There are more than 4500 accredited colleges in United States of America. Most experts agree that it is important to submit college applications to several Universities, but how many is this “several”?
“Several” is the number that allows you to confidently file your application for the season.The recommended number of applications would be a minimum of four applications: one target school, one reach school and two safety school. Even if you are positive that just one college is perfect for you, it is well worth having a backup plan.
The more difficult problem lies in deciding your maximum number, in other words, how many is too many? Again, the goal is to feel as comfortable as possible as you begin to apply to schools. Ideally, if you want to have several acceptance letters to choose from.
If your discussion with admissions counselors and your own research suggest that you are borderline for admittance or excited on certain departments and research, six or seven applications may be warranted. More are likely unnecessary.
There is no hard and fast rule for determining the number of schools to apply to. The upper limit on applications will be dictated in part by your budget.
Here is a five-step guide to choosing your magic number.
No.1: Determine Your Admissions Budget
Before you begin to apply to colleges, take a look at your admissions-specific financial resources. Standardized tests (TOEFL, GRE, etc.) taking involves expenditure as coaching fee, test registration fee etc. Even the applications that you submit carry a fee. While this is a small amount relative to the fees that you might spend on tuition. Decide, how many schools can you afford to apply.
Another important need is your tuition budget. It may be important to you to attend a public college in your preferred state which naturally shaping the number of schools you will apply to.
No. 2: Consider the Rarity of Your Intended Major
If you intend to major in a particular narrow field, you may find that relatively a few colleges offer such a concentration. If your major is rare, apply to those colleges that offer it, you may ultimately apply to a few schools, but that is perfectly acceptable.
No. 3: Gauge the Selectivity of Your Intended Major
If your prospective major is highly competitive, consider applying to a greater number of schools. This can help you ensure that you are admitted to at least one college in your program of choice. Many business and engineering concentrations, for instance, require an accessory admissions process that is often more rigorous.
If you are set on a specific concentration, but your admissions portfolio is not ideal given the competitiveness of the major, you may want to apply to a larger number of schools – perhaps six to 10.
No. 4: Review Your Other Needs
Colleges vary widely in their culture, location, social environment and a host of other nonacademic features. Depending on your criteria, you may have a list of choices.
No. 5: Ensure You Are Comfortable With Your Selection of Schools
Make sure that you have selected the schools carefully, so that if you get selected in atleast one in the list, you will carry on with it. The safety schools are the one which fulfils your program interests and career goals.