Applying to college for free can offer students a chance to explore their options while also possibly saving hundreds of dollars.
The benefits of applying to multiple colleges are plentiful. Students can aim for their dream schools, assure entry into colleges where acceptance is likely, find the right fit and compare financial aid packages to see which institution is the most affordable for their family.
And most first-time freshmen do just that, with more than 80% applying to at least three colleges, according to data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Some experts even suggest shooting for a far higher number. Allen Koh, CEO of Cardinal Education, a California-based educational consulting company, encourages the students he works with to apply to 14 colleges.
“The entire probability and risk distribution spectrum will be represented with 14 schools,” Koh says.
Cardinal Education breaks that spectrum of 14 schools down into