Introducing Friday College Town Hall!


What’s is Friday College Town Hall?

We love giving our two-cents on the college search and scholarship search experience since helping students find their perfect college match and guiding them through their scholarship search is our passion, but, we also know that our readers have so many great things to say themselves!

So, we’re reserving the end of the week for Friday College Town Hall, which means on Friday’s, we’re opening our blog up to you!

We’ll post a question that’s been asked by students through Facebook, Twitter, or Cappex and give you the opportunity to answer it by leaving a comment.

Here’s today’s question:

About 13% of students apply to 8 colleges or more. Is that too many or too few? How many colleges would you recommend applying to?

Have an answer? Story? Advice? Leave a reply below. You can even respond to other people’s answers.

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  1. Matt Knapp says:

    8 or more colleges = 8 or more options. If you have the time and patience to apply to that many schools, go for it! You’re going to have a lot of unnecessary stress in April or May if you applied for just one school and you decide not to go there.

  2. Rina Sugawara says:

    I think 8 is too much, because you have to pay for the applications which become costly, school visits could become expensive with gas, and even if you get accepted to many of those schools it will just make your choice harder. I think people should narrow it down to around 4 or 5, 1-2 being a school they can definitely get into, and go from there. You can only attend 1 school, you should narrow down your choices by doing research ahead of time, before you start applying.

  3. Marlena says:

    I think that applying to 8 or more colleges is too many! You can narrow down your choices by comparing the majors offered, student life, or scholarships available. Chances are one is more suited to your needs than another. 5 would be the best number to apply to- 2 first choice colleges, 2 good colleges, 1 that you’d settle on.

  4. Brooke says:

    I definitely think you should apply to as many colleges as possible, because then so many doors can be opened. Also, you can split up your applications to two colleges that are extremely selective, two that aren’t as selective, and 4 that take about 50-75% of students so you have better chances at being accepted to a college you want!

  5. Rebecca says:

    I applied to 11 colleges, public and private. Yes, it was a lot of forms and essays, and it was time-consuming, but I needed to find a really good financial offer, so I gave myself plenty of opportunity. Now I will be attending a top-ranked private college next year on a 100% scholarship because I was able to play one college’s offer off against another. If you have good enough grades/scores/extracurricular activities that colleges will really want you, don’t be afraid to do the same and let them bid for you.

  6. S. Buck says:

    8 seems like a good amount, with about 2 of those being true safety schools. Then you have 2 reach schools, 2 moderate difficulty schools, and 2 you are pretty sure you will get into.

  7. Miriam says:

    For me, I applied to about 10 because most were reach schools I didn’t think I had much of a chance of getting into, but I really wanted to try anyways (also I was using the QuestBridge application for 7 and that allowed me to apply for free as Early Decision). The biggest problem with that ended up being the amount of paperwork I had to do to apply to them. UGH!!! It was terrible, hectic, and annoying. Also, I didn’t realize I had to pay to send my ACT/SAT scores which was also super annoying. If I had known that, I probably would’ve been a lot more selective and shrunk my list down to something like 5.

  8. Myia Dickens says:

    Depending on your academic resume, applying to 8 colleges is not a lot. If your academic resume is very competitive (you were a 4.5 valedictorian and captain of football team that made it to playoffs), you probably don’t have to apply to 8 different colleges to know that you are going to get in somewhere. But then if your academic resume is like everyone else’s (over a 3.0, graduate, and has a lot of extra curricula activities) then applying to 8 colleges is just being safe. It all depends on where you are trying to apply to.
    I think a person’s best bet is to apply to at least 5 colleges, so then you have you top 3 choices and two fall back schools.

  9. O. says:

    I think applying to 8 colleges or more is a little bit much. I applied to 1 reach school and to 4 schools I was fairly to very certain to be accepted. The application process took me forever, and definitely impacted my ability to get in homework on time. I wouldn’t really recommend more than 5. Once you look at everything a school has to offer, and look at the financial aid you can receive, it’s not that hard to narrow down schools. The one case in which I think it would be acceptable to apply to more than 5 is when you can do one application for multiple schools. That way, you’re broadening your net without having to take time away from your last year as a high school student.

  10. Joseph says:

    I applied to 9, three hard to get in or “reach” schools, 3 schools that fit my profile, and three that are almost sure acceptances. I felt this was the best way to be cost effective, be competitive, and extending my grades and high school career to it’s limit.

  11. Andrea says:

    In my opinion, apply to as many colleges as you can without financially strapping yourself. The more colleges you apply to the more options you have in making your decision. You want to make sure each school offers your major or discipline. Since most students pay for school themselves, it is important to find a college that has almost eerything you want and can expect out of it. I already have a list of 5 medical schools that I want to apply to.

  12. Tamara says:

    I don’t think 8 is that far out there, though it’s a good number to use as a maximum. I applied to four – the three main branches of my state University that I had considered going to, and one reach. I knew that my state universities were pretty good, and I like the idea of going to college for a year with good friends and working on some general requirements. So, it was a good decision overall. Especially because I was sure that I could afford to pay for the majority of my in-state expenses with scholarships and grants. I was accepted to all of the colleges I applied to, but paying for the reach was a distant dream. Even so, I can’t really imagine going through the paperwork it would take to apply to 8. Personally, I would recommended going with four or five (and making sure some of those are affordable schools that you wouldn’t mind attending). This especially seems like a good number when you consider that you have to pay application fees (check with the college to see if you’re eligible for fee waivers!) and fees to have your test scores (ACT and SAT) and transcripts sent out.

