Right now I'm a junior in high school, and I just wanted advice on a particular situation: First of all, I should say that I pretty much have my heart set on a particular school, St. John's College. I've already visited there and everything, and absolutely loved it. And their admission process is very loose. For the fall semester, their deadline falls at the beginning of March (yes, I realize this is more than a year in advance, but I like planning ahead), but because of the nature of the curriculum, they typically cap their class whenever they hit a certain amount of students, so its best to apply early (like sometime in the fall). Also, since their financial aid is done on a first-come, first-serve basis, I have a better shot at getting more money if I apply early. And I'll definitely need all the financial aid I can get, since it runs at about 40k. So this is my question, and I have differing views on it from my parents: My feeling is that, I should apply early, but to St. John's only. Since there is no admission fee, and I would only have to get one transcript from the counselor, it'll be a completely pain-free admissions process, and I'll basically have everything such as financial aid ironed out by my 2nd semester of high school. If I don't get in, I'll still have plenty of time to apply to my secondary schools (which I have a good idea of), and get everything worked out, although it would be more costly and time-consuming. My parents think that I should apply to my secondary schools at the same time that I send in my application for St. John's, simply in the case that I decide to change my mind. But I really don't want to go through the trouble of writing essays, getting reccomendations, and filling out applications to schools that I probably wouldn't go to. I only want to do that as a last resort. Now obviously I might be undecided on where to go by next fall, but right now, I don't see why my thinking is off, since it could potentially save alot of unwanted stress and time working on applications.