02 December 2014

College Kickstart Productivity Tips

Posted in College Kickstart

college-kickstart-logoWe've designed College Kickstart for simplicity, but there's plenty more under the covers for those looking for more.  In this blog post, we'll take you through five "hidden" features that can improve both your productivity and understanding of how College Kickstart does its thing:

  1. Bulk loading schools to your list
  2. Improving your list grade with MixFixer
  3. Finding additional school ideas with MixFixer
  4. Using popups for greater clarity
  5. Putting commitment checkboxes to work

01 December 2014

College Kickstart and Naviance

Posted in Your College List, Perspectives

Turning data into action

naviance-thinkingaboutYou've used Naviance to come up with a list of colleges you're thinking about.  Excellent!   

Now what? 

In this age of single digit admission rates and $75 application fees, it's no longer as simple as "just apply to them all."  

College Kickstart helps you make the leap from "colleges I'm thinking about" to "colleges I'm applying to." Read on to find out how we turn the data you've collected into a sensible and actionable plan.

 

01 December 2014

Inside the Admissions Process at George Washington University

Posted in Perspectives

washpostFor those of you interested in getting some insight on how colleges make admission decisions, here's an interesting article from Nick Anderson at The Washington Post.  It's from March of this year, but it provides a glimpse of the admission process from the inside at George Washington University.  

11 November 2014

Keeping Perspective on College Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

kimhunter

Between your school search, bolstering test scores and GPA, and figuring out how to get in, it's all too easy to get caught up in the craziness of college admissions.  Here's a great blog post from Kim Hunter, the former Associate Director of Admissions at MIT, about the importance of maintaining perspective. 

Click here for the post.

27 October 2014

Berkeley High Jacket Reviews College Kickstart

Posted in Perspectives

berkeleyhighjacketInterested in a student perspective about College Kickstart?

Here's an article by Hanna Weiler from Berkeley High School.  Hanna is a senior and writer for the school paper, the Berkeley High Jacket.  

 

24 October 2014

9 Essay Tips to "Wow" College Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

USA Today logo 2012Having a tough time getting rolling on your college admission essays?  

Here are nine tips on putting together essays that "wow" from USA Today.

Click here for the article.

 

06 October 2014

More Schools Become Test Optional

Posted in Perspectives

Bloomberg-LogoCiting better ways to evaluate academic quality and expand diversity, a new wave of colleges and universities are moving to test-optional admissions.  Institutions making the move recently include Wesleyan University, Temple University and Bryn Mawr.

 

Click here for the article.

03 October 2014

Is an Elite Education Worth $170,000 in Debt?

Posted in Perspectives, Affordability

The Middle Class Squeeze

logo nbcnewsHere's an insightful article from NBC News about the value of an elite education and the plight of today's middle class in affording it. With most top institutions now offering only need-based financial aid, the article asserts that middle class families are being squeezed out due to affordability and the prospect of graduating with enormous debt.

Click here for the article.

18 September 2014

New Schools Added to College Kickstart

Posted in Product Announcements

Expanded coverage of an additional 30 schools

 

College Kickstart Logo 200x63Good news—we've just expanded the College Kickstart database by another 30 schools, bringing the total to 225 competitive 4-year colleges and universities.

The following schools have been added to the list: 

 

New Additions

SchoolSchool
Austin College Bennington College
Bentley College Butler University
College of St. Benedict Cornell College
Drexel University Emerson College
Fairfield University Goucher College
Guilford College Hampshire College
Hillsdale College Juniata College
Marquette University Providence College
St. John's University - MN St. Michael's College
Sarah Lawrence College SUNY - Geneseo
SUNY - ESF SUNY - Stony Brook
The College of New Jersey Transylvania University
University of Dayton University of Denver
University of Florida University of Minnesota
Villanova University Wheaton College - MA

 

For the complete list, click here.

18 September 2014

Cappex Announces 2015 Cappies™ for Best College Food

Posted in College Rankings

Bowdoin College at top of list

diningCappiesLogoAttention foodies: today Cappex introduced the 2015 Cappies™ for Best College Food.  At the top of the list: Bowdoin College, followed by Virginia Tech and Hendrix College.  

Click here for the complete list.

11 September 2014

Private Schools that Practice Need-Blind Admission

Posted in Your College List, Affordability

Full consideration without regard to financial need

needblindNeed-blind schools do not take financial aid into consideration when making admissions decisions.  Knowing these schools can be invaluable for making sure you or your teen's application is getting maximum consideration with regard to financial aid.

