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They Each Applied to More Than 100 Colleges. That May Be the Problem.

Anisah Karim was by all measures a good student — she earned high grades, took part in her high school’s selective dual-enrollment program, launched her own culinary nonprofit, and participated in a slew of extracurriculars.

But when her college counselor told her to apply to 100 colleges so she could have a chance at becoming a “million-dollar scholar,” a coveted term her school uses to honor students who receive more than a million dollars in scholarship offers, Ms. Karim said she found herself getting pulled out of class and faced with disciplinary action during her senior year for not meeting application requirements.

She was expected to apply to at least five colleges a week in order to meet her 100-college quota, she said, and she still does not know why or how her guidance counselors came up with that number.