Reconsider before applying to many schools


Graphic by Lilly Weisz '23

Students should really consider which schools they apply to, and not just apply for the sake of quantity.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been four years of highschool. Time really flies fast, and so does the college application window. With there being many colleges across the nation, some feel the need to take advantage of that and apply to as many schools as they can, however, this can be an unwise decision.

The thing about college is that they won’t always accept your application, so students try to increase their chances of being accepted into these schools in many ways; extracurriculars, SATs, ACTs, school clubs and community service just to name a few. For those who feel that won’t be enough, they apply to more schools. At a first glance, it seems to be a guarantee that you’ll be accepted into at least one college, however, this isn’t true.

First off, most elite colleges only want the hardest workers attending their schools. What many students fail to realize is that selection isn’t random, colleges are specifically looking for the top students. According to CaptainU, students treat the application process as a ‘lottery,’ and assume that if they apply to more schools, they have a higher chance of being accepted. This is sadly far from the truth since according to Expert Admissions, grades and test scores are a deciding factor of whether or not a student is accepted into a school.

It’s a waste of time, money and energy, so before you decide to apply to 30 schools to “play it safe” or have a “higher chance” of being accepted, just consider all the factors. 

— Matthew Saw '23

Another thing to consider is the time spent applying. Applications also include writing an essay about yourself, something that sets you apart from others that can take months to write. With some schools making students write an additional supplemental essay. There are also many forms to fill out including making you manually fill out a list every class you took over all four years of your highschool career and what grades you ended with. The time consumed can cause a lot of stress, and after investing all of that time, it’s not even a guarantee that you’ll be accepted. The average number of colleges to apply to is five to eight according to College Board. Some students I’ve talked to are applying to 15, 20 and even 30 schools. Just imagine the amount of work that had to be done.

Something people tend to overlook is that there is a fee to apply to schools. Sending test scores also comes at a cost. It costs around $12 dollars to send an SAT score and it can cost up to $100 just to apply to a school, so on top of using up precious time, you also have to spend money. Students may easily be spending hundreds and thousands on many schools even though they will only be able to go to one college. 

The college application process for one school is already tedious enough. It’s a waste of time, money and energy, so before you decide to apply to 30 schools to “play it safe” or have a “higher chance” of being accepted, just consider all the factors.