Applications by the Dozen, as Anxious Seniors Hedge College Bets

Six college applications once seemed like a lot. Submitting eight was a mark of great ambition. For a growing number of increasingly anxious high school seniors, figures like that now sound like just a starting point.

Alexa Verola, a senior at Mahwah High School in northern New Jersey, drew up a list of some colleges where she would be happy majoring in anthropology and added more that would be good for photography or sound design: 18 in all. Then she applied to every last one of them.

Eighteen is a lot, but good colleges are so hard to get into these days, Ms. Verola reasoned, and there will always be students with better board scores or higher grades. So after those 18 applications were in — most of them way ahead of schedule — she looked over the list and decided to add 11 more.

“My guidance counselor thought it was a little too much,” she said. “She was worried about me getting too stressed out about it. There are a lot of high school students who are really stressed out.”

- Read More: nytimes.com


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