Your College List

25 June 2020

The Many Flavors of Test-Optional College Admissions

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2025, Perspectives

testbrokenpencilAs we entered 2020, roughly one-third of the schools in our coverage universe offered some form of test-optional admissions. That figure is now over 70 percent and now includes all of the Ivies, Stanford, Duke, Tufts, Tulane, all of the University of California campuses and most recently, Emory.

To help you keep up with the changes, we're actively tracking test-optional policies for several popular institutions we cover. As always, the definition of "test-optional" varies by institution and often has strings attached so pay close attention to the details.

Click on Continue Reading to see our list of test-optional schools and the type of test-optional policy they employ.  For your convenience, we've included admit rates, test score ranges and links to each school's standardized test policy to help you find suitable candidates for your college list.

College Kickstart subscribers, this is automatically updated and visible as part of the requirements view.

24 June 2020

Top Undergraduate Honors Programs (Class of 2025 Edition)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2025

Honors ProgramsHonors programs are a terrific way for academically talented students to reap the benefits of a liberal arts education within the context of a large research institution.

To give you a better sense for how this can enrich your college experience, we’ve compiled a list of undergraduate honors programs from top public and private universities across the nation. We've included admission profiles where available, progam benefits, whether an extra application is required and a link to each institution's offering for more details.

Click on Continue Reading to see our list of top undergraduate honors programs now.

28 February 2020

Colleges Where Male Applicants Have an Edge

Posted in Your College List

student male

QUESTION: what happens when a college wants a balanced class but has to draw on a much smaller male applicant pool?

ANSWER: higher admission rates for guys!

We looked at several popular coed institutions and searched for places where there was a 15% or greater admission rate advantage for male applicants.  The result: an intriguing list of 16 schools to consider.

The majority of the schools on the list are liberal arts colleges, but you'll also be surprised to see names like Wake Forest and the University of Miami.    

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.  

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

28 February 2020

Colleges Where Female Applicants Have an Edge

Posted in Your College List

student-female

QUESTION: what happens when a college wants a balanced class but has a much smaller female applicant pool to draw on?

ANSWER: higher admission rates for females!

Like our previous post, we looked at several popular coed institutions and searched for places where there was a 15% or greater admission rate advantage, this time for women.  The result: a list of 48 schools for qualified applicants to consider.

The list is dominated by institutions strong in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but you'll also find some unexpected names like Connecticut College, the College of Charleston, Franklin & Marshall, Kenyon and Lafayette College.    

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.  

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

27 February 2020

Colleges Where Demonstrated Interest is Important or Very Important

Posted in Your College List

strategizeTrying to understand how important demonstrated interest is for a college/university you're considering?  Then check out our list of institutions where demonstrated interest is deemed important or very important.  

To compile the list, we've identified every school in our coverage universe where the Common Data Set entry for "level of applicant's interest" is reported as important or very important.  Note that the Common Data set defines four options—very important, important, considered and not considered—and that inconsistencies are likely to exist in the way colleges define these terms.  For example, many of you wonder why Tulane isn't listed, and that's because they've indicated that level of applicant interest is only "considered."

Nevertheless, the list remains a great way to get a better sense for where visiting a campus, taking advantage of an optional interview or completing an optional essay prompt may more strongly weigh on your candidacy for admission. 

Click on Continue Reading for the list. 

09 January 2020

Colleges Offering Assured/Automatic/Guaranteed Admissions (Class of 2024)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2024

guaranteeDid you know it's possible to be guaranteed admission to certain public universities based solely on your academic credentials?  

While institutions like the University of California won’t guarantee you admission to a specific campus, the good news is that most will based on some combination of class rank, GPA and test scores.

For example, if you’re an Arizona resident interested in the University of Arizona, a 3.0+ GPA or top 25% class rank will assure you admission. Or if you’re a Texas resident interested in the University of Texas at Austin, a top 6% class rank will grant you automatic admission.

Better yet, assured admission often extends to non-residents as well. A top 10% class rank or 3.5+ GPA will assure admission to Washington State University, for example, or a 24+ ACT or 1160+ SAT will assure admission to the University of Missouri. 

Of course, you’ll still need to complete an application and sweat the details, like making sure you’ve satisfied curriculum requirements and that your GPA is calculated appropriately. To help you understand the specifics, we’ve included links to program criteria for the public institutions listed.

If that’s still too much work, consider checking out College Kickstart. We track assured admission criteria for over 35 programs across the nation and will automatically flag situations where your academic credentials appear to meet assured admission criteria for schools on your list.  It's a great way to take some of the stress out of the process!  

Click on Continue Reading to see our list of selected institutions with assured admission programs.

09 October 2019

Keeping Vigil on 2019-20 Merit Scholarship Deadlines

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2024, Affordability

moneyIf you're in the hunt for merit scholarships, be sure to stay on top of explicit deadlines a school on your list might have.

In some cases, like Boston University and the University of Richmond, it's a hard deadline that you have to meet in order for you to be considered at all.  In others, like Indiana University and many other public institutions, it's a "priority" deadline that maximizes your chances of merit aid before the money runs out.  Either way, merit aid continues to be an excellent way for good students to defray the cost of an education.  

We've compiled a sampling of schools in our coverage universe with explicit deadlines, along with some stats to help you gauge the size and breadth of the institution's merit offerings.  We've also included links to each school's scholarship page for easy access to the details.

Most of these schools automatically consider you for merit scholarships without the need for an additional application.  

College Kickstart subscribers: full listings of 2019-20 explicit merit scholarship deadlines and schools with generous merit aid are already incorporated into the product.

Click on Continue Reading below for the list.

