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This might be the only important factor that could potentially give you a reason to apply again next year. The acceptance rates of most top programs are very low and each school has their own set of criteria in the application process. Just because you might be a great applicant that can get into T10 schools, you'll still probably get rejects from several (if not most) of them. Applying to 3 schools is a very low number - most people apply to many more.
Originally Posted by stinkybeagle
If you're willing to bend your personal reasons and apply more widely, you might just be able to get into a school in the prestige level you want. But if you're stuck to that small subset (perhaps location based), I'd agree with what everyone else said.
Applicant for 2014 - PhD in Marketing...it seems so far away!