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How Many College Applications Are Too Many?

December 10th, 2015

High school juniors might be wondering if there’s a magic number of college applications to submit senior year.  Rumors fly about seniors who submit a dozen or more, but in reality this doesn’t happen often, nor should it.  In this Forbes article, author Dan Edmonds lays out three specific factors to consider when trying to answer this question:  time, money and selectivity.  

While we at ShropEd believe this article offers great guidelines to follow, there are points we would like to emphasize before reading:

–  Editing/whittling the list ahead of applying is indeed important for all of the reasons the author describes, rather than taking a scattershot approach and sending out a huge number of applications to colleges that haven’t been considered carefully.

– We advise students to balance admission selectivity categories as they arrive at the final list of applications, as the author does, including at least two green light (highly likely) colleges and not overweighting red light (small chance of admission) and lottery-like colleges.

And one point of difference with the author:

– We advise students to apply to a maximum of 9 colleges, never as many as 10-15 and certainly not more! In fact, some students will research and make choices so effectively that they’ll only apply to 5 or 6.  This is a very healthy approach.  We like to say, “Explore broadly, apply narrowly.”

Article published November 20, 2015

Written by:  Dan Edmunds

The trends seem clear: The most competitive schools are admitting a lower percentage of students every year, and students are applying to increasing numbers of colleges. Indeed, some students are applying to 30 or 40 or even more schools, a feat made easier by the Common Application. A question on the mind of nearly every college-bound high school junior is: How many colleges should I apply to?

Read more at Forbes >>

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