SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

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

Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 19, 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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What Are the Ivy League Schools' Acceptance Rates for 2018?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Oct 12, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

The eight schools in the Ivy League are among the most well-known and selective universities, both within and outside of the U.S. Because of this, Ivy League (and similarly selective non-Ivy) schools have tens of thousands of students from whom to choose their class of 2023.

But what are Ivy League schools' acceptance rates, and how have those rates changed over time? In this analysis, we'll look at Ivy League admissions, from the number of applicants to the number of students who ultimately end up attending.

In addition to the eight Ivy League schools (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, and Yale), we'll also consider eight equally selective non-Ivy League national universities: Caltech, Duke, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Northwestern, Stanford, UChicago, and Vanderbilt.

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Coalition vs Common App: Which Should You Use?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Oct 7, 2018 2:00:00 PM

College Info, College Admissions

When it comes to college applications, you have a few options for how you can apply. Two of these are the Common Application (or Common App) and the Coalition Application (or Coalition App).

In this extensive guide to the Coalition vs Common App, we’ll go over the major features of the two application systems and take a look at their biggest pros and cons. We’ll then review the colleges that don’t accept either application system, and offer you tips on whether you should choose the Coalition or Common App.

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Should You Go to College? 4 Pros and 3 Cons

Posted by Justin Berkman | Sep 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions, College Info

 

The decision to attend college is a big one. Getting a college degree takes time: at least four years for most people. Getting a college degree also costs money: tens of thousands of dollars for most people. You might be asking yourself, "Is it worth it? Should I go to college?"

In this article, I'll explain the benefits of going to college and detail some of the potential drawbacks. Furthermore, I'll give you all the information you need to decide whether or not you should pursue a college degree.

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22 Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Acceptance rates are an important factor to consider when deciding where you should apply to college. A school’s acceptance rate is often considered a measurement of its quality. While this is accurate in many cases, some schools have low acceptance rates for reasons unrelated to the academic excellence of admitted students.

In this article, I’ll tell you what the lowest college acceptance rate is, explain why some colleges have such low acceptance rates, and list the colleges with the lowest acceptance rates.

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How to Become a National Merit Semifinalist

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 12, 2018 10:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, College Admissions

Every October, about 1.6 million juniors across the country take the PSAT. Those who score in the top 1% achieve the distinction of National Merit Semifinalist. Most of these students move on to become National Merit Finalists, with some winning scholarship money for college.

Being named a National Merit Semifinalist is a huge achievement along the path to college. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to become a National Merit Semifinalist.

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The Complete List of NCAA Division 2 Colleges (Most Recent)

Posted by Justin Berkman | Sep 12, 2018 8:00:00 PM

College Admissions

The NCAA, the major governing body for intercollegiate sports, separates its member institutions by divisions. Division II colleges are generally smaller and have fewer athletic department resources than Division I schools, but they’re larger and more well funded than Division III institutions.

While Division II schools may not have the money or get the publicity of Division I institutions, many Division II colleges have passionate fan bases that show enthusiastic support for their sports teams, especially for those teams that regularly compete for championships.

In this article, I’ll give you a basic understanding of Division II and a complete list of current Division II schools by state.

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The Complete List of NCAA Division 1 Colleges (Most Recent)

Posted by Justin Berkman | Sep 1, 2018 9:00:00 PM

College Admissions

The NCAA, the major governing body for intercollegiate sports, separates its member institutions by divisions. Division I colleges are generally the biggest. They have the largest athletic department budgets and their sports teams generate the most revenue. All of the schools that participate in bowl games and March Madness are Division I schools. However, there are some regional colleges and smaller private schools you may not be familiar with that are also classified as Division I.  In this article, I’ll give you a basic understanding of Division I and a complete list of current Division I schools by state.
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The Complete List of NCAA Division 3 Colleges (Updated)

Posted by Justin Berkman | Sep 1, 2018 8:00:00 PM

College Admissions

The NCAAthe major governing body for intercollegiate sportsseparates its member institutions by divisions. Division III colleges are generally the smallest and have the fewest resources for their athletic teams; however, Division III is the biggest division in terms of number of schools and student-athletes. Many Division III schools take pride in their sports teams, and athletes comprise a significant percentage of the student population.

In this article, I’ll give you a basic understanding of Division III as well as a complete list of current Division III schools, organized by state.

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Complete Guide: Colleges Not Requiring SAT Scores

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 1, 2018 6:00:00 PM

SAT General Info, College Admissions

Not all admissions processes are created equal. One major point of difference among colleges these days is how admissions officers consider your SAT scores. More and more schools are de-emphasizing SAT scores as part of your application with test-optional and test-flexible policies. One college has even eliminated SAT scores completely!

There are now more than 1,000 accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions that have changed their approaches to standardized test scores. Keep in mind that the majority of colleges, especially the more prestigious schools, do still require (and strongly consider) SAT scores.

Let’s take a look at the different score policies and the schools that no longer require applicants to submit their SAT scores for admission.

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7 Steps to a Successful Georgetown Application

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 1, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Georgetown University is one of the most selective universities in the country—less than 17% of students who apply there get accepted. However, understanding the application and what Georgetown admissions officers are looking for when they review your application can give you a serious leg up over the rest of the competition.

In this guide, we go over everything you need to know about the Georgetown University application, including what you need to submit, every Georgetown application deadline, what admissions officers are looking for when they review applications, and how you can make each key part of your application stand out from the pack.

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Should You Use the Universal College App or the Common App?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Aug 28, 2018 8:00:00 PM

College Admissions

For years, the Common Application (CA) was the only widely available application for use at multiple colleges. It was created in 1975, with 15 colleges in its first year. It still dominates the college application world, and today is used by over 600 colleges and universities.

However, back in 2007, the Universal Common Application (UCA) was created, and now serves 16 colleges and universities.

So what exactly are the differences between the CA and the UCA? Why do colleges use one, both, or neither? And which one should you use? We will explore these questions in this post and help you decide how to apply.

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College Essay Prompts: Complete List, Analysis, and Advice

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Aug 28, 2018 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions, College Essays

When talking about college essays, we tend to focus on the Common Application prompts, and it's true that many students will need to write a Common App essay. However, there are actually quite a few schools, including both public and private universities, that don't use the Common App and instead ask applicants to respond to their own college essay prompts.

Luckily, college essay prompts tend to be pretty similar to each other. In this guide, I'll list all the college essay questions for popular schools in the US (and a few abroad) and then break down the patterns to help you brainstorm topics and plan how to approach multiple essays efficiently. After reading this guide, you'll be able to strategize which essays you'll write for which colleges.

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What Are the Score Choice Policies at Ivy Leagues?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Aug 18, 2018 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info, College Admissions

 

Many students assume colleges will see every score they’ve earned on the SAT and ACT when they apply.

However, while some top-tier schools do require your full testing histories, many don’t. Some even allow score choice for the SAT, which allows you to send only the scores you want them to see, or they allow you to pick your best ACT test date.

If you’re aiming for a top-tier school like an Ivy League, Stanford, or MIT, read this guide to learn how they evaluate standardized tests to help you best prepare.

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The Most Selective Colleges, Why, and How to Get In

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 16, 2018 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions


It's tempting to judge the quality of a school based on its admissions rate. While this is a reasonable way to assess schools in most cases, there are also some special circumstances that may result in extremely low acceptance rates at less academically demanding colleges.

In this article, I'll list the most selective colleges in the United States, tell you why they accept so few of their applicants, and provide some advice on how to apply successfully. 

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