Your strategy makes sense for imperfect students who dream of attending a top school and want to maximize their chances. But if everyone did this, then overall nobody would benefit. There are probably good reasons why a student may only apply to one or two reach schools. They may feel like they only have a realistic shot at the ones where their advisor "knows people," or their research accomplishments are closely related to what a particular prof does there etc.negru wrote:i've never really understood why you wouldn't apply to ALL the top schools (assuming you're at all interested in attending one). what's the point of applying to just a few of them? given how random things are, it seems really stupid to not spend say a few extra days for some extra apps.
negru wrote:i've never really understood why you wouldn't apply to ALL the top schools (assuming you're at all interested in attending one). what's the point of applying to just a few of them? given how random things are, it seems really stupid to not spend say a few extra days for some extra apps. i mean yeah top 10 vs top 30 might not always be a life changer, but actually applying to a school is the easiest and most crucial part in getting into a top 10 vs top 30. why shoot yourself in the foot with this? i know plenty of people who applied to all top 10 schools and got into only one of them (sometimes it was one of the top 2-3). how completely retarded would it have been to leave exactly that school out with the "what are the chances anyway...spending 50$ for a chance to go to princeton is so not worth it".
grad school applications should be your number 1 priority in your senior year anyway (and by number 1 priority i mean that your next priority should be somewhere around number 200)
quizivex wrote:IMO what's more confusing is when the people with utterly perfect profiles apply to all top 5-7 schools and get into all of them... they clearly know they're getting in everywhere, and they could afford to narrow down their choices a bit. I doubt they could be equally interested in that many programs, and even if they thought they were, they probably can't attend that many open houses, so why not weed some out before applying. It makes it harder for the non-perfectionists to get in if the top programs are collectively handing out 5-7 offers to the same students.
ol wrote:You are applying to astronomy schools, and not physics schools. You have an 800 on your PGRE. I know several people who were admitted to Caltech astro for example: one got an 800, one got a 790, one got a 730, another got a 650. These same people were admitted to Harvard, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Arizona. The 790 was also admitted to MIT. You are fine. Stop worrying and apply to the top programs. Princeton astro is the only one that cares about PGRE. If you don't get accepted to Princeton, screw them. There are obviously plenty of other schools you can go to and still have a great career.
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