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kladderama's avatar

Application: Name other universities to which you have applied?

Asked by kladderama (20 points ) January 15th, 2014

Hi, I’m going to apply for graduate school. In the application form, there is a field that says: “Complete the following for any other universities/colleges to which you have applied or are planning to apply (optional).” Is it beneficial to name other universities, or is it not? I am considering leaving the field blank.

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6 Answers

dxs's avatar

I have a friend that applied to med school. He said that eventually it basically comes down to a lottery between the competitive transcripts. He said one thing they factor out is where the other people apply to sometimes, so if, say, a public school sees that someone applied to Warren Alpert or Harvard Med, they may deny you. I’d leave it blank. Why is it their business anyway?

Seek's avatar

First rule of life: Do not volunteer information.

glacial's avatar

Listing other schools that you’ve applied to will probably have no bearing whatsoever on the success or failure of your application. Universities who request this are mainly interested in knowing how well their own marketing strategies are working.

Of course, the university expects you to be applying to other schools, and of course they expect you to be applying to the best schools possible. No university would turn down a good candidate because they applied to a better school. That would be crazy – like aiming for the mediocre candidates. The application process is not a one-shot deal; they will send out a round of offers, then another once they’ve received rejections. Students reject offers from universities all the time, so this is an expected part of the process. The same thing happens with scholarships, with two or three rounds of offers and rejections. The university will not balk at accepting any student out of fear of rejection.

There’s a further discussion of this phenomenon here.

Cupcake's avatar

I met with the department head of a program for which I was considering applying. He told me that it was to my advantage to apply to more than one program (even if I didn’t intend on going anywhere else), and that it demonstrated that I wanted to pursue that line of study so much that I was willing to move or travel for it, and to list those schools on my application.

He obviously considered that in his review of applications.

It may tell a few things about you. 1. Are you considering only a certain geographic area? 2. Are you considering ivy league or state schools? 3. Do the schools you are considering match your stated research interest? 4. Could you be applying to only one school out of convenience or price?

dxs's avatar

I was wrong about something:
He said one thing they factor out is where the other people apply to sometimes, so if, say, a public school sees that someone applied to Warren Alpert or Harvard Med, they may deny you.
He is the one who factored it out from his own decisions, not the school. I talked to him today and realized I had misquoted him.

pleiades's avatar

It doesn’t help or hurt. It’s just them compiling statistics.

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