I am applying for higher studies in US universities. Every time I fill up the online form, there is a section where they asked which other universities or programs I am applying too? Why do they ask these questions? Do they check where I am applying? What if I wrote a university name but later drop the idea to apply?


The questions referenced by GoodDeeds covers most of your question - the why. For the rest:

In the US it would probably be impossible (illegal) for one university to query another about a student's application, so, no, they don't check.

And there will be no consequences if you list a school and then change your mind.

Don't feel any special obligation to answer such a question. I actually doubt that they use such a question to determine whether to accept you or not. It could be counterproductive for everyone.

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