Wednesday, February 28College Admissions News

College Planning

Complete List of 900+ Schools
College Planning

Complete List of 900+ Schools

SAT and ACT scores are common admission requirements for college. But what if I told you that you could get into a great school without taking either of these exams? Behold test-optional colleges. Colleges that are test optional don't require you to submit SAT or ACT scores but will consider them if submitted. In this guide, we'll explain what "test optional" means for different schools before providing you with a comprehensive list of test-optional colleges and universities in the US. The first two lists will cover the best test-optional colleges and universities (i.e., those ranked in the top 100), and the last list will include all other test-optional colleges in the country. Along the way, we'll also give you a few key tips on when you should and should not send your SAT/ACT test scor...
Navigating Early Decision and Early Action Deadlines
College Planning

Navigating Early Decision and Early Action Deadlines

  As the college application season kicks into high gear, parents of college-bound students may find themselves trying to figure out which of the various deadline options are best for their student. Two of the most common application deadlines are Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA). Understanding these options, their differences, benefits, and important deadlines is crucial to help your student make informed decisions about their college journey. In this article, we’ll break down the distinctions between Early Decision and Early Action and provide you with the key dates to keep in mind.   Early Decision (ED): The Binding Commitment Early Decision is a college application process that offers a unique advantage and, at the same time, requires a significant commitment. Here’s what you...
The 13 Best College Essay Tips to Craft a Stellar Application
College Planning

The 13 Best College Essay Tips to Craft a Stellar Application

In many ways, the most labor-intensive part of your college application process is the essay. It’s not just about forwarding transcripts or entering a list of extracurricular activities—you have to craft something personal and compelling to show the admissions committee who you are beyond your resume. (more…)
Scholarship Displacement: the Potential Downside to Outside Scholarships
College Planning

Scholarship Displacement: the Potential Downside to Outside Scholarships

There are many scholarship dollars available to college applicants. You expect they will ease the burden of paying for college, but beware: the hard work you put into researching and applying for outside scholarships may not ultimately be beneficial if the college to which you are applying  practices “scholarship displacement.” It is important to understand why scholarship displacement is an element of the college application funding process and how it may impact you and your parents. You also need to know potential ways to avoid its ramifications. What is scholarship displacement? Scholarship displacement is when a  school reduces, or “displaces,” the financial aid they have awarded you by the amount of an outside scholarship. Let’s say your award letter says you are eligible for $10,000...
SAT Test Dates for 2023-2024
College Planning

SAT Test Dates for 2023-2024

If you are in your junior year, you’ve probably been told a dozen times that this is the most important year of high school. One reason is because this is the year you will take the SAT – maybe once, or maybe a few times. And as you know, standardized test scores are an important component of your college application. (more…)
Thanksgiving Break College Application Tips
College Planning

Thanksgiving Break College Application Tips

Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity for high school seniors to catch their breath and tackle important college application tasks. With Early Action 1 deadlines in the past, Early Action 2 deadlines quickly approaching, and admission results on the horizon, it’s a critical time for college-bound students. As parents, you can help your child make the most of this break with some practical advice. In this blog post, we’ll outline Thanksgiving break college application tips to ensure your child’s time off is productive and well-spent. Organize Your Application Materials Your child is in the midst of college applications. This is likely the first time that they are dealing with piles of important paperwork. Help them get and stay organized. Collect all necessary documents, including ...
What Is a Good SAT Score for 2024?
College Planning

What Is a Good SAT Score for 2024?

The 2023-2024 college application season is in full swing, which means you’re probably taking standardized tests. Will your scores get you accepted to your top colleges? And if your scores aren’t high enough, what can you do to give your SAT scores an added boost?  We’ll walk you through how to decide if your SAT scores are good enough for your college admissions goals. We’ll: Answer the question, “What is a good SAT score for 2024?” Explain everything you need to know about overall average SAT scores in 2024 Show you how to figure out if your SAT score is high enough Ready? Let’s dive in! If you want to hit the bullseye with your college application, you need to understand what makes a good SAT score first.    What Is a Good SAT Score for 2024 Overall?  A good SAT score in 2024 is on...
Is Early Decision Binding?
College Planning

Is Early Decision Binding?

