Is 20 schools too many? (Barring the $$) I know I want to be on the east coast so that leaves me with 20 schools. Am I nuts? Or is it good to apply to as many as possible?
don't apply if you wouldn't really consider going there (e.g. if it was the only one that accepted you, would you matriculate?) - otherwise, it is just $$ and time
I would enocourage you to examine - why limit to East Coast ? I can understand limiting to a smaller geographical area (e.g. NYC, Wash DC, Chicago) - but East Coast seems both nebulous and large enough to warrant exploring why you would automatically eliminate Wash U in SLU or UCSF (for example) just because they are not East Coast
Over the years the national average of “how many schools to apply to?” has risen from about 12 to nearly 17. It’s been my experience that 20 or so is reasonable and many more than that doesn’t reap extra benefits.
The advice is good - don’t apply to any school you wouldn’t go to if it were your only acceptance. And I would look further afield than just the East Coast if you possibly can.