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How Many Colleges Should You Apply To?

Updated: Dec 14, 2019


I'm often asked by prospective college students how many schools they should apply to. Unfortunately there isn't a magic number that I can give them. An article in US News and World Report aptly states, "There's no one right number, but there is a recommended range." And the suggested range that the article's author suggests is between four and eight schools.


Interestingly, the Cappex College Admissions Counseling Survey found that two thirds of counselors recommended that prospective college students apply to between five and ten schools. Major college admissions consultant companies suggest a similar range. Below is a list of industry leaders along with the number of schools they recommend prospective students apply to.


CollegeCoach: 7-10

Collegevine: 7-10

PrepScholar: 6-8


The College Board, a not-for-profit organization that develops and administers the SAT and CLEP tests, also makes a recommendation. In an excellent article that I encourage all of my clients to read, the College Board notes that "five to eight applications are usually enough to ensure that a student is accepted into a suitable institution."


So take some advice from the experts. Plan to apply to somewhere between five and ten schools. And if you would like some guidance on which particular colleges might be the best fit for you, set up a free consultation so we can discuss your interests and options.