Negatives to applying to more than 10 schools

<p>Another thought that has been touched on, but I don't think specifically, is planning for multiple Merit Scholarship Competitions/Weekends in the Spring. As we were trying to juggle merit aid, need based aid, basketball, and admission - D had 14 applications. Great opportunities all but she ended up with a Spring from Hell. </p>

<p>School activities were going full-throttle (basketball play-offs on a state championship run and UIL competitions) and she was attending/competing at scholarship competition weekends at Millsaps, Hendrix, Rhodes, Scripps, Centre, and Hanover along with final selection from 19 down to 8 for a dual admission to Texas Tech and TTU-HSC. All this with a high school who "allowed" 2 college days that were set days to visit, and two ultra reach schools where she was admitted but couldn't visit until after acceptance. It was insane. (I believe we are still dealing with some of the aftermath of that much stress.)</p>

<p>She made all but Hanover (she already had a nice scholarship there and it was a financial safety) and part of Centre had to be rescheduled (Texas Tech wouldn't budge). I believe it hurt her at all 3 of those schools.</p>

<p>If you are on the hunt for substantial merit awards, many require these weekends that are sometimes NOT readily apparent from the website. Ask your adcom if they are required. Get the dates well in advance . There WILL be conflicts requiring "split the baby" choices to be made.</p>

<p>I concur with Cur, I recently realized that all three of the manditory interview scholarships my D is trying for conduct them at the end of March. That's spring break for us which is lucky, but still, if some of the dates overlap.... Of course it is highly unlikely that she'll qualify for all of them, so it may become a non-issue :) However, we'll add to the "to do" list to e-mail the adcoms and find out the exact dates for next year.</p>

<p>Thats the thing.... I have 5 dream schools....and I would be sooo happy if I got into 1 of them..... The thing is they are all a big reach for me</p>

<p>I guess my biggest fear is to be rejected by all of my schools... and end up having to go to a safety taht i really dont want to go to</p>

<p>^ my parents have the same fear for me, so they pull more safeties out of nowhere for me to apply to. I really do not want to go to most of the schoos they throw at me, but they think I will hate it at my state college and should look at a bunch of (IMO) overpriced private colleges.</p>

There is a negative in applying to more than 10 schools if going 0 for 15 is a possibility. Find a rolling admission school that you like and apply early.

That's fine if one of those schools meets your criteria. Yale SCEA was her first shot, and they deferred (and later accepted). Had they accepted her, the number of applications would have been less than 6. In fact, Rice ID was her early acceptance, but that was far from a sure thing as well and not her top choice. By that time, all of the applications were in. The simple fact is, if you want a top school, it is best to apply to all that provide the education that meets your needs. Once you fall into the <30% admit range, the random factor is real.</p>

I think that if you feel that you have 12 top picks you need to spend time to really differentiate between the schools the better split them up. What will you do if you get 12 acceptances? Out of those schools you have to have some that you really prefer and some that you really aren't keen on. Try to drop some of the ones you don't love.

That can be harder to do than it sounds. Most people, especially those outside the northeast, have limited time and funds for campus visits. We did the 6 day spring break tour of east coast schools junior year. We got about a half day at each of 10 schools. We eliminated 2, Tufts and Wes. We never did see Princeton, Swarthmore, Dartmouth, Williams, Columbia, or Chicago. All were solid contenders, and all were acceptances later. Senior year we revisited 3, Rice (good merit money), Harvard, and Yale. She then did admitted students weekends at Harvard and Yale. Sandwiched in there was Coca Cola Scholars weekend in Atlanta. It wasn't until the last possible minute that she handed her card to Harvard admissions. </p>

<p>The time element is not huge. Almost all schools take the common app. Your personal statement, if crafted well, will work for most of them. Some have supplements. Not all have mandatory supplemental essays, but a few do. If you have done the research to have a school solidly on your list, the "why do you want to go here" question should be easy to answer.</p>

<p>It is sooo easy and sooo fun to pick those schools right at the top of the list. And so many kids are so scared they are going to end up at that safety.<br>
That is why a lot of time needs to be spent on that safety and a couple of match schools. The euphoria of getting accepted to the most selective schools really takes care of whether you actually prefered one school in the top of the selectivity heap over another. Finding schools you like that are likely to accept you is often the challenging job for those kids who are good candidates for the most selective schools.</p>

<p>THere are a number of reasons to apply to a lot of schools, but the big drawback of doing so, is that it sucks alot of time out of you and requires a lot of organization. Many of the most selective schools want an interview. The next level often want some directed demonstrated interest. It does get old and few young people can keep that enthusiasm going with too many schools on the plate. And that's when mistakes occur. Not only on your part but on part of the highschool, recommending teachers and gcs, and every little thing that is involved in the app process. It can drive you nuts. So you do pay in stress level and confusion when you apply to many schools. And you do need to research the schools where you are applying, if you are going to be able to write an effective essay telling them why you want to go there. This comes up in alum interviews too.</p>

