Are students applying to too many colleges? The answer is YES! The Common Application allows a student to send up to 20 applications on one form. And, students apply, often to all 20, driven by the fear of rejection. Applying to college has become a numbers game. Instead of making out as many college applications as you can, the whole process should be a sober examination of where is best for you to apply.
Colleges want to be recognized as selective. They get this recognition, not by offering the best programs, but by increasing their number of applicants and, therefore, increasing their number of rejections. The more rejections, the more in demand a college seems to be. Top schools reject as many as 90% of their applicants. The number of available slots never increases despite their recruiting, advertising, and soliciting of applicants. All this means many students who are perfectly qualified will never get into some of these selective schools.
However, if the Common Application limited the number of schools a student could apply to to 10 instead of 20, that drive for a crazy increase in applications could be curtailed. Of course, ivy league colleges will still be the main targets of top students, keeping college application frenzy alive. But, if, in addition to limiting the number of schools the Common Application goes out to to 10, students were only allowed to apply to four ivies instead of all eight of them, there would be further reductions in useless applications. Students might have to look beyond the façade of the selective ivies to see which ivy best fits their interests.
The fewer who apply to an ivy, the fewer who are rejected times eight which equals better use of application time and money and less frenzied students.