What should I do after applying to my preferred school? Apply to more!

Many students find one school they want to attend the most when looking for colleges or universities. Even though you may prefer one school, it is wise to apply to multiple colleges. This may sound strange at first. You may ask yourself, “If I have decided on a school that I want to attend, why should I apply to multiple universities?” Consider the following reasons:

Admissions may be competitive

Admission to some schools is competitive. Not all applicants who apply are admitted. If admission to your preferred college is competitive, you need to apply to additional schools as well. This will ensure that you have options if you are not admitted. This is especially true for graduate schools.


The college you want to attend might not be the college you can afford to attend. If your dream school grants you admission but does not provide the scholarship opportunities you need, you will need other options. If you apply to more than one university, you can compare scholarship opportunities and choose the school that is more affordable.

Graduate school

It may be even more important for students applying to graduate degree programs to apply to multiple universities. Graduate programs typically accept fewer students and apply more strict admissions requirements. In addition, assistantships for graduate students can be very competitive. There is a greater chance of being denied admission or a scholarship when applying to grad school. Students should apply to several universities to ensure they have options in the event they are denied admission to a program or cannot afford the fees.

Why are options important?

During the admissions process, international students have less time compared with US students. Getting admitted to a school is only the first step. After that, the international student must obtain an I-20, go to a visa interview, provide immunization information, make travel plans, and more. If an international student only applies to one school and is rejected or does not receive enough scholarship assistance, she or he may be left with very little time to make other plans. If it is too late to apply to another school, the student may have to wait for the next admissions cycle. So, when you are applying to colleges and universities, apply to at least five schools to ensure you will have a back-up plan.