If you’ve been thinking about college applications, you might also be thinking about applying early. You’ve likely heard that early action applications are an option and that there are benefits to applying early. And if you’ve done some checking, you’ll notice that some schools offer early action, some offer early decision, and some offer both. While early action means you apply early and hear the college’s decision early, some confusion exists around early decision. So let’s clear that up now.   What Is Early Decision? And Is Early Decision Binding? If you are considering applying early, and there is one school that really stands out to you as your clear, first-choice school, then early decision might be for you. Early decision is not just an application. It’s a contract stating that i...
College Application Strategies and College Admissions
College Planning

College Application Strategies and College Admissions

Introduction The college admissions process can be one of the most daunting and stressful experiences in a young person’s life. With the pressure to stand out in a sea of applicants and secure a spot at a dream institution, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out plan in place. In this blog, we will explore college application strategies and college admissions strategies that can help you navigate this challenging journey with confidence and success. 1. Start Early: The Foundation for SuccessThe first and foremost strategy in the college admissions process is to start early. Begin thinking about your college aspirations and goals as early as your freshman year of high school. Building a strong academic foundation, participating in extracurricular activities, and maintai...
Summer is Primetime for Writing College Application Essays
College Planning

Summer is Primetime for Writing College Application Essays

As the school year winds down and summer season begins, it’s important for rising seniors and parents of college-bound high school students to understand the necessity of writing the college application essay during these sunny months. In this article, we’ll explore why tackling this crucial task early on can lead to a smoother application process and increase your chances of standing out among your competitors.  Beat the Fall Rush: Start Crafting Your College Application Essay Now Waiting until the last minute is a recipe for stress and mediocre essays. Writing your essay during the summer allows you to beat the business of the fall. Many students wait until the last minute to start their essays, which leads to unnecessary stress and compromises the quality of their work- when the school...
Digital SAT vs ACT: Which Should You Take?
College Planning

Digital SAT vs ACT: Which Should You Take?

Choosing whether to take the SAT or ACT for college admissions has always been tough. But now that the SAT is switching over to a digital format, there’s even more to consider!  In this article, we’ll give you the info you need to choose the best college entrance exam option for you. We’ll:  Explain how the transition to the digital SAT, or DSAT, impacts your decision-making Provide a complete comparison between the DSAT and the ACT (nifty chart included!) List the reasons you might prefer the ACT over the DSAT, or visa versa  Give you a quick, five question quiz to help you decide whether the DSAT or ACT is right for you Are you ready? Let’s dive in! Note: ACT, Inc. is running a small pilot in December to test out a digital version of their test, so some of this is subject to change an...
Are Ivy League Schools on The Common Application?
College Planning

Are Ivy League Schools on The Common Application?

September 15, 2023 All eight Ivies use The Common Application. Five Ivies also use The Coalition Application. Over 1,000 colleges and universities are members of The Common Application, the most widely used college application platform. Over 1,000 colleges and universities are members of The Common Application, the most widely used college application platform.  As there are only around 50 highly selective universities in America, suggesting an array of schools use the platform in their admissions processes would be an understatement. But, among the elite universities, do they all use The Common Application? Let’s dive in! Which Ivy League Schools Are On The Common App? All eight Ivy League sc...
Is Early Action Binding?
College Planning

Is Early Action Binding?

Applying to college early can be a good idea for a lot of reasons. Acceptance data shows that students who apply through early action have a slightly higher chance of being accepted. And once accepted, you can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the rest of your senior year. But is early action the same as early decision? And if you're accepted through early action, is it binding? Let’s take a look at what early action is, how it works, which schools offer early action, and just how soon you have to get your applications in. (more…)
The Best UC Schools, Ranked By Experts
College Planning

The Best UC Schools, Ranked By Experts

Choosing a college in California can be tough, especially since there are so many great options available. One of the best school systems to choose from is the University of California. In this article, we’ll provide a complete, ranked list of the best UC schools, give you information about each. We’ll list the campuses, give you important stats like how much each costs…and so much more! That way, you can pick the UC school that’s best for you. Let’s get started! (more…)
Understanding the Common App: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students and Parents
College Planning

Understanding the Common App: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students and Parents

As the back-to-school season kicks off, students and parents of college-bound students are gearing up for one of the most crucial aspects of the college planning process: the application itself. One of the most popular (and common) application tools is the Common App. Developed to simplify the application process for students, the Common App has become widely used by more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States and around the world.  The Common App allows both first-time students and transfer students to apply to multiple colleges at once, eliminating having to repeat some of the most tedious parts of the application. However, navigating this platform can be daunting, especially for first-time parents. Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the...