Image courtesy of Brain, Child
College: it’s a long, tiresome and terrifying process for high school seniors. Applying is stressful; getting accepted or denied is stressful; the competition is stressful. And as the college process continues, the growing number of schools that students are applying to is shocking.
Out of fear and confusion, many students will apply to multiple colleges, and at times, the number of colleges on their application list reaches double digits. According to Forbes, there is even a trend striking as some students apply to upwards of 40 schools where, for most of them, they aren’t even considerable candidates. This doesn’t make sense. It’s a waste of money, time and it decreases other students’ chances of being accepted.
I believe applying to up to seven schools is appropriate. It leaves room for acceptance, denial and ultimately, decision making.
I was lucky enough to know what I wanted in a school, which helped me find colleges that fit my criteria. I applied to three schools: one reach, one target and one safety. I felt safe only applying to three schools. While having a variety of colleges to choose from is comfortable and necessary in order to make the right decision and have an enjoyable college experience, there is such thing as applying to too many.
Furthermore, college applications are only free to send for a small number of schools. Applications are, on average, around $70 to send to one college with additional fees tacked on for sending test scores. Imagine sending 10 applications with a fee? That’s upwards of $700 for just 10 schools. I see absolutely no point in wasting money on schools you know you would never attend.
College is undeniably stressful––I’m not saying it isn’t––but I think it’s important to be realistic with the number of colleges to which you’re sending your applications. Save money and take the time to really think about the kind of college that will make you happy.