Colleges and universities across the country have reported record-breaking numbers of applicants over the last few years. For example, the University of Vermont had a stunning 36.6 percent increase in applicants from 2005 to 2006, according to data from the National Center of Education Statistics. Applications to the school have more than doubled since 2001. At Boston College, the number of students applying early action rose 20 percent in 2006, and regular applications increased by 15 percent. Is this phenomenon the result of a sudden surge in the number of high school graduates? No, the main reason for the application increase is that high school seniors are applying to 20 or more colleges rather than the traditional five to eight. The fact is, however, that 20 is way too many.

Why 20 Is Too Many: Understanding the Application Frenzy

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