If you didn’t get into the colleges you most want to attend, what’s your back-up plan?
Do you have a slam-dunk safety school that (a) you know will admit you, and (b) you know you could pay for with limited financial aid?
Would you attend a community college?
Would you take a year off and reapply?
Or maybe you’re one of those fortunate students who’s fallen in love with a school that you know will admit you and that you could pay for even without financial aid. If so, nice work. Your back-up plan is also your first choice.
Identifying a back-up plan ensures that you thoughtfully and preemptively give yourself options. You might find additional schools where your chances of admission are stronger. You might find cheaper colleges. You might decide that you would attend a community college and apply later as a transfer student.
There are no right or wrong back-up plans. Like the colleges on your list, your back-up plan has to fit you. But make sure you have one.
Your back-up plan may not seem that desirable. But in the unlikely event that you have to follow it, you’ll be glad you put that plan in place.