The ease of applying to college has been hastened by the availability of online applications. No longer do applicants need to summon their best penmanship or—imagine this—find a typewriter to fill out applications. On the Common Application alone, an applicant can access roughly 800 colleges and universities. But how many applications should students send? And is there such a thing as too many? Short answer: Yes. When it comes down to the end of the college application process, the applicants who tend to reap the best results are those who build and stick to reasonable lists, who spend the appropriate amount of time communicating with and applying to those schools, and who don’t spread themselves too thin. So what’s the magic number? Find out at blog.getintocollege.com.
Travel back in time with me, if you will, to 1999. College admissions had recently transitioned from a buyer’s market to a seller’s, and application totals at many colleges began the steady climb to what continue to be unprecedented numbers. Twenty years ago marked my foray from college admission into college counseling as well. I have been on the front lines with students and parents through three different iterations of the format of the SAT, the evolution of web-based college searching, and the transition from paper to online applications, including the expanding reach of multiple online application platforms. 1999 was not just the beginning of my career in college counseling, but of an ongoing commitment to help students keep their wits about them in what, for many, is an overwhelming process. This includes helping them to be strategic about their college lists.
In the second in our Kindness Matters series, we’ll tackle the question of service work: what qualifies, why students might want to do it, and whether or not it’s truly important in the admissions process. We’ll also devote most of today’s show to helping students make a successful transition to college.