I guess my biggest fear is to be rejected by all of my schools... and end up having to go to a safety taht i really dont want to go to

Hence the Parents Forum mantra of Step 1 in the application process: Love Thy Safety! If you do not have a relatively safe school on your list that you love, or at least really like just fine, take the time NOW to research and find one that you would be happy at. It may not be one of your dream schools, but you only need that one to have peace of mind.</p>

<p>Believe me, the world looks TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT this month, with my "OMG will he actually be accepted at any of those schools he's interested in?" high school senior having already received a rolling admissions acceptance from a school he likes, than it did a month ago. Totally different. It'll be great if he gets into any of his reaches or has other match schools to be able to choose between. Just the fact that there's ONE, and it's a good one and he'll be happy to go there, makes everything else bearable.</p>

<p>I had never specifically thought of this one, but here's another reason, from the viewpoint of any particular high school, since ours has just for the first time ever put a limit (10) on the total number of applications from each Senior. It makes it difficult, the administration says, for anyone except the absolutely best all-around student, esp. when many students are applying to the same private schools. In a small school such as ours (and which is NOT a "known" feeder to high-profile privates such as an E.Coast prep), each "elite" might take one student each, from such a small class, if enough excellent people were in such a position for consideration. Theoretically, the top student could then walk away with all the acceptances. Of course, even with 10, a science student, for example, could apply to all 8 Ivies + MIT + S, but it's unlikely that the student would, because those various schools are different enough. But if the list included 4 Ivies (not unusual) + Chicago, Georgetown, Stanford, 4 of the top LACs, & 4 high-ranked publics, that student would still dominate the acceptances with 15 applications. Colleges look at the side-by-sides in the class. No, not always the "top" student would get in, if #2 or #3 was judged as a better fit, but it just makes it much harder for #2-5 to get a decent shot at being considered.</p>

<p>I think there are other things to consider. One of those top schools stopped accepting from S's HS for a few years. Then, they accepted 3 kids, all of whom matriculated. Having a 100% acceptance rate will certainly help the next group of kids that apply. By the way, our HS sends only a few students to the elite schools per year</p>

<p>It is funny how at the beginning of the process it looks as if you haven't applied to enough schools and in May you applied to too many. First pick a safety that you would like to attend (cleverly phrased as "love your safety" on cc). Then pick your dream schools. One parent I know phrases this second rule as "Would I pay money to go to this school over a state school?" Making these decisions is difficult if your using prestige as the most important factor in picking a college, but some of the most prestigeous schools make that decision for you by not offering merit aid, so you have to think about the cost.
Notice I wrote "more prestigeous" rather than "better". I would compare getting an education to drinking from a fire hydrant. Is a school that can pump ten times more knowledge than you can possibly accumulate better than one that can pump eight times more knowledge. Other things like personal attention, location, and Financial Aid become more important. There are schools that are very good that don't have the name recognition of an Ivy that I would rate as better because of other factors.</p>

Theoretically, the top student could then walk away with all the acceptances.

So. What if that same student didn't get into any of those schools, but would have been admitted to another top school had he applied. You really have to do what's best for you and not worry about the rest of the class. Trying to "save a spot" for someone else is just as likely to leave you at State U. It doesn't work anyway. If they really want two students from that small class, they will take two.</p>

Just the fact that there's ONE, and it's a good one and he'll be happy to go there, makes everything else bearable.

Ain't that the truth. When you have that first "(s)he can go here and I can pay for it" acceptance the world does change.</p>

<p>As our fears were more financial than admissions, when D was accepted at a small top 100 LAC with automatic merit aid that she had visted and liked I could stop holding my breath. My finances hadn't screwed her up such that she couldn't get the college experience she wanted. I felt the weight of the world off my shoulders.</p>

<p>From then on in, it was all gravy, baby. :cool:</p>

<p>We parents could not type fast enough to pour out 10 applications. So this was not an issue in the "good old days."</p>

<p>Common App's and computer transfers of items make this a much more accomodating process for applying by the numbers. But, here are a few rules that I learned.</p>

<p>My daughter's school allowed you to apply to any reasonable number of schools -- but before you filed you listed your choices. Once you got into the highest choice (number one is obvious, but if rejected by 1 and 2, but got into 3 -- that would be your highest choice) you had to immediately contact the remaining schools that you withdrew your application and this action improved the chances for others in the school to get into their "highest choice." Great concept that we should all live by.</p>

<p>Try to hone your list to 9 -- and try to assure yourself that even if you were rejected by numbers 1-8, you would be very happy to attend number 9. If you would be upset at attending any of the schools to which you applied, then do not apply. You must contend with the fact that it may be the only school which accepts your application.</p>

