Your College List

22 February 2018

Colleges Where Demonstrated Interest is Important or Very Important

Posted in Your College List

strategizeTrying to understand how important demonstrated interest is for a college/university you're considering?  Then check out our list of institutions where demonstrated interest is deemed important or very important.  

To compile the list, we've identified every school in our coverage universe where the Common Data Set entry for "level of applicant's interest" is reported as important or very important.

It's a great way to get a better sense for where visiting a campus, taking advantage of an optional interview or completing an optional essay prompt may more strongly weigh on your candidacy for admission. 

Click on Continue Reading for the list. 

20 February 2018

Top Ranked Colleges for International Relations Majors (2018)

Posted in Your College List

foreignpolicy logo 400x400In search of colleges and universities with strong undergraduate international relations programs?

Courtesy of Foreign Policy magazine and the College of William & Mary, we've compiled their list of top 50 programs in the United States, along with admit rate and test score data to help you locate likely, target and reach schools to add to your list.  As always, we've also included a link to each school's website to help you explore further.

Click on Continue Reading for the list, or here for the Foreign Policy article. 

22 January 2018

Colleges Offering Assured/Automatic/Guaranteed Admissions

Posted in Your College List

guaranteeDid you know it's possible to be guaranteed admission to certain public universities based solely on your academic credentials?  

While institutions like the University of California won’t guarantee you admission to a specific campus, the good news is that most will based on some combination of class rank, GPA and test scores.

For example, if you’re an Arizona resident interested in the University of Arizona, a 3.0+ GPA or top 25% class rank will assure you admission. Or if you’re a Texas resident interested in the University of Texas at Austin, a top 6% class rank will grant you automatic admission.

Better yet, assured admission often extends to non-residents as well. A top 10% class rank or 3.5+ GPA will assure admission to Washington State University, for example, or a 24+ ACT or 1160+ SAT will assure admission to the University of Missouri. 

Of course, you’ll still need to complete an application and sweat the details, like making sure you’ve satisfied curriculum requirements and that your GPA is calculated appropriately. To help you understand the specifics, we’ve included links to program criteria for the public institutions listed.

If that’s still too much work, consider checking out College Kickstart. We track assured admission criteria for over 25 programs across the nation and will automatically flag situations where your academic credentials appear to meet assured admission criteria for schools on your list.  It's a great way to take some of the stress out of the process!  

Click on Continue Reading to see our list of selected institutions with assured admission programs.

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 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.

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.

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.

26 July 2017

Colleges with Great Cross-Registration Options

Posted in Your College List


Attending a school with great cross-registration options can be a terrific way for you to take classes beyond those offered at your home institution, expand your horizons and experience academic life in a completely different setting.

The Claremont Colleges, for example, allow students to take classes at any member institution (Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, Scripps). Students at Occidental can also take engineering classes at Caltech, while Wellesley students can take business classes at Babson or engineering courses at MIT. From coast to coast, our list includes several popular colleges from our coverage universe, the consortium/consortia they belong to and the available cross-registration options. Be sure to click on the included links for detail on cross-registration policies—for example, some schools will only allow you to cross-register for courses that not offered at your home institution, while others may only allow to cross-register on a space-available basis.

Click on Continue Reading below for the details.

12 July 2017

Money Magazine College Rankings (2017-18)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2022, College Rankings

moneymagMoney Magazine just released its college rankings for 2017-18. Over 2,000 schools were evaluated based on 27 factors along three categories: educational quality, affordability and outcomes. The result: 711 schools that deliver a great education at an affordable price, with good outcomes post graduation.

The top of the list:

  • Princeton University
  • Baruch College (CUNY)
  • University of Michigan 
  • University of California - Berkeley 
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • Stanford University 
  • University of California - Irvine 
  • MIT
  • University of California - Davis 
  • Harvard University 

Click here for the rankings or here for the methodology.


08 July 2017

University of California Fall 2017 Admission Trends

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2021, Perspectives

ucHot off the press!  We've had a chance to review the Fall 2017 admissions data released yesterday by the University of California and thought it would be helpful to summarize it and share our key findings.  

Overall freshman admission rates are up for non-residents and down for residents as the University of California continues to settle on a new normal that accommodates a larger mix of out of state and international students.   If you're an out of state or international student, pay close attention...there continues to be a window of opportunity to take advantage of favorable odds at several UC campuses.

Click on Continue Reading for the details.

21 June 2017

The Many Flavors of Test-Optional College Admissions

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2022, Perspectives

testbrokenpencilDo your SAT and ACT scores fully reflect your academic ability?

Many prominent colleges have moved to "test-optional" admissions in recent years to give applicants the opportunity to exclude standardized test scores from consideration if desired. This is a good thing!

But what exactly does "test-optional" mean? Unfortunately, it differs by school, and often there are strings attached.

Click on Continue Reading to see our list of test-optional schools and the type of test-optional policy they employ.  For your convenience, we've included admit rates, test score ranges and links to each school's standardized test policy to help you find suitable candidates for your college list.

20 May 2017

University of California Approves Policy on Non-Resident Enrollment

Posted in Your College List, Perspectives

ucThe University of California approved a policy on non-resident enrollment.  

Non-resident enrollment will be capped at 18 percent at UC Davis, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and at 2017-18 levels at UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC San Diego.

Click here for the details.

20 October 2016

Paying Attention to Admission Histories

Posted in Your College List, Perspectives

forbesHere's another good read from Will Dix at Forbes—this post focuses on the need to pay attention to admission history as part of your college plan and features some of the analysis from our recent notable admission rate changes post.  We think this article reinforces the importance of staying current with admission results, as each year there are surprises like American University—where the admission rate has fallen from 45 percent to 26 percent in the span of just three admission cycles—which can materially change how schools on your list might get categorized.

Click here for the Forbes article.

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