Friday, April 19College Admissions News

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The 2023 Counselors That Change Lives Awards – Colleges That Change Lives
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The 2023 Counselors That Change Lives Awards – Colleges That Change Lives

The Counselors That Change Lives Award recognizes those whose dedication to the college counseling profession reflects the CTCL ideals. By helping students frame their search beyond the ratings and rankings to find a college that provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life, these counselors change lives. Ana Almeida — Onward We Learn (RI)Nominated by Christopher Muñoz-Calene of Clark UniversityAna demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to understanding and representing her students’ experiences and perspectives while growing as a college access professional. She believes that authentic conversation, connection, and partnership with admission professionals and their colleges and universities is necessary to create greater opportunities for the college bound. Because she i...
Colleges With No Application Fee (Updated)
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Colleges With No Application Fee (Updated)

Trying to save money on college applications? Good news! There are actually quite a few colleges that allow you to apply for free. In this article, I'll provide some general information about application fees along with a comprehensive list of all the schools that offer free applications.   Application Fees at a Glance Most colleges charge application fees in the $50-60 range, but they can sometimes be as high as $90 (looking at you, Stanford). Many top schools charge application fees of $75 or more. To put this in context, suppose you are applying to five different schools. If three have $50 application fees and two have $75 application fees, you'll be spending $300 on applications alone. (And that doesn't include the cost of any ACT or SAT scores you might send as well.) That's not sma...
What’s the Difference? Weighted vs Unweighted GPA
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What’s the Difference? Weighted vs Unweighted GPA

Most students think a lot about their GPA in high school. There's no doubt that GPA is one of the most important pieces of information colleges will consider in your application. However, GPA can vary drastically in the way it's calculated at different schools. Some high schools use unweighted GPAs and some use weighted GPAs. I'll give you an overview of the differences between the two and what each type of GPA might mean in the context of your personal experiences. (more…)
The Smallest Colleges in the United States
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The Smallest Colleges in the United States

You might be interested in going to a small college, but just how small is "small," exactly? In general, schools that are considered "small" have fewer than 5,000 students in total. However, quite a few schools are actually less than 1/10 that size! In this article I'll describe the characteristics of small colleges and then provide a list of the smallest colleges in the nation by category. That way you can decide if going to a small school really is the right decision for you.   List of the Smallest Colleges in the US These are the smallest four-year, non-profit colleges in the nation sorted by type and enrollment number. This list includes schools with fewer than 500 students but more than 50 students because colleges with fewer than 50 students are extremely rare and not relevant to e...
You Need to Check Out These 70 Most Liberal Colleges in America
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You Need to Check Out These 70 Most Liberal Colleges in America

If you're politically active, you may want to go to a college where the students, faculty, and administration share your values. You'll be more likely to find student groups that are aligned with your interests and beliefs, and you'll probably have a more enjoyable college experience. In this article, we'll give you a list of over 70 of the most liberal colleges in the United States. Furthermore, we'll detail the traits of liberal colleges, explain possible advantages and disadvantages of attending liberal colleges, and advise you how to find liberal colleges that could be a good fit for you.   Traits of the Most Liberal Colleges For the purposes of this article, we're defining "liberal colleges" as those that are very politically left-wing. They're more accepting of different sexual ori...
Do You Need ACT Scores to Transfer Colleges? A Guide
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Do You Need ACT Scores to Transfer Colleges? A Guide

One of the most complicated parts of transferring colleges is determining what the requirements are, especially when it comes to standardized tests. Unfortunately, there's no simple answer to the question of whether you need to take the ACT as a transfer student, but this guide will walk you through how different school policies vary and explain how much SAT and ACT scores count when applying as a transfer.   Do You Need ACT Scores to Apply to College as a Transfer Student? The short answer is that it varies. What's required of transfer applicants differs depending on the school you're interested in and how many credits you've completed so far. Generally speaking, the smaller and more selective the school and the fewer credits you've completed, the more likely it is that you'll need to s...
All the College Ranking Lists You Should Read
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All the College Ranking Lists You Should Read

People love ranking lists. There are tons of TV shows and articles ranking something, from the prettiest celebrities to the best songs of the 1980s. The fascination with college ranking lists has been around for over 30 years, ever since the U.S. News & World Report debuted its list in 1983. There are quite a few college ranking lists out there, but which ones are the best ones? Which ones should you look at? Honestly, all overall college ranking lists are flawed, and you should spend more time researching and visiting colleges than obsessing over college rankings to determine which college you should attend. However, in this article I will detail the pros and cons of different college ranking lists and of college ranking lists in general. You can obtain some worthwhile information ...
Ultimate Guide to the University of California Schools
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Ultimate Guide to the University of California Schools

