09 November 2017

When it Makes Sense to go Test-Optional

forbesHere's another useful post from Will Dix regarding the need for clarity from colleges when it comes to test-optional admissions and when to take advantage of it.  The post, entitled Hofstra Opts For Application Clarity Over Obscurity (Other Schools Should, Too), commends Hofstra for providing unusually clear recommendations for when it makes sense to submit test scores and when it doesn't.  

Click here to check out the article and recommendations.  We think you may find this helpful as you consider what to do for test-optional schools on your list.

30 October 2017

University of California Offers Extension for Applicants Affected by Natural Disasters

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2022

ucThe University of California announced today that it is accepting extensions for Fall 2018 applicants affected by natural disasters.  

For those requesting the extension, the deadline will be extended from November 30, 2017 to December 15, 2017.  You will need to email your request to [email protected] with the header "Extension Request – Weather/Fire Event" and provide context in the "Additional Comments" area of the Personal Insight section.

Click here for the details.

12 October 2017

Early Decision Schools That Double Admission Odds

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Class of 2022

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 Swarthmore College, over half of the incoming class is admitted through Early Decision, and the admission rate is 34% 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. 

12 October 2017

Boost Your Odds 50% With These Early Action Schools

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Class of 2022

earlyactionLooking for a way to boost 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. 

12 October 2017

Keeping Vigil on 2017-18 Merit Scholarship Deadlines

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2022, 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 list of selected 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.  

Click on Continue Reading below for the list.

11 October 2017

Class of 2021 Early Admission Results

Posted in Early Admission, Class of 2021


college-studentsHere's our latest list of reported early admission rates for the Class of 2021.

This list includes several popular private and public schools, including Barnard, Boston College, Boston University, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Claremont McKenna, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Davidson, Duke, Emory, Emory (Oxford), Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Hamilton, Harvard, Harvey Mudd, Johns Hopkins, Middlebury, MIT, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pitzer, Pomona, Princeton, Rice, Scripps, Trinity College, University of Georgia, UMass Amherst, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virgina, Vanderbilt, Wesleyan, William & Mary, Williams and Yale. 

Stanford and the University of Chicago don't plan to release statistics until the end of the admissions cycle.

Click Continue Reading for the list.

11 October 2017

The Early Admission Advantage (Part 3 of 3)

Posted in Early Admission, Class of 2022

PART III: Putting Early Admission Strategies to Work

targets2In Part II of this series developed an early admission strategy based on your competitiveness as an applicant, your college list, and your strength of commitment to the top schools on your list.  If you're a competitive applicant with strong qualifications, we recommend that you:

  • Take full advantage of Early Action for all the schools on your list
  • Apply Restrictive Early Action to your top school or when the restrictions don't inhibit your ability to take advantage of early admission programs at higher ranked schools 
  • Apply Early Decision I when you are strongly committed to attending your top choice school and have no concerns about affordability
  • Apply Early Decision II if you have been denied admission to your top choice school, you're strongly committed to attending this ED II school as your next best option, and have no concerns about affordability

With this early admission strategy in place, let's put it to work in Part III against a couple of hypothetical applicants.   

10 October 2017

The Early Admission Advantage (Part 2 of 3)

Posted in Early Admission, Class of 2022

PART II: When and How to Take Advantage of Early Admission Programs

img-earlyIn Part I of this series we covered the fundamentals of college early admission programs.  We learned that:

  • Colleges offer early admission programs to manage yield, lock up prized applicants and improve prestige in the process
  • There can be as much as a 2-4x difference in admit rates between early and regular decision applicants
  • Because there is often a high proportion of an enrolled class coming through early admission, your chances of getting in via regular decision are actually worse than you might think

In short, you should always consider early admission programs as part of your college plan.  But under what conditions does it make sense and how do you apply it against your list of schools?  This is the topic for Part II.  

09 October 2017

The Early Admission Advantage (Part 1 of 3)

Posted in Early Admission, Class of 2022

PART I: The Fundamentals

early admission advantage

Simply put, early admission should always be considered as part of your college plan.

Why?  Because early action and early decision programs can be tremendously useful in helping a competitive candidate enhance admission odds.  By submitting your application early, you'll hear back earlier and in most instances improve your chances for admission.  Better yet, if you're accepted early, you'll be able to avoid the cost and effort of applying to schools of lower interest on your list.

In this three part series, we'll explore the fundamentals, when/how to take advantage of them, and where early admission is offered.  Read on for Part I.

27 September 2017

New College Kickstart Release Now Available!

Posted in College Kickstart

College Kickstart Logo 200x63All admissions data updates are now complete for the 2017-18 application cycle. As always, we've enriched the data in several ways to make College Kickstart even more effective for you as you finalize your college plans.  This includes the incorporation of key 2017-18 admission plan changes and application requirements, more departmental coverage and more resident/non-resident admission rates for the public institutions we cover.  Better yet, we've incorporated the latest Class of 2021 admission rates for several institutions we track, many of which have material year-over-year changes you probably don't want to be surprised by.

Click on continue reading for the details.

27 September 2017

Notable Admission Rate Changes for the Class of 2021

Posted in Class of 2022, Class of 2021


Given how sophisticated colleges have become in recruiting applicants, it's dangerous to rely on old admissions data.  

We've taken a look at our coverage universe and identified schools with notable admission rate differences between the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020. In addition to providing the admission rates, we've included some commentary to explain why as well as a link back to the source article.

Relative to last year, the number of schools with notable changes has doubled.  Unfortunately, the news from the majority of schools listed is not in your favor, and depending on how you categorize schools, the change may be enough to turn a likely into a target or target into a reach.  On the flip side, we've also identified a few schools where rates have become more favorable due to declining applications or expanded admissions.  Regardless, take a moment to review the list—the last thing anyone needs at this point is a surprise!

College Kickstart subscribers: Class of 2021 admission rates have already been incorporated into the latest release of College Kickstart.

Click Continue Reading for the list.

21 September 2017

Colleges Where Interviews are Required or Strongly Recommended (Class of 2022)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2022

interviewWith the fall 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.

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

12 September 2017

U.S. News & World Report Posts 2018 College Rankings

Posted in Class of 2022, College Rankings

usnwr bestcollegesU.S. News & World Report released their 2018 college rankings earlier today.  Over 1,800 schools were covered nationwide and evaluated on multiple measures of academic excellence and outcomes to produce the final rankings.

Princeton retains sole posession of the top spot for National Universities, and Williams College tops the list of Liberal Arts Colleges.  

Click on Continue Reading to see the rankings changes. 

08 August 2017

Keeping Track of 2017-18 Application Requirements with College Kickstart

Posted in College Kickstart


Tired of Googling constantly for the latest application requirements? Look no further — let College Kickstart help you stay on top of your game. 

07 August 2017

Common App Schools That Don't Require Extra Essays (2017-18)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2022

commonapplogoIn search of schools with no extra Common App essays?  Look no further, check out our list of popular schools here, updated for the 2017-18 application season.  

The list includes schools that simply require the base essay as well as others offering "optional" essays 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.

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