Teen accepted by 80+ colleges



I wonder what the cost was in application fees alone? How indulgent.

I’d like to know which schools he was accepted to. Were they top schools?

And he made a strange comment about how he was considering several law schools. Is there a way to do that right out of high school?

First - congrats to the young man - he certainly sounds very accomplished from the article and I am sure he will go far. Second - the article is not distinguishing between schools. There could be many, many schools with free applications, or who waived application fees for this young man.
Third - many charter schools LOVE to have the BIG numbers of college apps and scholarship amounts - the schools encourage this.

Hopefully he got a good offer from a place he is happy to attend!

He could have used the HBCU common app, which allows students to apply to about 55 universities in just one application. Then 20 through common app plus his state schools+ nearby public universities and he’s got that many.
Note that the universities aren’t listed (unlike for the kid who got into Yale Stanford, etc.
Often, for lower income students for whom the FA process is both mysterious and crucial, the goal is to ensure an affordable college.

The application fees may not have been as much as you think. There are several ways to get fee waivers for application fees and I am guessing that the student used the Black Common Application which allows one to apply to over 50 HBCUs for $35 dollars while downloading 1 transcript and 1 copy of your standardized test scores. There are also over 100 colleges and universities that have no application fees. While 80+ applications can be a big waste of time from a time and resources standpoint, I hear about cases like this every year. There was a student from my hometown who got accepted into 100+ Universities and received over 9 million dollars in scholarships recently. That particular high school encouraged students to apply to lots of colleges and universities as a way to foster a sense of pride in a student body that has a large group of students on free/reduced lunch. So while many may see this as an act of indulgence, I know that their are probably other forces at work that are helping that student show that one can overcome your own personal circumstances through hard work for an entire student body (No excuses including not having money to apply or go to college). The high school in the article is a majority black charter school with a majority of its students on free and reduced lunch, so while one may not agree with the reasoning, I have given you the most likely reason as to “why”.

I don’t see that as a huge accomplishment.

We can certainly find 80 schools who would accept the incredibly average kid.

To be honest, I think his time could have been much better spent getting 5 acceptances and 75 scholarships.

I think this represents what is wrong with the college application process today. No one should be applying to 100 schools as he did!! That’s nuts.

@bjkmom You are right that the most of the schools (especially on the Black Common Application) are not very selective and accept most kids. But if this kid used the black college app, there would have been some advantages. Almost all of the 50+ schools have no extra supplements (like essays separate from the generic one for the application) to fill out, so it would have taken him an extra 10 minutes total to select that he wanted to be evaluated by all of the schools which would have put the student in the running for 50+ institutional scholarships if he had the stats and applied early. I am pretty sure that most of the 2.6 million in scholarship money came from those schools from what I have seen. My daughter used the black common app to apply to 2 schools because it was cheaper than applying to them separately. It makes you apply to 4 schools. But my daughter got 6 full-ride offers from other schools that we did not mark for them to evaluate her application. It takes the same time to apply to 50+ schools on the black common app as it would take to apply to 1 school on the Common App with an essay.

I learned something new today. I had no idea there is a Black Common Application and can think of a couple people who could possible use that information.

@jym626 I would blame the easy of the systems in place over blaming the kid for applying to so many schools… Back when you or I were going to school, applying to 100 schools would have been impossible. When you can apply to 50+ schools in 2 hours time (the amount of time it took my daughter to use the black common app to apply to schools and write the generic short essay supplement) that is technology making things easy. And there are other applicatons where you can apply to a large number of schools very quickly (I believe Cappex has one for over 100 schools that have no application fees at all).

It’s still an indication that a student didn’t do research to see what schools fit them best,IMO.

If everyone applied to this many schools, the whole system would be out of whack. It already is with kids applying to15-20 schools. People wonder why there are long wait lists. How are colleges supposed to figure out how many to accept when kids have applied to so many schools?

I advocate for visiting schools, doing research, and applying to 4-6 that are good fits financially and in terms of size, location, academics and vibe. But that has become downright quaint :slight_smile:

Applying to so many schools affects the schools’ yield and ability to do good financial planning. It has a cascade effect.

It would be interesting to see his list of schools. I wonder which one he’ll choose today if he hasn’t already made his decision.

It’s may 1. Hope he has made a decision.

@jym626 One of the things that I saw growing up was the dichotomy between the life I had growing up in the inner city and when I visited my upper middle class father over the summers. I knew very few students that got sound advice on college searches and even fewer that had ever been on a college campus. But my father took me on multiple college tours and made me do the research. Today, they have more (technology is an equalizer when it comes to knowledge) but I still see some of those same barriers (including some kids without even internet access at home) and lack of knowledge on how to approach the college process. Even with the advantages that I had in the college process from my own friends, the only thing I really cared about was who was going to provide me the money to attend college. Fit was way down on my list of importance even though it is tied with cost as my most important factor today.

@compmom The system is probably already out of whack, but the student did not create the system, he is just exploiting it like many others. That is why I believe it will get worse with every kid applying to more and more schools.

There are some high schools that actively encouarge this and in fact have an award for the student who gets in the most accpetances. There was a similar article last year anout a girl who got in to over a hundred colleges. I beleive they do it to encourage kids to apply.

Idk who encouraged him,guidance counselor, parents, mentors, friends, special bulk application, no requirement to research college or write essays, wish to make headlines, fee waivers or whoever/whatever but a faulty system is responsible for turning a serious process into a binge sport.

Serious applicants are the ones who suffer and bear the cost of a flawed system. I’m sure it creates problems for colleges as well but I’ve little sympathy for them as they manipulate system themselves in every way they can without much regard for applicants. However, in the end other applicants bear the consequences.

@Lindagaf That was my neighborhood high school (I ended up going to magnet school in my hometown instead) that the girl from last year came from. The school definitely wanted each kid to apply to as many schools as possible and they have been doing that for a long time, but it is so much easier to do it today. That student ended up choosing Dillard University, a HBCU in New Orleans on a full-ride scholarship.