Alabo21 (savings) and memaw12 (investing to get a desired result) touch on the importance of practicality in the college application process. When it is all said and done, realize that the $$ spent on apps, etc., could have gone toward something else that you might need, or would like to upgrade that may be more satisfying to you, rather than to fatten the fee revenue budget line of a private college.
There are a few factors that come to mind when choosing a college or university. Fit and program arguably are first. You want to be at a place that you feel most comfortable, and you want to be at a place that affords you courses and programs that engage you, and/or help you decide what you wish to study, given the significant number of students who are undecided, or take 1-3 semesters to decide. Beyond that $$$ are a factor, and a student may wish to have a number of applications out there to receive a number of admissions offers from colleges that may be of similar fit and program, and it may be the one that offers the greatest scholarship / grant package that becomes where the student ultimately enrolls, and is retained.