Applying to college is a grueling and stressful process. Working on all the applications can be made even more stressful when you consider the rising costs of application fees, supplements, and potentially even interviews. Narrowing down your long list of potential schools is an important part of the application process, one that many people don’t consider when they put a ton of work into applying to schools they don’t need to apply to.
First, consider the schools you’re applying to. Research the school and make sure this is a place you can see yourself going to. If you want to apply to a school or two as a “safety”, that’s a great idea, but you don’t need to apply to 3-4 schools that you don’t see yourself at. Further, visiting a college you’re interested in will give you a great vibe as to if you see yourself going to college there. There’s no point to filling out an application and paying over $50 just to get into a school you’ll never go to.
Next, look at your financial resources and cost of the schools you want to apply to. There’s no shame in getting rid of a school off your list that you feel you can’t afford. When I applied to schools, I originally had a long list of big names and private schools, and I made the decision that a cheaper, in-state school was the best option. Making that decision saved me tons of time and tons of money in application fees.
If you can get the chance to visit or research the colleges you’ve been applying to, you can lower the time and money you will spend applying by drilling down the list a bit. Doing so will also make the process less stressful, because you don’t need to spend hours deciding how to write why you want to attend a school you don’t really love.