How many universities should I apply to get admission in USA

Many students are concerned about the same issue: how many institutions should they apply to? Is it possible to have too many? How little is too little? Even among professionals, there is so much debate on this subject that many students are left puzzled and bewildered.

Even if you’ve decided on one school where you’re certain you’d like to study in USA, you should still apply to other schools because your “first choice” school might not admit you. At least one or two of your options should be institutions where you and your advisor are confident you will be accepted. Keep in mind that you are competing for a limited number of spots with prospective international students from all over the world.

“The more universities you apply to, the greater your chances,” states a popular belief among students and many parents. It makes sense in theory, but there are other factors to consider beyond than hedging your bets with statistics. Following are 2 criteria that one must keep in mind when deciding how many universities to apply to for study in USA.


College applications can be time-consuming and costly, costing up to $100 each application unless the school or organisation waives the fees. A total of $1,000 is raised by ten schools at a cost of $100 each. These application fees are non-refundable and will not be deducted from your total tuition. Although it should not be the sole determinant of the number of applications filed, it is very important to be aware of this and thus it should be taken into account.


Applying to colleges to study in USA takes a long time, and each college has its unique set of application requirements. It takes roughly two hours to finish an average college application, not counting the essay. The more applications you have to complete and aggregate, the less time you will spend on each one, according to common sense. The applications are your chance to show a college who you are—this isn’t the time to spread yourself too thin in order to rack up the numbers.

So, how many universities should you apply to if you want to study in USA? The simple answer is that there is no magic number. It all depends on your own personal situation, priorities and goals. You should try to assess your own personal situation after reading the information provided in this article to make an informed decision.

For a general idea, students who wish to study in USA usually apply to five to seven colleges, but no more than ten, according to most admissions authorities. There are a few safety schools (schools you’ll almost certainly get into), a few match schools (schools you satisfy the prerequisites for), and a few reach schools (schools that are less likely to accept you).

Reason for Applying to More Universities

If you’re set on attending a highly selective institution, you may want to apply to more schools than the average student. If you apply to ten institutions with a 25% chance of acceptance, you are likely to be accepted to at least one of them. In contrast, if you apply to 16 universities with a 25% chance of acceptance, you will statistically have a 99 percent chance of being accepted to at least one of them. However, if you pursue this route, you should mentally prepare yourself to be rejected from the majority of the schools you apply to.

Reasons for Applying to Less Universities

As stated earlier, applying to colleges to study in USA can be expensive unless you qualify for price discounts based on financial need. The application cost for each college to which you apply can be as much as $75. There may also be charges associated with transmitting standardised exam and AP results to institutions.

Estimating all the costs, If you apply to 20 universities, you may have to pay more than $2,000 in application fees. When determining how many colleges to apply to, think about your budget and ask your parents how much they’re willing to pay.

Furthermore, the application process is lengthy. Many institutions still have their own forms or demand additional essays, despite the fact that more and more colleges are embracing The Common Application, which allows you to apply to many schools with one application. Each extra essay-required college application will likely take you at least a couple hours longer to finish.

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