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College 101

How Many Schools is Too Many?
Article Type: Quick and Dirty

How many colleges should I be applying to? The big money question. Here are some things you should take into consideration to determine if you maybe have too many on your list.

  • Cost: Applying to colleges - just like every other aspect about college - costs money.  Application fees can be nothing (rarely), but most schools charge between 50 and 80 bucks to apply.  If your list is so long that just the application fees are becoming a financial burden, trim the fat.
  • Application Quality: You want to present the strongest application possible for each school.  That means flawlessly Filling out the Application, writing inspiring , sending in amazing Letters of Recommendation, and all the other details which go into every application.  If your list of schools is so daunting that you don’t have the time and energy to put your best into each application, get rid of some.
  • Your Senior Year Performance: You don’t want to be that guy (or gal) who gets into their first choice school, only to have their senior year grades force the school into taking back their offer. It’s called rescinding your offer.  A strong senior year is critical to getting into (and actually attending) college.  Are college applications causing you to neglect classes and extracurricular activities? Stop doing that.
  • Still looking for a magic number?  We recommend six, ranging from safety, reach, and target schools. The truth is, you should apply to a range of schools where you would be excited to attend, with the specific number determined by your ability to juggle everything that you have to do.

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