People tend to like answers with hard-and-fast numbers, but there really isn’t one to answer this application question. To satisfy that craving, though, I’ll say that it’s generally advised that seniors have 5-8 applications to submit to colleges.
Remember that the number of colleges your teen applies to isn’t the important thing – it’s making sure that the colleges are a good fit that really matters, and that the list is very well-balanced overall.
Let’s start there
The College List – Finding the Right Balance
The goal is to be sure that your teen is applying to a mix of colleges across three main categories:
These are colleges that your teen will have no problem getting into based on academic standings. Your teen is above average as compared to other students who are admitted. Consider applying to 1-2 safety schools.“Range” schools
These are colleges that are in the same range academically and typically admit students with similar standings. Think of your teen as being average academically as compared to other freshmen at the school. Consider applying to 2-4 range schools.
These are colleges that will be more of a challenge to get into with your teen’s qualifications, but they’re not entirely out of reach. Your student’s academic profile is in the bottom 25% of those who are admitted. Consider applying to 1-2 reach schools.
Know Where You Stand
Your teen needs to take a look at their own academic profile, which includes GPA, class rank, and ACT or SAT scores.
Once you have that, head over to a site like College Board’s BigFuture to check out what specific colleges post about what they’re looking for statistics-wise within these markers. This will help determine whether the college is a safety, range or reach school by how they measure up to the average admitted student.Remember that it’s not too late for your teen to upgrade their standings in comparison to others at these colleges! Things like getting tutoring, enrolling in a test prep program, and getting deeper into extracurriculars can help make them more marketable for the schools she’s considering.
Let’s continue the discussion! Thoughts on this post? Please leave a comment below!