Students should begin the college search process with perhaps 15 to 20 possible choices. After researching the schools, touring the campuses, and speaking with current students, by junior year the list should be narrowed down to 10 or 12 schools. By the summer before senior year, students should have further pared their list to between eight and ten schools which are a good match for their academic profile, extracurricular interests, and long term goals. (Note: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) only allows students to list up to ten schools at once.) With a balanced college list, this means a student would apply to two Reach schools, five Target schools, and three Good Bet schools.
While some students will disregard well meaning advice and apply to more than ten schools, they run the risk of jeopardizing the quality of the application package presented to each school. The essays may not be as thoughtful, perhaps a student will elect not to respond to the optional prompt. By applying to too many schools, students spread themselves thin and may not give each application the mindful consideration it deserves.
So do your homework. Research colleges and their programs. Take some tours. Reach out to admission professionals. But keep your college applications in the manageable range of eight to ten at max.
Contact Mears College Consulting LLC for assistance with your college applications today!