Apply to 100 Colleges? What 1 Student Wishes She Had Known About the Admission Process


A freshman college student in Tennessee isn’t experiencing buyer’s remorse over her college choice. But she has some issues with the way she was told to shop for one.

“I was also told by counselors to apply to 100 colleges. I was never told why that number was chosen, but my peers were told the same,” Anisah Karim, now a psychology student at the University of Memphis, wrote in Chalkbeat.

“We were often pulled out of class to complete these applications, which took away from instructional time — about an hour per day. My high school also ran on an infraction system, and not turning in college applications and other documents led to disciplinary actions.”

Karim said that a lot of her classmates ended up going to colleges that weren’t the best fit for them because they didn’t have time to consider which schools truly matched their interests and needs. The college search process promoted by her school wasn’t personalized or in the best interest of the students, she said.

This is the advice she said she wishes she had received:

“Try things you like, but don’t overload yourself. Look for summer internships that pay, rather than minimum-wage jobs. Build a network of people who can help you make good decisions about college and work. Research schools with a major you’re interested in, and find out what scholarships they offer. Keep an eye on your GPA and make sure you’re taking the classes you need to graduate. Apply for colleges when applications open and submit the FAFSA form in October.

And most importantly, through all four years of high school, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

It is time to start thinking about quality over quantity. Quality counseling. Quality applications. And quality choices about what to do next.”

Read the full column.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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