"What other schools are you applying to?"

<p>Okay, a couple of the applications have this question, and I don't want to answer it. I'm not applying to any ivy league schools, but I am applying to one top university and a couple of top LACs. Can you leave it blank? Does this only look terribly suspicious and make them think the worst?</p>

<p>If it has a little star mark next to the question it means they NEED it answered.</p>

<p>I think Boston U asks this. I was frankly ****ed off, that's not their business and "other schools you are applying to" should not be an admissions factor.</p>

<p>Perhaps it's a safety net for the yield.</p>

<p>Yeah I'm not sure about this question either, I was just filling out some of the stuff to U of Evansville, and the other colleges I'm applying to are fairly prestigious [UNC-CH, CMC, W&L] so writing them down could affect me negatively.</p>

<p>is that on the common app?</p>

<p>no, but it's on a couple of supplements.</p>

<p>come on, anybody have a good answer for this?</p>

<p>It is not going to be a factor in your admissions decision at all. They just want to know for the sake of knowing what other schools their applicants tend to apply to.</p>

<p>Yeah, they're just curious where they stand with their applicants, who their peer schools are, etc. It doesn't matter how you answer the question, it won't affect your admissions chances.</p>

<p>Some schools, especially those that are trying to move up in national prominence, are believed to reject or waitlist applicants who they think will enroll only if they don't get into more highly ranked schools. Google "Tufts syndrome" to find out more about this. And a question "where else have you applied" plays right into this. It is none of their business!! They should judge you on your application, not where else you might want to go. If it was just idle curiosity prompting the question, once decisions are out they could send you a stamped postcard to anonymously return listing where else you'd applied.</p>

<p>A 2nd reason to be very suspicious of a question like this is for financial aid. FA is not a cut-and-dry science. Schools can calculate need differently, and, much more importantly, have a great deal of latitude in how they decide to fill it even among the students they accept. With a student they really want they can put together an attractive package with more grants and less work-study and loans. Do a little searching here and you can find that with a few competing offers in hand, students are often able to negotiate with a school and get their package improved. On the other hand, if they realize (by knowing where you've applied) they're the reach school, they'll surmise you'd be so pleased by the opportunity to enroll that you'll pay more for the privilege -- hence more loans, less grants.</p>

<p>The pitfalls having been pointed out, leaving it blank can raise their eyebrows. So fill it in strategically, to your benefit. You want to leave the impression they're one of your top choices, but not the only one in their group. So list a slightly stronger competitor and at least 2 peers. The slightly stronger sends a message that you'd be on the fence about attending if you got into both without being as obnoxious (to them) as listing a handful of Ivies on your Tufts app. The peers lets them know that if their FA package stinks compared to what their competitors offer they're never going to see you on campus.</p>

<p>thanks. that's some really good advice, mike.</p>

<p>On the other hand, colleges will know if you're being selective with which schools you tell them about. If a kid with a 2400 SAT and a 4.0 is applying to, let's say, Boston U as a safety, but he makes it seem like BU is his top choice, the admissions officers are going to see that as somewhat sketchy, since it's highly unlikely that someone with stats like that wouldn't be applying somewhere better. I understand mikemac's advice, but personally, if/when I come across that question, I'm just going to be honest about it. Most schools can already tell where they stand, they already know which applicants are likely to have better options, etc. and if a school is practicing "Tufts syndrome" it won't matter what college choices you indicate in the questionnaire, because they'll still see that you're overqualified or whatever. Either way, how you fill out this one question will have little to no effect on your acceptance/rejection to any school.</p>

<p>Here's my FAQ: </p>


<p>You could quote chapter and verse from the Statement of Principles of Good Practice of the National Association for College Admission Counseling:</p>



<p><a href="http://www.nacacnet.org/NR/rdonlyres/9A4F9961-8991-455D-89B4-AE3B9AF2EFE8/0/SPGP.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nacacnet.org/NR/rdonlyres/9A4F9961-8991-455D-89B4-AE3B9AF2EFE8/0/SPGP.pdf&lt;/a> </p>

<p>and once you have done that, you could say, based on whatever is the truth, "Not wanting this to be construed as a statement of my order of preference, I am applying to"</p>

<p>a) "other colleges that appear to offer some of the same features as your college"</p>


<p>b) "a varied list of colleges to ensure that I carefully consider what is the best fit between me and each college"</p>


