companion_cube wrote:I'm applying for 11 universities, 2 of which are rated in the top 10, 5 between top 10 and top 20, and 4 of which are between the top 30 and 52 (by USNews).
I think this sounds like a pretty good mix. Especially if your letter writers have connections at the schools to which you are applying, with good research and letters you've got a shot. Remember it's always a bit of a crap shoot though, and you probably also have a shot of not getting admitted anywhere. Safeties are your friend.