There's no magic number, but we recommend that your child apply to at least 6 colleges, made up of 3 safety, 2 match, and 1 reach. Students who have this mix of schools on their college list on BigFuture could be eligible to earn money for college through the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program.
It's also a good idea to include at least one public state college because tuition for in-state residents will be much lower than for out-of-state applicants. Just be sure it's a good academic fit for your child and aligns with their major interests.
Get more information that can help your child through the college application process.