What if you choose the wrong college?

It’s simple. You transfer to another one.

If you’re moving from one accredited institution to another, there’s a very, very good chance your credits will transfer from your first college to your second one.

Yes, transferring is an inconvenience, both in terms of logistics and building new social circles. But in the long run, it’s worth it if you feel you aren’t at the right college for you.  (I transferred three times as an undergraduate, attending three schools in three states in three semesters. By the time I landed at the third college, I knew what made a college a great fit for me, and I’m so grateful to my younger self for making the decision to switch schools.)

Often the biggest challenge in transferring is admitting to yourself, to your family, and to your friends that you made the wrong choice the first time.  Don’t be afraid to tell them you’ve changed your mind. Remember–your college journey is about you, not them.

Of course, the best route is to do your research well enough that you pick the right college for you the first time.  (I can help.)

Should you apply to more than 40 colleges?

Samantha Linder did–she applied to 43 colleges–and she says she’d do it again.

I can understand why Linder made all those applications. She was understandably anxious about paying for college and worried about being accepted to a quality school.

. . .which is pretty much the case for any student applying to college.  Really, there’s no need to adopt Linder’s approach.

With solid research into colleges, however, the college application process doesn’t have to be crazy-making, and it certainly doesn’t need to encompass 43 applications.

How many applications do I recommend? It depends on how high you’re aiming, and how much of a “reach” each school might be for you.  If you do your research well, five to eight colleges should be sufficient.

Yes, you might be able to find 43 colleges where you’ll be reasonably happy, and a subset of those may offer you financial assistance if you’re eligible for need-based or merit aid. But a good adviser will help you narrow your choices to a half dozen or so that will be an excellent fit for you academically and, with a bit of planning and luck, financially.

If you need my help, let me know. I’m currently offering a few discounted packages, one of which focuses exclusively on finding your best-fit colleges.