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Study Abroad Applicants: How Many Colleges Should I Apply to?

The number of institutions offering four-year degree programs is quite high and it’s not an easy task to decide on the number of schools you should be sending your admission application to.

The choice of a number of applications you make is one of the most crucial decisions in the whole application process. Your decision should, therefore, be based on research and a lot of efforts.

According to Matthew Proto, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Colby College in Maine, there is no best number as far as the choice of a number of colleges is concerned for sending your application.

The applicants should carefully choose those schools where their application will make them one of the strongest candidates so as to ensure their admission. At the same time, the students need to be careful in avoiding the drawbacks of making too many or too few applications. Even though there is no specific number that should be aimed at, the specific range according to the admission experts is between four and eight schools.

As a student, you can’t risk your admission. So, safety schools on the list are important. Basically, you need to have three types of schools on your list:

  • Target Schools: The schools those are likely to admit you.
  • Reach Schools: The institutions those are going to be a competitive stretch for you.
  • Safety Schools: The colleges and universities those are almost certain to take you.

The ideal combination is going to be three target schools, two safety schools, and two reach institutions.

The schools that fall under a specific category vary for each student depending on his/ her average test scores and academic performance.

Read Also: 5 Reasons Why Experiencing Culture Shock is Not Bad For You

Dos and Don’ts While Making Your School Applications

  • Making too many applications might just affect the quality of your applications as the application process consumes a lot of time.
  • It is important to make applications to only those schools that you know quite well. This can be done by carrying out online research or through campus visits. Also, you’ll be able to write good essays that are school specific only if you know the institution well.
  • The amount of money you’ll be spending during the application process is another important factor. The money you spend during your application submission is going to shoot up drastically if you consider applying to more than seven schools.By applying to just one or two schools, you would be minimizing your chances of availing best financial aid offers.
  • It might not act in your favor to apply to schools that are all academically similar as all of them might just reject you leaving you in a tough position.
  • When you go for early decisions, sending your applications to just two or three schools makes more sense as it would be leaving you with a backup option in case you don’t get accepted to any of your first choice institutions.
  • While making an application, you need to choose those schools where you think you’re going to be an ideal fit in every way be its size, location, culture or academics.
  • Irrespective of the number of applications you make, you need to put your best foot forward to leverage your chances of getting accepted.

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