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Some students apply for admission only to their first-choice school, while others apply to several schools. Which plan do you agree with, and why? Be sure to include details and examples to support your opinion.

Although I understand students who desire to concentrate all of their energy on applications to their first-choice schools, I support making application to several different schools. There are two reasons why I feel this is important. First, application does not guarantee admission, even for a very highly qualified applicant. The school that a student prefers may have very competitive standards for acceptance. In spite excellent academic credentials, high scores on admissions tests such as the SAT and the TOEFL, and exceptional supporting documents, some qualified applicants may be turned away because not enough space to accommodate them. If students apply to their first-choice schools, and they are not accepted for reasons that could not be anticipated, they may find themselves in the position of being without a school for at least a semester while they scramble to apply to the schools they had considered as second or third choices. It is expensive to apply to a large number of schools because of the applications fees, but making applications to three schools can save time, which is also a valuable commodity.

Another reason to apply to several schools is the opportunity to learn more about each the educational options during the application process. While materials are being submitted and communication is occurring between the student and the school officials, advantages at the second- or third- choice school may be discovered as a result of the information exchanged. Scholarships, grants, and other opportunities may be extended when the committee is reviewing the application at one of the schools. For example, and unpublicized research assistantship may be available because of the prior work experience that an applicant has included on the...
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