Volume 11, Issue 9
Increasingly, more students are applying to a higher number of colleges – sometimes at alarming rates. According to NACAC, 32% of applicants applied to seven or more colleges in 2013, an increase of 10 percentage points since 2008. That number might not seem too overwhelming, but there have been reports of students applying to upwards of 20, 40, or even 60 colleges. This year one high school reported its seniors applied to, on average, 45 colleges each. College application numbers all over the map, so where’s the best place to be? Is there a right number of colleges to apply to?
“But what about the kids who start charities and do cancer research?” a mother asked me recently. She, like many others, was concerned about how her daughter’s list of extracurricular activities would stack up next to a group of lauded, accomplished high school seniors. The truth is that there are going to be those occasional applicants whose reach extends well beyond their high school community – Guinness World Record holders, inventors, policy changers – but they are certainly not the norm. Perhaps more importantly, in this case, is how these applications are viewed in the admissions process. As exciting as it may be to see one of these students come across your desk, it is by no means the expectation of any reader that all students will have taken their activities to this level.
For international students preparing to apply to US universities there’s a lot to consider – from the holistic admissions process, to other things like visa requirements and tuition costs – but one thing that many students overseas recognize the importance of is college entrance exams, specifically the SAT. However, this isn’t the only test that international students need to consider when applying to US universities.