27 February 2016

Four Things to Consider When Choosing a College

Posted in Perspectives

forbesWith admissions decisions right around the corner, here's an article from Forbes we think you'll find useful in helping you to make a final decision on where to attend.

Clickhere for the article. 

27 February 2016

Prominent Public Universities Shifting to Out-of-State Students

Posted in Perspectives

washpostShould my safety school be an out-of-state public university?

This article from the Washington Post provides good evidence of the trend towards admitting more out-of-state applicants at many of the nation's most prominent public universities.  While some of this shift may be attributed to "increasing campus diversity," most of it is attributable to maximizing tuition revenue as state budget support for public universities wanes.

Click here for the article.


20 January 2016

Turning the Tide in College Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

Later today, a new report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education called "Turning the Tide" will be introduced.  Backed by 50 admissions deans and educators from well-known colleges and universities, the report recommends ways to tone down the frenzy of college admissions.  

Coverage is provided in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but we find this segment from the CBS Morning News to be most insightful.  

03 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Posted in Perspectives

College Kickstart Logo 400x126

Welcome to 2016!  With the new year comes all sorts of exciting new changes to College Kickstart, including:

  • New website look and feel.  Hope you like it!
  • New and improved College Kickstart.  All editions of College Kickstart now include a new and improved way to add schools to your list.  We now provide a full search capability, including support for school nicknames and tags.
  • A new Premium edition of College Kickstart for Students and Parents.  Premium subscribers get all of the capabilities of the Plus edition, as well as the ability to create lists of up to 30 schools and access to new affordability data we've introduced. This will give you increased flexibility and help you locate schools likely to meet affordability constraints or with strong merit aid programs. The price of the Premium edition is $125 per application season.  Learn more here.
  • College Kickstart for Counselors.  We're delighted to introduce a family of products for independent and high school college counselors.  Whether you're assisting 10 students or 500 rising seniors at your high school, College Kickstart for Counselors makes it easy to stay on top of admissions data and the implications for your students.  It'll help you avoid surprises, set realistic expectations, deliver personalized planning at scale, and free up time to do what you do best: advise.  Learn more here.

20 November 2015

University of California to boost in-state enrollment by 5,000 students for Fall 2016

Posted in Perspectives

ucIt's official—the University of California Board of Regents approved a budget plan to enroll an additional 10,000 California undergraduates over the next three years, including 5,000 freshman and transfer students for the Fall of 2016. 

Click here for the article.

18 November 2015

Perspectives from a former Princeton Admissions Director on Mistakes Applicants Make

Posted in Perspectives

business-insider-logoHere's an interesting video from Steve Lemanger, a former admissions director at Princeton University, on the mistakes that applicants make.  The big takeaway is that much of your application has already been set with your grades, test scores and recommendations.

Click here to check it out.

18 November 2015

Ivy League Admissions Process

Posted in Perspectives

business-insider-logoFor those of you curious about how admission decisions are made, here's an interesting article from Business Insider on the Ivy League admissions process. Excerpted from a talk given by Nelson Urena, a former admissions officer at Cornell University, it outlines the typical steps that are taken from the time the application is submitted to the time the decision is rendered.  

Click here for the article.

16 November 2015

Foreign Students Pinch University of California Home-State Admissions

Posted in Perspectives

wsjHere's the Wall Street Journal's take on the University of California and the shift at many of its campuses to greater foreign and out-of-state enrollment.  According to the article, the UC system accepted 62% of in-state applicants in the 2014 school year compared to 84% four years earlier.

The good news for Class of 2020 applicants is that in-state admissions should improve this year, thanks to $50 million in additional state and UC system support.  If approved later this week, an additional 5,000 in-state applicants will be admitted relative to last year.

Click here for the article, or here for our take on Fall 2015 UC admission trends.


05 November 2015

The Test Optional Surge

Posted in Perspectives

nytThe shift to test-optional admission continues to build.  This article from the New York Times highlights several reasons for the shift and reviews the results from several studies, often conflicting, on its impact.  Some suggestions for when to consider applying test optional are also made.

Click here for the article.

01 November 2015

Top 5 Tips for University of California Applicants

Posted in Perspectives

uclogoWith the University of California application now open for submissions, it's time to make sure everything is in order.  

Here are the top five tips for freshman applicants, courtesy of the University of California:


1. Send official test scores to just one UC campus

It'll be shared with all campuses where you've applied.  One exception: IELTS test scores must be sent to each campus. Note also that AP/IB scores are not required at the time of application review.

2.  November/December test scores are acceptable

November and December exam dates are acceptable even though the application due date is November 30th. Just indicate your planned test date(s) on the application, then log back into to self-report your scores once they're received.  Be sure to request that the official scores are sent to one UC campus. 

3. Don't send transcripts or academic records

They'll be requested if they're needed during the application review process.

4. Don't send letters of recommendation

They're not required or read unless specifically requested. A campus will contact you via email if one is needed.

5. You can review and make minor modifications to your application after submission

You can log in to review your application after it's been submitted, as well as update your contact information and report new test scores.  It's also possible to make *minor* changes to your activities, awards, volunteer work, employment or personal statement.  If there are significant changes, notify the UC Application Center at


19 October 2015

Essays That Worked (Class of 2019)

Posted in Essays, Perspectives

johnshopkinslogoStill struggling with your college essays?  Here's an excellent post from Johns Hopkins University on essays that worked.  It provides eight actual essays submitted by applicants and commentary from the admissions committee on why they worked.

16 October 2015

Do Early Birds Catch the College Acceptance?

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Perspectives

The Boston GlobeWhen does it make sense to take advantage of early admission?

Here's an article from the Boston Globe, complete with perspectives from admission directors from Boston College, Babson College, Wheaton College and UMass Lowell. 

Click here for more.

15 October 2015

Which Standardized Test to Take?

Posted in Perspectives

washpostNew SAT, current SAT or ACT—which one is for me?

Here's a 30 question diagnostic developed by Dr. Gary Gruber that can help you determine which may be best for you.   

Click here for the article.

08 October 2015

A Deeper Look at the New SAT

Posted in Perspectives

newSAT image finalFor those of you wondering about the new SAT, here's an excellent article from Jed Applerouth that details the differences between the current and new formats, as well as the ACT.  

Read the article here.

28 September 2015

Coalition of 80 Schools to Introduce New Alternative to the Common App

Posted in Perspectives

TheCoalitionA group of 80 higher education institutions called the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success will be introducing a new alternative to the Common Application in 2016.  Designed to level the playing field for college admissions, the Coalition will deliver free tools to increase transparency around admissions and financial aid and promote awareness and engagement prior to senior year.

Details to come later this year, with more insight expected at this week's NACAC Conference in San Diego.

Click here for the press release or here for the related article from the Washington Post.

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