<p>And do not think admissions' offices are dumb, or blind, or deaf or even easily fooled.</p>

<p>Others may tell you not to use Common App as that will not reveal your cards to the schools that you are applying to every school east of the Mississippi -- don't believe it.</p>

<p>Others may tell you that admission counselors don't care about how many or where else you apply -- don't believe it.</p>

<p>Now, the obvious abuse war story. Went with child to school where a phone call had been received by school literaly minutes before we arrived for the tour. "Why was my son rejected?!" the irate parent requested. "He got into the other 19 schools, and many were better than your own." Does this rejection make sense to everyone? Of course it does, as the student was massaging ego at the cost to others and was never intending to matriculate at that school -- as reflected by the 20-school application record as well as the parent's angry admission on the telephone.</p>


Not all of us. Only the full payors could use this strategy. For the rest of us admission is just the first act. FA and appeals from FA are the finale. Gee, how I wish it had been that simple for my family.</p>

<p>For a high school to assume they knew better than a parent and child in this circumstance is assinine.</p>

<p>"One size fits all" advice is usually bad advice.</p>

<p>The more I think about the high school in fatheroftheboarder's post the angrier I get. What crap advice. How many families have been hurt by this "rule"? The school employees are there to counsel, not decide. To guide , not order people around. Sheesh. Power mad bureaucrats invading what should be solely family decisions- not a very good idea.</p>

<p>bandit, this is not my policy, nor am I pleading for this. I'm merely repeating what the school's policy is, and part of their reasoning. I should have added that the primary motivator for this was what >10 apps does to the individual applicant, not to competitors. I know what the results were for one of your progeny;), but our school, & many students from many schools, have experienced that it is the exception to the rule that 11+ apps results in equally fine results. Most students complain about the dilution factor, the exhaustion, boredom (& other effects noted on this thread) -- & such is what also predominates at our school. Sometimes even what happens is that all of that student's apps are compromised -- rather than just a few, or just the tail ends.</p>

<p>Separately, however, -- & again from the administration's point of view -- they have a subsidiary mission to see to it that the results of this fine education are somehow reflected across the board in admissions results. To have one person monopolize top acceptances may result in a "list of college acceptances" on the counseling webpage, but little else. This is beyond a question of not disappointing other students & parents, but of appropriate placements for more than just their Val.</p>

<p>(Sorry for the repetition of "results"; got to run, do your own silent editing.:))</p>

<p>I agree, curmudgeon, I would be livid if this were my sons' school's requirement. There are even concerns beyond the FA ones that leave me thinking it's the wrong game to ask students and their families to play.</p>

<p>While not true for my older son, my younger son has not been able to visit some of the schools he is applying to. Once he has his acceptances in-hand, he will visit those where he hasn't yet been in-person. Who's to say if, upon visiting School #5 on his list, if he won't be even more certain that it's the best place for him, better than maybe what he initially thought of as his School #2? No, we won't be withdrawing apps as his acceptances come in: there is no way for him to accurately "rank order" his choices at this time: they're all reasonable fits on paper, it's the feel when he's there that will bump one or another up to the top slot.</p>

<p>It's not our responsibility to make it (theoretically) easier for someone to be admitted to a school my kid is applying to. Nor do I actually believe most schools have a per-high-school quota (not after seeing 13 students out of 124 in my older son's class be admitted to MIT and 13 to Stanford two seasons ago). It's a wrong approach on the part of the high school, I'd be working to overturn that policy.</p>

<p>My son didn't decide what his "first choice school" was until the very day which was the deadline for replying to them. He visited his three top choices after being admitted, and still did not make his final decision for a few weeks. What happens in a case like this at Father of the Boarder's high school?</p>

<p>I understand the desire to open the spots and D did that. As it became clear she notified the schools on her list that were 100% out. Most of the time it was to (in our naive way of thinking) open up scholarship money to others (which many pointed out at the time probably didn't happen but it made us feel better). </p>

<p>I think there are abuses in the system , but that's where counseling and guidance from the school comes in. Not ex cathedra orders or guidance counselor bulls or edicts. </p>

<p>Again, folks- so much of this stuff depends upon factors that only you and your kid know (and sometimes y'all don't know what the other knows ;)). Don't let anyone run this race for you. Educate yourself. Research. Ask questions. Visit. And when someone tries to put up arbitrary roadblocks that could damage your kid - run them over. </p>

<p>This is for keeps, not for funsies and your kid doesn't get a do-over of their senior year. JMO.</p>

<p>If you need to wait out the scholarship money, the school would not compel you to close the door. I think curmudgeon's concern is appeased by this "exception to the rule." </p>

<p>I know the school was not going to interfere with the scholarship issue -- but once the money and highest school were finalized, the old rule would apply. Of course, the rule may be worthless as those answers are not delivered as quickly as acceptances.</p>