SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Important College Application Deadlines You Can't Miss

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 6, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Timing is everything. Nowhere is this saying more true than in the college application process. From taking the SAT to writing your personal essay to submitting your Common App, the process takes months, if not years, to complete.

So when do you need to finish gathering all your application materials and submit them to your colleges? That all depends on your deadlines. This guide will go over the different options for college application deadlines, plus step-by-step instructions on how to keep track of them all.

First off, what are the different options for applying?

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Early Decision Schools: Complete List of ED Colleges

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 2, 2018 5:30:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

Did you know that early decision isn't necessarily early? "Binding decision" might be a better name for it, since some schools now offer "early" decision deadlines in January as well as in November.

Either way, applying early decision is a big commitment. If you apply this way, you should be totally sure you want to attend that school. Let's review the pros and cons of early decision and look at all the schools that currently offer early decision admission.

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What's a Good SAT/ACT Score for the Ivy League? What's the Lowest Score I Can Get in With?

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Aug 2, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, College Admissions

Are you aiming to attend an Ivy League school? What ACT/SAT scores do Ivy League universities—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and Yale—expect? Here, we look at what test scores these eight highly selective schools consider good, as well as what scores are considered borderline.

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What Harvard's Asian Admissions Lawsuit Reveals About How You Should Approach College Applications

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 1, 2018 4:44:00 PM

College Admissions

The hottest news in college admissions these days is the release of documents from the lawsuit filed against Harvard University for unfair admissions practices against Asian-Americans. For the first time in recent memory, an elite institution's opaque admissions practices have been laid bare. More than 90,000 pages of internal Harvard admissions documents have been made available for use in the lawsuit, with excerpts made publicly available in court filings.

In this article, I'll summarize what this lawsuit is about and what we learned about how top-tier schools like Harvard choose which students to accept. (Spoiler: most of it confirms what I wrote about in my How to Get Into Harvard guide. If you haven't read that, I suggest you open it in a tab right now, and read it after you finish this article).

Most importantly, we'll cover what this means for how YOU should be preparing for college admissions.

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How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, by a Harvard Alum

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 24, 2018 4:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Getting into elite schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and others is a goal of many high school students. How exactly to accomplish this is often a mystery to students and parents going through the admissions process. Lots of unhelpful and vague advice abound, especially from people who have never gained admission themselves to these schools.

In high school, I got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and Stanford, and I attended Harvard for college. I also learned a lot about my classmates and the dynamics of college admissions in ways that were never clear to me in high school. Now, I'm sharing this expertise with you.

I’ve written the most comprehensive guide to getting into top schools. I’m going to explain in detail what admissions officers at Ivy League schools are really looking for in your application. More importantly, I’m going to share an actionable framework you can use to build the most compelling application that’s unique to you.

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How Do Ivy League Schools Recruit? ACT/SAT Scores for Athletes

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jul 5, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info, Extracurriculars

Are you a student-athlete hoping to play for an Ivy League school? Then you’re probably curious about the recruiting process. How do Ivy League schools recruit student-athletes? And how can you increase your odds of getting into an Ivy League school as a student-athlete?

Read on to learn what the general college recruiting process looks like and how it differs from Ivy League recruiting. After, we'll go over the basic academic requisites you must have to get into the Ivy League, and show you what the typical Ivy League recruiting timeline looks like.

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118 Great Questions to Ask on a College Tour

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jun 11, 2018 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Touring your prospective colleges is a great opportunity to learn from the people who study, work, and teach on campus. By keeping your eyes and ears open, you can gain a strong sense of a school and its culture, far beyond the facts and figures on its website.

To make the most of your visits, you should prepare thoughtful questions to ask on a college tour. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive college visit checklist of questions for your tour guide, current students, admissions officers, financial aid officers, and professors. Plus, we’ll offer some advice on what not to ask.

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What Are Good Questions to Ask in a College Interview?

Posted by Justin Berkman | Jun 8, 2018 8:00:00 PM

College Admissions

 

College interviews are becoming increasingly common, especially among selective colleges. Many students go to interviews ready to answer questions but forget that it’s important to ask interesting questions as well.

In this article, I’ll establish the basics of how to prepare for college interviews and explain what questions you should and shouldn’t ask during an interview, so you feel totally ready on the day of.

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Best College Acceptance Calculator: Learn Your Admission Chances

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jun 8, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Anyone who’s applied to college remembers the fear of getting that dreaded rejection letter. (For the record, I got two—and they both stung. A lot.) But what if you could calculate your chances of college acceptance before you applied? 

The good news is that you can! Our college acceptance calculator uses your GPA and SAT/ACT score to estimate your likelihood of getting accepted to a particular school. But aside from GPA and test scores, what other critical factors affect your chance of admission? Read on to learn what schools look for during the admission process as well as how you can raise your chance of acceptance by submitting a strong application.

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Complete Guide: Which Schools Use the Common Application?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jun 7, 2018 10:30:00 PM

College Admissions

Are you applying to college soon? If so, you’ve probably heard about the Common Application—an online application you can use for more than 750 colleges. Since you only have to fill out one application, it saves you time when applying to college.

But which colleges use the Common Application? And which Common Application schools are in your state? We have a complete list here, broken down by state and updated for the 2018-19 academic year.

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How to Get Into Stanford (by an Accepted Student)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jun 7, 2018 8:00:00 AM

College Admissions

Many students want to get into Stanford, one of the most prestigious undergraduate institutions in the United States. While getting into Stanford is very tough, there are definite rules to Stanford admissions. Using these rules to your advantage will greatly increase your chances of getting in.

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Which Colleges Superscore the SAT?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jun 5, 2018 7:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies, College Admissions

Your SAT scores are a very important part of your application, especially as the applicant pool gets bigger and more competitive every year. So how can you make sure colleges will consider your very best scores?

This article will discuss the colleges that superscore the SAT. After giving you a list of every college that superscores the SAT, I'll talk about how you can use this information strategically as you prepare to apply to college. To start, let's briefly review what "superscoring" means.

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How to Get a College Application Fee Waiver: 3 Approaches

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jun 5, 2018 6:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Most college application fees fall in the $40 to $50 range, with some costing as much as $90 (ahem, Stanford). For many students and their families, these fees present a serious obstacle along the already pricey path to college. If application fees are burdensome to you, you may qualify for college application fee waivers!

Just like SAT and ACT fee waivers, these college fee waivers allow you to send off your applications for free. This guide will go over how you can qualify for and use college application fee waivers, step by step.

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Complete List: Colleges with Rolling Admissions

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jun 2, 2018 2:30:00 PM

College Admissions

Deadlines are stressful. Why not get rid of them? Some colleges do just that. Rather than having a fixed application deadline, they open up a period of time for you to submit your application.

Rolling admission doesn't mean you won't have any timeline, though. This guide will go over what rolling admission means as you apply to schools, plus a complete list of colleges with rolling admissions.

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101 College Essay Examples for 13 Schools + Expert Analysis

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 1, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Essays

The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I’ll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 13 different schools. Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 125 full essays and essay excerpts, this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

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