The University of California schools are widely regarded as some of the best public universities in the nation. Because I have provided college counseling to hundreds of students in California and chaperoned college visits to UC campuses, I'm very familiar with these colleges and know people who have attended each of the nine UC schools that offer undergraduate education.In this article, I will describe the UC system, profile each of the University of California colleges, and explain how to choose which UC school to attend.Keep in mind that University of California schools are still accepting AP, IB, TOEFL, IELTS, and other international test scores. However, note this important change: Because the College Board has discontinued SAT Subject Tests and adopted a test blind policy for the SAT...
How to Pick the One for You
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How to Pick the One for You

If you're interested in going to college in New York, you may want to consider a State University of New York school. Unlike The City University of New York (CUNY) colleges, the majority of SUNY schools are outside of New York City, and many of them are in rural areas. In this article, I'll describe the SUNY system, profile the 4-year SUNY schools, and explain how to decide which SUNY to attend.   About the SUNY System The State University of New York (SUNY) is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY colleges are New York public colleges; there are 64 SUNY institutions of various types and sizes.In this article, I'll focus on the independent 4-year SUNY colleges with baccalaureate programs that you can enter as a freshman student. There are 25 SUNY scho...
The Best Small Colleges in the United States
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The Best Small Colleges in the United States

If you're interested in attending a small college, you may be wondering which schools offer the most rigorous academic experience combined with the best quality of life. In this article, I'll give you a list of the best small colleges in the nation based on student reviews and academic ratings, as well as some more specific great small college options.   What Is a Small College? For the purposes of this article, I'll define "small" colleges as colleges with undergraduate student enrollments below 5,000. These colleges are characterized by small class sizes, close student communities, and professors who engage directly with students. Attending a small college is sort of like being a part of a big family that's brought together through shared experiences and pride in the school. You ca...
The 17 Best Fine Arts Colleges in the US
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The 17 Best Fine Arts Colleges in the US

If you're interested in attending a fine arts college, your college search may be trickier than the average student's. It's relatively simple to compare standard undergraduate degree programs, but fine arts schools can be so different: they have different specialties, different facilities, and different curricula. How do you know which fine arts colleges are the best, and how do you know which ones would be good fits for you? I've taken the first step for you by compiling a list of the top fine arts colleges and bachelor's programs in the country. Each one offers something a little different, making this ranking list a bit more unique (and a bit more interesting) than your average college ranking list. Because it's difficult and perhaps unhelpful to give these schools a definite rankin...
What’s the Average College GPA? By Major?
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What’s the Average College GPA? By Major?

If you're still in high school, you might be curious about how college GPAs work and what you can expect for grades given your major of choice. Just like high schools, colleges vary in how they calculate GPA. Grade inflation also significantly affects college GPA at most schools, causing many students to end up with higher GPAs in college than they had in high school. In this article, I'll give you the facts about average GPAs at different types of colleges and within a variety of college majors.   What's the Average College GPA? The average GPA for students at four-year colleges in the US is around 3.15, or a B average. This is much higher than it's been in the past, a trend that demonstrates that grade inflation is a very real phenomenon for colleges. For example, a C used to be th...
4 Tips for Writing Perfect USC Essays
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4 Tips for Writing Perfect USC Essays

So you have your heart set on going to the University of Southern California. That's great—it's one of the best schools in the country! Unfortunately, that makes it tough to get into: only 12% of applicants are admitted each year. But don't worry. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to write an outstanding USC Writing Supplement. We'll answer all of your questions, including the following: What is the USC supplement? What are the questions, and how do I answer them? Are there tips and tricks for knocking your USC essays out of the park? What steps do I take to finish my USC application? Let's get started! What Is the USC Supplement? The USC Writing Supplement is an additional part of the USC application that you fill out on the Common App website. The supplement i...
The 11 Best Pre-Med Schools to Help You Become a Doctor
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The 11 Best Pre-Med Schools to Help You Become a Doctor

Choosing an undergraduate school is the first major step any student will make on the path to becoming a physician. If you're an aspiring pre-med student, you'll want to give yourself the best opportunities and support networks in college and beyond. Applying to (and succeeding in) medical school is a grueling process, so you'll need to be prepared. Here, I'll talk about what actually makes a school good for pre-meds before getting into the good stuff: the list of best pre-med schools.   What Makes a School Good for Pre-Meds? 6 Key Factors Pre-med students need a lot of specialized resources and opportunities as undergraduates in order to boost their med school applications. It's important that aspiring physicians attend schools that aren't only highly ranked but that also provide un...
The 12 Best Journalism Schools
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The 12 Best Journalism Schools

It can be hard to find good information on the strength of journalism undergraduate programs. To help you get your college search going, we've rounded up a list of the best journalism schools for aspiring writers, editors, and reporters.   Ranking Criteria for Top Journalism Schools College ranking lists can be really helpful if you're just starting your college search—they're great if you want to get a general idea of what schools are out there and whether they fit your interests and criteria. The danger comes with using them as the be-all, end-all source of info about college quality—ranking organizations all use different methods for coming up with these lists, and they're not always transparent about the process. Although this ranking list should also just be used as a jumping-of...