Your College List

16 October 2016

Colleges With Generous Merit Aid

Posted in Your College List, Affordability

Schools offering merit aid to 20% or more of incoming freshmen

moneyIn search of schools with generous merit scholarship programs?

Look no further.  

Here we've compiled a list of competitive 4-year institutions that offer merit aid to 20% or more of undergraduates.  Merit awards are typically not based on financial need but rather on academic performance and other qualities deemed desirable by the institution.  As such, they can make college more affordable for academically gifted students—especially those that are unlikely to qualify for need-based financial aid. 

Most of these schools automatically consider you for merit scholarships when you submit your application.  

19 September 2016

Colleges Where Interviews are Required or Strongly Recommended

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2021

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.

28 August 2016

Colleges with Strong Engineering Programs

Posted in Your College List

teacher-classroomIn search of colleges and universities with strong engineering programs?

Look no further, we've identified 60+ schools that fit the bill.  To make the grade, we looked for public and private institutions that granted engineering degrees to 10% or more of its graduates last year and were consistently ranked highly by a variety of third party sources.

There are plenty of household names like MIT, Caltech and Stanford on the list, in addition to several lesser known gems.  If you're 100% certain about engineering, you might consider schools like Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering or Webb Institute, or if you're looking for engineering in a liberal arts setting, consider checking out Harvey Mudd, Swarthmore, Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh, Trinity or Union Colleges.  

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

11 August 2016

Common App Extra Essay Requirements (2016-17)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2021

commonapplogoThe Common App for 2016-17 is now live, and we've just wrapped up our analysis of the real number of short answer/essay prompts required for each school.  If you've been through this process before, you know that just because a school lacks a writing supplement doesn't mean there are no additional essays to complete.  Many schools in fact simply embed these prompts in the main application itself.

This post summarizes the prompts required for 200+ Common Application schools in our coverage universe.  Our definition of a prompt is a question that requires more than a one word or one sentence answer.  It's not perfect, but it should help you gauge the amount of writing you'll need to get through over the next few months.  It'll also help you identify schools that you can apply to without the need for extra essays!

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

11 July 2016

Money Magazine College Rankings (2016-17)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2021, College Rankings

moneymagMoney Magazine just released its college rankings for 2016-17. Nearly 2,000 schools were evaluated based on 24 factors along three dimensions: educational quality, affordability and outcomes. The result: 736 schools that deliver a great education at an affordable price, with good outcomes post graduation.

The top of the list:

Click here for the rankings or here for the methodology.

 

07 July 2016

University of California Fall 2016 Admission Trends

Posted in Your College List, Perspectives

ucHot off the press!  We've had a chance to review the Fall 2016 admissions data released yesterday by the University of California and thought it would be helpful to summarize it and our key findings.  

Long story short, overall freshman admission rates are up as the University of California makes good on its plan to enroll an additional 10,000 California undergraduates over the next three years.  And while the emphasis was on admitting more California residents for the Fall 2016 class, we suspect a "new normal" has appeared that creates more room for non-residents as well.  If you're an out of state or international student, pay close attention...there appears to be a window of opportunity to take advantage of favorable odds at several UC campuses.

Click on Continue Reading for the details.

29 February 2016

Colleges with Strong Undergraduate Business Programs

Posted in Your College List

students-businessIn search of colleges and universities with strong undergraduate business programs?

Here's a list of 100+ schools to get you started.  To make the list, we looked for public and private institutions that granted business/marketing degrees to 10% or more of its graduates last year and/or were consistently ranked highly by third party sources (US News, Bloomberg, etc.).

Apart from the brand name institutions you'd expect to be on the list, there are also several lesser known but intriguing options to consider.  If you're 100% certain about majoring in business, check out Babson College or Bentley University, where nearly everyone is a business major.  Or schools like Notre Dame, Boston College, University of Richmond or Villanova if you're looking to study business in a liberal arts setting.  And if you're an aspiring engineer looking for some business savvy, consider schools like MIT or Carnegie Mellon.