Here we've compiled a list of private schools that practice need blind admission for full-time, first year, U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  Please note that not all of these schools offer financial aid to meet 100% of demonstrated need. Note also that the list isn't exhaustive—it's meant to cover the more competitive 4 year institutions in the nation.

This list is integrated into the latest update to College Kickstart. 

 

Need-Blind Schools

SchoolSchool
Allegheny College Amherst College
Babson College Bard College
Barnard College Biola University
Boston College Bowdoin College
Brigham Young University - Provo Brown University
Bucknell University California Institute of Technology
Carnegie Mellon University Case Western Reserve University
Centre College Chapman University
Claremont McKenna College College of the Holy Cross
College of Wooster Columbia University
Cornell University Dartmouth College
Davidson College Denison University
DePauw University Duke University
Elon University Emory University (Emory)
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering Georgetown University
Gonzaga University Grinnell College
Hamilton College Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College Haverford College
Hendrix College Ithaca College
Johns Hopkins University Kalamazoo College
Knox College Lehigh University
Middlebury College Mills College
Millsaps College MIT
New York University Northwestern University
Pepperdine University Pomona College
Princeton University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhodes College Rice University
Santa Clara University Sewanee: The University of the South
Soka University of America Southern Methodist University
Southwestern University Spelman College
St. Marys College of California Stanford University
Swarthmore College Syracuse University
Tulane University University of Chicago
University of Notre Dame University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond University of Rochester
University of San Diego University of Southern California
University of the Pacific Vanderbilt University
Vassar College Wellesley College
Willamette University Williams College
Wofford College Yale University

10 September 2014

Is Your College List Too Aggressive?

Posted in Your College List, Perspectives

Five warning signs and what to do about it

warningA few days ago we reported that over 90% of college lists initially submitted to College Kickstart needed improvement, and just about all of them (>90%) were too aggressive. Here are the top 5 reasons why and how to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

 

09 September 2014

U.S. News & World Report Posts 2015 College Rankings

Posted in College Rankings

usnewscollegesU.S. News & World Report released their 2015 college rankings earlier today.  Nearly 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 here for more. 

04 September 2014

Common App Schools That Don't Require Additional Essays

Posted in Your College List

Low effort, high quality schools to consider for your list

commonapplogoBy now, most of you are quite familiar with the Common Application ("Common App").  And most of you that are applying to competitive institutions are painfully aware that there are often extra essay or short answer prompts to complete.

The good news is that this isn't always the case.  Recently we introduced a new feature in College Kickstart that identifies Common App schools that don't require additional essay or short answer prompts.

Put another way, these are schools that you can apply to easily once you've completed the core common app.  It's another useful way to narrow down your list choices, or to consider new ones that may be a good fit and don't require extra effort to submit.

Enjoy!

Note: the list isn't exhaustive—it's meant to cover the more competitive 4 year institutions in the nation.

 

The List

SchoolSchool
Allegheny College Bard College
Bucknell University Case Western Reserve University
Centre College Clark University
Colby College College of the Atlantic
College of the Holy Cross College of William and Mary
Colorado State University - Ft. Collins Connecticut College
Cornell University DePauw University
Dickinson College Fordham University
Franklin and Marshall Gettysburg College
Grinnell College Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Ithaca College Kenyon College
Middlebury College Miami University - Oxford
Millsaps College Muhlenberg College
Northeastern University Ohio State University - Columbus
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rhodes College
St. Lawrence University Sewanee: The University of the South
Skidmore College Southwestern University
State University of New York - Binghamton Trinity College
Union College University of Delaware
University of Massachusetts - Amherst University of Miami
University of New Hampshire University of Puget Sound
University of Rhode Island University of Tennessee - Knoxville
University of the Pacific University of Vermont
University of Virginia Vanderbilt University
Wabash College Washington and Lee College
Washington University at St. Louis Wesleyan University
Willamette University Williams College

02 September 2014

Over 90% of College Lists Need Improvement

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Perspectives

and other findings from our beta test

Over 90% of College Lists Need Improvement

As most of you know, we completed a beta test of College Kickstart at the end of July.  With student and parent participants from public and private schools, our goal was to measure how effective we could be in helping users build a sensible college plan.

The results are in, and we're quite excited by the findings:

  • Needed list improvements were identified for 91% of users
  • Odds-boosting early admission opportunities were found for 91% of users
  • Work and cost avoidance opportunities were found for 81% of users

What's even more compelling is how much College Kickstart is boosting odds and setting up applicants to avoid unnecessary work and cost:

  • On average, 2.6 early admission opportunities were identified, resulting in a 63% boost in odds
  • On average, up to 4.2 applications could potentially be avoided, saving up to $282 in admission fees

Read on for the details.

  

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