One Search, Two Benefits
As a slacker student in high school, the concept that I will apply to these schools and likely get offers is just amazing. My grades are good, better than good, my test scores are pretty darn good and the one thing I excel at is what my advising professor tells me is the tie breaker when all other factors are equal.
I didn't want to get too far into researching programs before getting that GRE out of the way for fear that I'd find a program that fulfills my needs (Instructional Technology and Psychology), fall in love with it and fall short on the GRE score. I have yet to find a program that states their baseline GRE is higher than the lowest mine could possibly be.
So, I spent today looking. The benefit of this searching is that it also helps me fulfill a class assignment, too. I have to look at our Ph.D website and compare it to another school's site, then offer improvements for both that incorporate several instructional design principles.
I'm good on that front for the classwork, and I found four other schools I am definitely applying to, and one that is on the list for an Autism program they have more than for their Instructional Technology program.
It feels pretty good that I'm not approaching this from the mindset of 'whoever will take me,' like I did when I started college, but rather from 'I have a lot to offer, who wants to take a research journey with me in an unexplored area?'
Only time will tell.