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  And since the list is large, we've broken the schools out into very selective (<25% admission rate), selective (25-50%) and less selective (>50%) buckets. Finally, we've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

05 November 2015

University of Pennsylvania sees slight rise in Early Decision applications

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission, Class of 2020

upenn logoThe University of Pennsylvania reported a slight rise in Early Decision applicants for the Class of 2020.  A total of 5,629 early decision applications were received this year, up 140 from last year.

Decisions will be posted on Friday, December 11.

 

Click here for the article.

 

29 October 2015

Keeping Vigil on Merit Scholarship Deadlines (Class of 2020)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2020, 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 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.

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.

17 September 2015

Common App Extra Essay Requirements

Posted in Your College List

Update #6

commonapplogoThe Common App for 2015-16 was posted earlier today, and we've just wrapped up our analysis on the real number of short answer/essay prompts required for each school.  If you've been through this process before, you know that just because a school lacks a writing supplement doesn't mean there are no additional essays to complete.  Many schools in fact simply embed these prompts in the main application itself.

This post summarizes the prompts required for 200+ Common Application schools in our coverage universe.  Our definition of a prompt is a question that requires more than a one word or one sentence answer.  It's not perfect, but it should help you gauge the amount of writing you'll need to get through over the next few months.  It'll also help you identify schools that you can apply to without the need for extra essays!

Click on Continue Reading for the list.

27 August 2015

Colleges with Early Admission Plans

Posted in Your College List, Early Admission

College Kickstart Logo 200x63With your college list more or less finalized, give some consideration to early admission—many schools offer it and can be a terrific way to boost odds and minimize wasted motion.  All you need to do is apply 45-60 days earlier than you normally would. 

Here's a list of competitive 4-year institutions offering early admission to applicants.  Depending on the school, these options range from Early Decision (binding) to Early Action (non-binding) and Restrictive Early Action (non-binding with restrictions on where else you can apply).  

The first wave of deadlines is coming up in November, so take a quick look to see if any of your schools offer something worth considering. Or click here to find out how College Kickstart can help you fully capitalize on it.

31 July 2015

Top Ranked Colleges for International Relations Majors

Posted in Your College List

world-puzzleIn 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 25 programs in the United States, along with admit rate and test score data to help you locate safety, target and reach schools to add to your list.  As always, we've also included a link to each school's websites to help you explore further.

The report also calls out Chinese and Arabic as the two most important languages for aspiring international relations majors to learn, and global climate change as the most important topic to contend with over the next ten years.

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

22 July 2015

Colleges Where Female Applicants Have an Edge

Posted in Your College List

student-female

Question: what happens when a college wants an balanced class but has a much smaller female applicant pool to draw on?

Answer: higher admission rates for females!

Like our previous post, we looked at several popular coed institutions and searched for places where there was a 15% or greater admission rate advantage, this time for women.  The result: a list of 37 schools for qualified applicants to consider.

The list is dominated by institutions strong in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but you'll also find some unexpected names like Boston University, American University, Clark University, Connecticut College and the University of Oregon.    

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.  

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

22 July 2015

Colleges With Better Admission Odds for Guys

Posted in Your College List

student male

Question: what happens when a college wants a balanced class but has to draw on a much smaller male applicant pool?

Answer: higher admission rates for guys!

We looked at several popular coed institutions and searched for places where there was a 15% or greater admission rate advantage for male applicants.  The result: an intriguing list of 26 schools to consider.

The majority of the schools on the list are liberal arts colleges, but you'll also be surprised to see names like Brown, Pepperdine, Vanderbilt, Tufts and Yale.    

To help you categorize schools into safeties, targets and reaches, we've included admission rates, mid-50th percentile SAT and ACT scores.  We've also provided links to each school's website to help you explore fit.  

Click on Continue Reading for the details. 

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