

<p>Fresnomom, In the case of Redlands, they understand they're competing with the UC's. In fact, they will negotiate financial aid for the better students to make sure the package they offer is better than what the UC's offer. So, don't hesitate to have your son list the UC schools, or mention their offers when you negotiate for aid/merit money with them.</p>

<p>When my son was filling out these forms, whatever schools he had applied to at that time, he listed. The school he is now attending asked him that question in an interview he had with them. He told them all of the schools that he knew at the time. Honesty is the best policy. He wasn't rejected anywhere. These admission people are not stupid. They know kids are going to apply to reaches, matches and safeties and they know from the information you give on your apps where you fit. They don't know what you think about them, but if you are applying you must like each school for some reason. Tell them what it is. And if you really like a school, tell them. And if you don't want to go to a school, then for goodness sake don't waste your time or theirs with an application.</p>

<p>I never had to answer this question on an app, but was asked in every single interview I had, and I think the only thing to do is reply honestly. I told my interviewer for Oxford that while I really wanted to go there, I wasn't sure I'd be able to convince myself I was ready to spend three years overseas. It was very clear to him that I was <em>very</em> up in the air about it - and I still got in. I think that if an applicant is strong enough, many schools, especially top-tier ones, won't worry about what other schools they're applying to, and will worry about convincing them once they've already been admitted.</p>

<p>Maybe one thing to consider, though, is that if there is a school that the adcoms will likely assume that you'll go to instead - for example, my school has a STRONG history of sending kids to Stanford even when they get into HYP()M (which of course those schools don't like since it lowers their yield, yada yada yada), and I think it definitely helped that I made it clear to my Yale interviewer that Stanford was my last choice of all the schools I was applying to.</p>

<p>Just don't lie. I know a couple of people who interview for ivies, and they say that they usually know when a student is twisting the truth to make themselves look like a better, more committed/whatever applicant. And that just won't help the application at all.</p>

<p>Just read this on</p>

<p>The article is called "Application Decoder"</p>

<p>The Competition
Watch out: While some schools just want to figure out what criteria matter to you (if, say, all schools you list have strong journalism programs), others want to assess how likely you are to attend if admitted. Such schools may preemptively reject (or wait-list) top cadidates with more popular schools on their lists. Some counselors suggest answering with a few similarly competitive schools from your list or stating that you are undecided. Others recommend leaving it blank."</p>

<p>Rice asks this question and I am a little concerned about it. I am from NC and applying to all schools in NC except for Rice. So I'm worried it will look like I'm not willing to leave home and applying to Rice is just a random decision. It's not a decision I have made without reason, and I hope that they understand that I am very interested in their school.</p>

<p>I think the best approach is to pick two or three schools that are as close as possible in "rank" to the school for which the question is being asked. For example, in my son's Harvard interview he mentioned Yale and the University of Chicago, and that he had a conditional offer from Oxford. Nothing about the rest. It turned out that the interviewer had gone to Oxford and Yale for graduate school and his wife had attended the University of Chicago, so he spent several minutes praising the choices.</p>

<p>Schools ask this for a couple of reasons:</p>

<p>1) They want to know who their competition is - not necessarily in individual cases, but in general.</p>

<p>2) They want to know how interested you are in their type of school - so is their school the only LAC/Ivy/state university/large institution/rural institution/single sex school etc., or are you applying to many of those types of schools?</p>

<p>As someone said earlier, this gives them more insight into why you will or will not matriculate.</p>