Hi Crimson, what’s a typical application strategy? I’ve heard applying to 8 universities with a few dream universities, some mid-range and some fall-backs. Any thoughts?
I encourage students to apply to 2-3 back-ups, 3-4 competitive schools, and 1-2 dream schools. How these are chosen is very much up to the individual student. Factors to consider include desired size of school, desired surrounding area (urban, suburban, rural), acceptance rate, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, student to faculty ratio, size of alumni network, job or graduate school opportunities, curriculum, extra curricular options, quality of professors, cost/financial aid, and of course, ranking. The student must also consider their own standardized test scores, GPA if applicable, level of extra curricular activities on their résumé, number of awards and other things that will contribute to making them a good or great applicant. Choosing colleges is both art and science. Doing the comparisons of factors I’m talking about is the scientific way; visiting the schools or watching videos of their students, reading about their campuses etc. is the “art” way, very much a subjective decision based on each individual student’s whim.