Here’s an age-old question without a straightforward answer: How many colleges should I apply to? The answer: It depends.

Some students might enjoy the advantages of applying to a lot of different schools and seeing how their application fares. Other students might see the benefits of applying to fewer and utilizing more time on their applications. Although the process of picking the right schools may seem mind-boggling, here are some tips to keep your college application process headache free.

Research. Research. Research.

Knowing how, when and where to apply will be your best friend in the long run. Make a spreadsheet with dates, fees and average test scores to help yourself keep track. You’ll be able to compare and contrast different applications, as well as understand which platforms to utilize for sending in your apps. 

Be realistic.

When you’re making a list of schools, find where you fit with their academic criteria. Make a list of reach, match and safety schools to prepare yourself.

Make decisions. 

Know that your college experience should be the one that you want. If you’re having trouble picking out which schools to send your application, make lists why you would or wouldn’t apply. University websites have tons of information about college life, academics and everything in between to help you navigate.

Don’t sweat. 

Some of your peers might apply to more schools, while some may apply to less. Don’t worry about it! Your search and application process is tailored only to you.

Know your finances. 

Many colleges waive the application fee up to a certain date. Know these in advance to save some money along the way.

Insider tip: The St. Edward’s application is free until December 1st.

The bottom line.

The national average of schools to which students apply is between 6 and 8. Use this as a guide. If you want to add more or take away, you can! Reach out to the admissions offices for each school for more info about how to apply. Contact St. Edward’s Admission

Research. Be realistic. Know your reasons. Don’t sweat. And enjoy the ride!