08 October 2019

Early Decision Schools That Double Admission Odds

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Class of 2024

earlydecisionLooking for a way to enhance admission odds? Here's a list of schools with early decision admission rates that are at least twice as high as their regular decision admission rates.  

Because Early Decision is a binding commitment, it only makes sense if you're a competitive applicant, affordability isn't an issue, and you're absolutely certain it's the school for you. But as the list shows, there can be a meaningful advantage in applying this way if you are.  For example, at Washington University in St. Louis, roughly 60% of the incoming class is admitted through Early Decision, and the admission rate is 36% vs. 11% for those who applied via Regular Decision.  That's a difference too big to ignore.

Note: most early decision deadlines occur in early November, so the time is now to consider if it makes sense for you. Click here for more information about early admission, and here to find out how College Kickstart can help you take full advantage. 

08 October 2019

Boost Your Odds 50% With These Early Action Schools

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Class of 2024

earlyactionLooking for a way to enhance admission odds without obligating yourself to attend?  Here's a list of colleges with early action admission rates that are at least 50% higher than their regular decision admission rates.  

Unlike Early Decision, Early Action is non-binding, so it nearly always works to your advantage.  And as the list shows, this advantage can be meaningful if you're a competitive applicant...all for simply applying 45-60 days earlier than normal.  

With most early action deadlines occuring in early November, the time is now to take a closer look. 

27 September 2019

Colleges Where Interviews are Required or Strongly Recommended (Class of 2024)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2024

interviewWith the fall 2019-20 application cycle now in full swing, it's important to keep an eye on interview requirements for the schools on your list—especially if they're looking for evidence of demonstrated interest.  

To make this easier for you, we've compiled a list of popular schools where interviews are required or strongly recommended, along with the degree to which the institution considers demonstrated interest as part of the evaluation.  

In cases like Hillsdale College where interviews are highly recommended and demonstrated interest is very important, it's a good bet than an interview is worth your time.  On the flip side, if interviews are optional and demonstrated interest isn't considered, booking an interview is less critical.  The devil is in the details, so to help you figure out your strategy we've also included a link to each listed school's interview policy.  Do keep in mind that interview requirements may often vary by major.

College Kickstart subscribers: this information is already available to you in the Summary and Requirements views.

 

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

20 August 2019

Common App Schools That Don't Require Extra Essays (2019-20)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2024

commonapplogoIn search of schools with no extra Common App essays?  Look no further, check out our list of popular schools here, updated for the 2019-20 application season.  

The list includes schools that simply require the base essay (e.g. personal statement). Keep in mind that many of these schools may have "optional" prompts which you might want to complete anyway to strengthen your application.  

If you're a student or parent with a College Kickstart Plus or Premium subscription, this information is already available to you as part of our application requirements tracking feature.

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

13 August 2019

Money Magazine College Rankings (2019-20)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2024, College Rankings

moneymagMoney Magazine just released its college rankings for 2019-20. Over 2,000 schools were evaluated based on 26 factors along three categories: educational quality, affordability and outcomes. The result: 744 schools that deliver a great education at an affordable price, with good outcomes post graduation.

The top of the list:

  • University of California - Irvine 
  • Baruch College (CUNY)
  • Princeton University
  • University of California - Los Angeles 
  • University of California - Davis
  • Stanford University
  • MIT 
  • University of Michigan 
  • University of California - San Diego 
  • University of Virginia 

Click here for the rankings or here for the methodology.

 

24 July 2019

University of California Fall 2019 Admission Trends

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2024, Class of 2023, Perspectives

ucHot off the press!  We've had a chance to review the Fall 2019 admissions data released recently by the University of California and thought it would be helpful to summarize it and share our key findings.  

Overall freshman admission rates are up for residents and steady for out of state and international students as the University of California continues to settle on a new normal that accommodates a larger mix of non-residents.   If you're an out of state or international student, pay close attention...there continues to be a window of opportunity to take advantage of favorable odds at several UC campuses.

Click on Continue Reading for the details.

10 July 2019

Great Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering Programs

Posted in Your College List

engineering image

In search of great liberal arts colleges with engineering programs?

Here's a list of popular liberal arts colleges offering engineering as part of their curriculum. Some like Swarthmore and Bucknell offer traditional engineering majors, while others offer joint "3/2" programs with other institutions to let you combine a great liberal arts education with an engineering degree over five years.

Affiliated partner engineering schools include Caltech, Columbia, Dartmouth, Washington University in St. Louis, RPI, and more. Two of the most frequent programs seen on the list are offered by the Columbia University and Dartmouth College. The Columbia program, typically a five year program in which students are at Columbia for the final two, gives liberal arts college students the opportunity to earn a BS degree from the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. In addition, most programs offer the option for students to complete a MS degree at Columbia in 6 years as an extension of the existing 3-2 program.

At Dartmouth, students have the opportunity to study at the Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering as part of a 2-1-1-1 program. Students will attend Dartmouth in their third and fifth years and will earn a BE degree in addition to their BA degree. Participating students may also have a secondary option to partake in a 3-2 program instead of the 2-1-1-1 program.

For each liberal arts college identified in the list, we've included the type of program offered, admit rate, mid 50th percentile test scores and a link for more details.

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

08 July 2019

Undergraduate Schools with Strong Environmental Science Programs

Posted in Your College List

data science imageIn search of schools with strong undergraduate programs in environmental science/studies?

Look no further, here's a list of 40 colleges with strong environmental programs curated from several sources, including the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council, The Ecology Project, US News, Environmental Science.org, Niche, Learn.org and USA Today.

Each entry includes the institution's overall admission rate, mid-50th percentile test scores and a link that takes you directly to the college’s Environmental Science program for more information. We've also included notes that give insight to why we believe that each institution is noteworthy.

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

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