Six too few, too risky?





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Six too few, too risky?
By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:26 pm: Edit

I used to have 9 schools on my list, but I struck three out for varied reasons. One of the safeties was just like another safety, but I didn't like it as much. Another school was too grad. focused and really not what I'm looking for at all. The third was only on the list for vanity reasons, and the reason that it got crossed out was not that I was afraid I wouldn't get in. Indeed, the reason it got crossed out was that I'm afraid of what would happen in the unlikely event that I did get in. It shares no qualities with any other school that I find ideal, and I can't see myself going there. However, even though I have always been against the "prestige whoring," I know that the prestige, along with the fact that the school has a financial aid initiative that would make it almost free to attend for my family, would ultimately draw me in. I didn't want this, so I did what I believe is the smart thing.

This, though, is not the point. Here is my list:

Dartmouth
Swarthmore
Washington and Lee
Kenyon
St. Mary's (MD)
University of Maryland

It strikes me as short. I know that I run the gauntlet as far as reach-match-safety. I thought about adding other schools, like Macalester, but I realized that these are the only schools I've looked at (and I believe I've looked at mostly all that get exposure here on CC) that I would be completely happy attending.

Using the common traits shared by mostly all the schools (except UMD), do you have any suggestions? (UMD isn't just a safety for me, I actually really liked it when I visited. Despite its size and number of students, it had a very rural, LAC feel to the campus itself, and I was very impressed).

By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:38 pm: Edit

i'm not sure what to suggest, but at least another safety (kind of depends on your stats though)

By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit

Well, I had a third safety, but St. Mary's and UMD are both public schools that give high preference to in-state students, and I'm pretty sure that they can safely be considered safeties.

Are CCers unique in that the average kid applies to around 9 schools here, or does that seem to be with most people?

By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:48 pm: Edit

Is UMD rolling admissions?
Are you prepared to submit your applications (presumably RD) and then "just let it go" - not second guessing yourself or worrying after Jan 1?

If the answer to these 2 questions is yes, then you've answered your own post!
the other obvious question is "Are you sure you want to go to a large state school when it appears you like LACS?" - but you've already answered that question in your post.

By the way, DD considered only applying to 6 schools or even fewer, but she couldn't get out to visit 2 that she liked, so she left them in, also she does NOT really want to go to her rolling admit schools, so she is using a bit of the "chance" strategy for reaches, with lots of safeties (5)

ALso, her list has some overlap with yours, don't let people ask you why Dartmouth, Swarthmore and W&L - she's excited by Dartmouth Swarthmore and Davidson, those so have something in common!

By Barrons (Barrons) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Three used to me the norm so the great expansion is fairly recent.

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:03 pm: Edit

As long as you're reasonably sure you could get into you safeties, I see no reason for superfluous applications. I only intend to apply to 4 or 5.

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:07 pm: Edit

i'm applying to 7. that's a good number, i think. kids on here that apply to 10+, WHY?! some are applying to upwards of 15. that's insane. that's 10x60 = 600 $ just for application fees. meanwhile i'm struggling to pay for 7.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit

leave it alone. You've got six good schools, including a financial safety.

go out and get a life!

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

You have a terrific list - don't add more just to add more. UMD and St. Mary's are both pretty solid safeties for you so start working on your applications!

By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:06 pm: Edit

Thanks for all the help guys. Mom was a little disappointed when I told her I had struck the superreach from the list, but I explained my reasoning. It's not like the other schools are anything to sneeze about.

Cangel was right, I mostly answered my own questions. I don't know what it is about me (and everyone I suppose) but reassurance always helps.

By Oldman (Oldman) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:25 pm: Edit

Six is plenty....particularly if you are happy with the safety.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:06 am: Edit

Your list is fine, and your reasoning is solid. But no need to close the list for good. Trust your judgement if another match or reach appeals to you as you get into the application process.

By Par72 (Par72) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:45 am: Edit

Might want to look at Holy Cross,Bucknell,or Colgate.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:53 pm: Edit

By the way Willy, I've read that people who apply to fewer schools tend to have better admissions results than those that apply to large number of schools. I assume it's because with six schools you have the time to really focus on developing outstanding applications for each school. Good luck - but again, I think you have a superb list of schools.

By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:58 pm: Edit

Why thank you, Carolyn, for the good luck, the compliment on school list and the information regarding list size! (If you ever feel ridiculous referring to me as Willy or Willywonka, feel free to call me Bobby or Bobby Ray).


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