Hi, my name is Will Beckman and I go to Duke University. I’m going to be talking about how many schools you should apply to and also what criteria you should consider when deciding how many you will apply to.
First off, my story; I applied five, where three were reaches, two were safety schools, and of those I got into one safety, and one reach, go figure. That was kind of weird. All of these schools were ones that my guidance counselor recommended to me and she turned out to be spot on. At least for Duke, because I go there, and it’s a great fit for me, and I love it.
First of all, you have to get to know your guidance counselor, and they have to get to know you. So, you can tell them all of these things you want in a school, but if they don’t know you at all, they’re not going to be able to tailor things to your personality, and they’re just going to be going by what you think you are. Get to know your guidance counselor so they can give you good recommendations, because if they don’t give you good recommendations and you don’t really have anything to go off of, you’re going to be shooting in the dark—maybe what campus is pretty, where has nice weather, blah, blah, blah, you want to narrow it down better than that. You don’t want to apply to 20 schools. That’s ridiculous, and if you’re really intelligent, there’s no need to apply to 20 schools because you’re going to get in somewhere, at least one of your safety schools.
If you’re really unintelligent, you shouldn’t be applying to twenty schools for the opposite reason. So, however smart you are, you don’t need to apply to 20 schools. That’s ridiculous. I’ve heard of people that do more than ten, and I think that’s ambitious. Seven, is a little unnecessary in my opinion, but between five and seven is a good number because you want to have enough to get your safeties in there, and that you can get some reaches in because the reaches are where you want to go.
You also have to take into account how much time you have to write these essays, because I hate writing essays and I didn’t want to write a ton of essays. I didn’t get my parents to write them for me, I write them myself, and I struggle with words, so, I had to write them all, and five was enough for me.
A lot of those essays were reusable ones, you change the name, I didn’t do that. I didn’t change the name; you should write essays that specifically tailor to the school, blah, blah, blah. That’s in another video, but basically, I don’t want to write a million essays.
If you do like writing essays, then you might want to write more essays. So taking into account what you have to do, what applying to 20 schools actually means, in terms of the work, if you have that much time maybe you should get some more extra-curriculars on your resume. The thing about that, the essays, I think there’s some fees to apply to college, all that stuff. But also once you get in, you’re going to have to choose between 20 schools.
Like I said in another video, you should go visit your schools, so you don’t want to be driving around the country to 20 different places. On the flipside, you don’t want to apply to two places and not get into either one of them because you’re unlucky. Be reasonable, be reasonable about your abilities and where you think you get in, and also, just be a reasonable person.
That’s my video on how many schools you should apply to and what you should be thinking about as well.