<p>c) "small liberal arts colleges with a focus on undergraduate teaching" (or whatever summary characteristic applies to all colleges on your list)</p>


<p>d) "a list of colleges developed according to policies of my high school counseling office"</p>


<p>e) "[actual list] but this list should not be taken to be in preference order"</p>


<p>f) "a list of colleges that I would rather not mention here, so that we take extra care to follow NACAC principles of good practice."</p>

<p>Your own creativity can probably come up with some more choices. I do NOT see this question on many of the college application forms I have downloaded from the Web this year.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.nacacnet.org/NR/rdonlyres/9A4F9961-8991-455D-89B4-AE3B9AF2EFE8/0/SPGP.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nacacnet.org/NR/rdonlyres/9A4F9961-8991-455D-89B4-AE3B9AF2EFE8/0/SPGP.pdf&lt;/a> </p>

<p>One student mentioned that a college that he was applying to online allowed only fifty characters in its online form for listing other colleges that he was applying to. That would allow for lots of fun possibilities, such as</p>

<p>Q: To what other colleges are you applying? </p>

<p>A: [in online form:] I am applying to other colleges that share some of the great characteristics of your college, for example </p>

<p>To sum up, if you are applying early decision somewhere, OF COURSE that college is your first choice, and you plainly signal to that college that it is your first choice by applying for a binding early decision program. But if you are applying for nonbinding early action, for rolling admission, or for regular action admission, no college should care much where else you are applying, and you are certainly not obligated to tell the college where else you are applying, especially not in a rank-ordered list.</p>

<p>How about just listing 1 school ranked higher and 1 school ranked lower and then they'll think they are your match and not your safty.</p>

<p>i think that part of an application is used by a school's admissions office to see some of it's peer institutions. a kid who applies to haverford, for example, may list in that part of the haverford supplement that he is also applying to swarthmore, bryn mawr, middlebury, and williams, all of which could be considered peer institutions of haverford.</p>

<p>but like highopes says, it's also a matter of gauging interest. if carleton gets an app from a student who lists his/her other applied schools as a state u, pitzer, university of puget sound, linfield, and claremont mckenna, carleton will see that they are a top choice for the student. why? because carleton is one of the more selective on the list (along with cmc) and the student is applying to schools on the west coast, implying he or she lives there. </p>

<p>that part of the college application has its advantages and disadvantages.</p>

<p>if they require it, fill it out or dont apply. if they dont require it but just have it, use your best judgement. thats all there is to it.</p>

<p>i think mikemac and highhopes both bring good points to this:</p>

<p>By arranging your list so that it looks like the college is a top choice for you, you do make the adcoms think you're more determined to go. Only problem I can think about this is that, if you're overqualified like highhopes said, it not only would look suspicious, but also look like you're not challenging yourself to the fullest -- which is what college essays/apps are all about really. This could also bring other implications to your app, maybe magnifying the adcom's eyes as to look for a fault as to why you wouldn't apply to a better school.</p>

<p>Of course, this could all be a matter of overthinking. Personally, I don't think this accounts for admissions much and it's just a way to see if there's a trend between an application for their school and one for another.</p>

<p>Feel free to be selective in choosing which schools you list. You don't have to list every single school to which you're applying.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Here's our method: for our reaches, we're listing our matches. For our matches, we're listing our safeties. For out safeties, we're listing the other safeties. Hopefully every school will think they're our top choice??</p>

<p>Seriously, the admission guys are only human. As if it is not going to alter their admission decision when they see a student applying to 10 other colleges as opposed to someone else who only applies to that particular college.</p>

<p>Btw, I'm applyin to BU, is it a required part of the supplement to fill this out? Or optional? Coz i'm really not comfortable listing the colleges I've applied to on the BU supplement</p>

<p>So..nobody thinks that just being honest is an option? Folks, how about trying that? Not because it games the system, not because it improves your chances..just because it's honest.</p>

<p>So..nobody thinks that just being honest is an option? Folks, how about trying that? Not because it games the system, not because it improves your chances..just because it's honest.</p>

<p>People don't want to be completely honest because they're scared. I mean, if someone applying to BU said that they were also applying to Stanford, Yale, Williams, Amherst and MIT, then the adcoms might realize that this applicant was only applying there as a safety, potentially taking a spot away from someone who really wants to go there and resort to Tufts syndrome.</p>