  13. Bridgette says:

    I think applying to 8 or more is a great idea! (sometimes if you do them over the internet, they are free.) Then, of the schools that accept you, research them, talk to actual students and rule out a few. Visit the ones you haven’t ruled out and then make your decision. Always keep your options open and be open-minded. Remember, this is the rest of your life you’re beginning!

  14. Kiersten says:

    It really depends. I think maybe five is a good number. I actually only applied to one. That may be crazy but I did that in the fall as early admission. It was my first choice school. I got accepted long before my other applications were due so I felt no need to apply anywhere else. I already knew where I wanted to go. Though it is probably best to apply to at least five.

  15. Ashley says:

    I think applying to eight or more colleges is a good idea. It is better than applying to a few because you not only have more options but if one of the colleges really wants you to go to their school they might help pay for more of the tuition than others. Also there is never a guarantee that you will definitely make it into every college so having eight leaves “comfort room” in which college you can get accepted to. If you apply to two or three, it puts more pressure when someone rejects you from their school. Personally I applied to two schools and I ended up transferring to a better school after my freshman year. So I highly recommend applying to many schools.

  16. Natassia says:

    I only applied to 3 schools and got into all of them. However, I only visited 1 of those 3 and that made my decision easier. 8 college applications is a lot. I think 5 is a good number. It’s better if you do a lot of research before so you’re not just wasting time, money, and effort on schools that aren’t a good fit for you.

  17. Lauren says:

    I think it’s too many. If you visit all the colleges you’re applying to, you’ll probably get it down to less than 8. Visiting them is SO important, my favorite on my list ended up being one I hated. Anyway, most of the colleges you apply to, you have to pay an application fee for, and they’re like, $25 to $50 a piece, that’s $200 to $400 just to apply. Plus, if you get accepted to them all, that just makes the decision about where to go harder for you. I definitely think the max you should apply to is 4 or 5.

  18. Deanna says:

    I applied to 5 and got into 4. I agree with Joseph (with the 9 applications), 9 apps is definitely a great idea. I just applied to the places I wanted (and could) go then I focused all my spare time on scholarship applications since college apps are definitely time consuming.

  19. Allison says:

    Eight may be a bit much, but it all depends on who you are: what you are involved in, your GPA, how much money you have, your SAT/ACT scores, your major, and where you want to go. If the college you want to go to doesn’t have your major, apply to one that does. If the one you want to go to is out of state, apply to an instate just in case financial aid cant give you as much as you need. If you want to go to MIT, but your SAT scores arent way up there in numbers, apply somewhere where your scores are in the average range for that college. Still apply to the ones you want, but think logically about it when you apply.

  20. Charles says:

    I think that 8 is a good number. It gives you enough choice as well as opportunity to look at finacial aid. And it also gives you more time to weigh the positives and negatives of each college. If you prepare well, and start visiting colleges now, that are in your proximity or you think truly are your dream schools, then you will probably have enough time to vist unless you do happen to live more than about 300 miles away from your college.

  21. Mom says:

    If you’re trying to get into a top 50 school, be it a research school or liberal arts school, that’s the minimum I would consider applying to. In recent years applications are at an all time high while acceptances are at an all time low. Even 4.0 / 2400 SAT students are being turned down. It’s not about the numbers anymore as much as it is the full package. My daughters school recommends they apply to 2-3 reach schools, as many match school and a 1-2 safety schools that they wouldn’t mind attending if it comes to that. You simply can’t be certain of anything any more. In the case of my child, her major isn’t offered at every school. Most school’s where it is available are highly competitive or HUGE. Huge is automatically out. She is applying this fall and currently has 14 on her list, down from 20. We’ve made many visits already and will be visiting several more schools until she further narrows her choices down. I expect when it’s all said and done that she will most likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 but I have no doubt that it won’t go any lower than 8. Honestly, if you’re using the common app to apply for some of them, it’s not that much of an effort to apply to more. Many of them are nothing more than an additional click and they waive their app fee if you apply via the common app.

  22. Molly says:

    I applied to 8 schools and that was perfect! It’s also fun to get all the info from all the different colleges in the mail! I applied to places all over, so when I got accepted I got good options. Too little amount is not good in case you don’t get accepted.

  23. Raminta says:

    I think it depends on what you want. If you’re set on a particular school, you can apply early decision and potentially save yourself a lot of stress. If you apply to a few schools that are sure to accept you and that you’d gladly attend, do that. I didn’t fit into either of these categories and I applied to nine schools: one Ivy, seven fairly selective schools, and one safety school. I got many of the application fees waived so it worked out fine. I don’t think eight is TOO many, but more than eight can be pushing it and less than eight is fine.

  24. Bre Davis says:

    I applied to 10 colleges and I got accepted into 7,it made my decsion harder because I had no clue as to where I wanted to go,I just knew I wanted to.I believe you should do 4 to 5 schools,its highly expensive an you will not have as much paper work to stress you out.

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