Important Steps as You Apply to College

Now that you're in the swing of working on your college applications, here are a couple important tasks:

1 - Whenever you get an email from a college, open it. Colleges track demonstrated interest more than ever. This means that when they send you an email, they track your activity. Make sure you open each email, click on each link, click on other links on that page, and leave those pages open for a while.

2 - Clean up your social media footprint. You may not think it matters, but colleges are Googling you more than ever and checking out your social media posts. With competition fiercer than ever, colleges are looking for reasons why you may be better or worse than other applicants. Make sure that anything publicly visible would make a grandparent proud.

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Malia Obama is Applying Too!

You're closer than you think!

You're closer than you think!

It's somehow comforting to know that all seniors have to go through the college admissions process, including Malia Obama, and that even President Obama is thinking about it! This New York Times article offers some great advice from our President, that we think all seniors could use right about now.

  1. Don't "stress too much about getting into one particular college. Just because it's not some name-brand, famous, fancy school doesn't mean that you're not going to get a great education there."
  2. "Keep your grades up until you get in, and after that, make sure you pass."
  3. "Stretch yourself. Because this is the time to do it, when you’re young.”

And we think the advice extends beyond applying to college! Well, maybe not the part about just passing...but in the sense of taking a balanced approach to everything that comes your way. In the end, there are certain things that will be out of your control like which schools accept you, but whichever school you end up attending, it will be in your control to take advantage of the resources available to you, and turn it into the experience that you are dreaming college will be.

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Colleges With 2014-2015 Essay Questions

We have updated the essay questions for the 2014-2015 application season for the following colleges:

1. Abilene Christian University
2. Academy of Art University
3. Adams State College
4. Adelphi University
5. Agnes Scott College
6. Alaska Pacific University
7. Albany College of Pharmacy of Union University
8. Albright College
9. Alfred University
10. Allegheny College
11. Alma College
12. American University
13. American University of Paris
14. Amherst College
15. Appalachian State University
16. Arcadia University
17. Assumption College
18. Augustana College (IL)
19. Augustana College (SD)
20. Aurora University
21. Austin College
22. Austin Peay State University
23. Babson College
24. Baldwin-Wallace University
25. Ball State University
26. Bar-ilan university
27. Bard College
28. Barnard College
29. Bates College
30. Baylor University
31. Beacon College
32. Bellarmine University
33. Belmont Abbey College
34. Belmont University
35. Bemidji State University
36. Benedict College
37. Bennington College
38. Bentley University
39. Berea College
40. Berklee College of Music
41. Berry College
42. Bethune-Cookman University
43. Biola University
44. Birmingham-Southern College
45. Bloomfield College
46. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
47. Boston College
48. Boston University
49. Bowdoin College
50. Bowling Green State University
51. Bradley University
52. Brandeis University
53. Brevard College
54. Bridgewater College
55. Brown University
56. Bryant University
57. Bucknell University
58. Butler University
59. Cabrini College
60. California College of the Arts
61. California Institute of Technology
62. California Lutheran University
63. California Maritime Academy
64. California State University-Bakersfield
65. California State University-Channel Islands
66. California State University-Chico
67. California State University-East Bay
68. California State University-Fullerton
69. California State University-Long Beach
70. California State University-Los Angeles
71. California State University-Monterey Bay
72. California State University-Northridge
73. California State University-Sacramento
74. California State University-San Marcos
75. Calvin College
76. Campbell University
77. Canisius College
78. Capital University
79. Carleton College
80. Carnegie Mellon University
81. Carroll College
82. Carthage College
83. Case Western Reserve University
84. Castelton State College
85. Catawba College
86. Catholic University of America
87. Cazenovia College
88. Cedar Crest College
89. Centenary College
90. Centenary College of Louisiana
91. Central Michigan University
92. Centre College
93. Chaminade University of Honolulu
94. Champlain College
95. Chapman University
96. Chatham University
97. Christian Brothers University in TN
98. Christopher Newport University
99. Citadel, The
100. Claremont McKenna College
101. Clark University
102. Clarkson University
103. Clemson University
104. Cleveland Institute of Art
105. Coastal Carolina University
106. Coe College
107. Colby College
108. Colby-Sawyer College
109. Colgate University
110. College of Charleston
111. College of New Jersey
112. College of New Rochelle
113. College of Saint Elizabeth
114. College of St. Benedict
115. College of St. Joseph
116. College of St. Rose (NY)
117. College of the Atlantic
118. College of the Holy Cross
119. College of the Ozarks
120. College of William and Mary
121. College of Wooster
122. Colorado College
123. Colorado Mesa University
124. Colorado State University
125. Columbia College Hollywood
126. Columbia University
127. Columbus State University
128. Concordia University
129. Concordia University (CA)
130. Concordia University-Austin
131. Connecticut College
132. Cornell College
133. Cornell University
134. Cornish College of the Arts
135. Covenant College
136. Creighton University
137. Curry College
138. Curtis Institute of Music
139. Daemen College
140. Dallas Baptist University
141. Dartmouth College
142. Davidson College
143. Dean College
144. Deep Springs College
145. Delaware State University
146. Denison University
147. DePaul University
148. DePauw University
149. DeSales University
150. Dickinson College
151. Dowling College
152. Drake University
153. Drew University
154. Drexel University
155. Drury University
156. Duke University
157. Duquesne University
158. Earlham College
159. East Carolina University
160. East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
161. East Tennessee State University
162. Eastern Mennonite University
163. Eastern Michigan University
164. Eckerd College
165. Elizabethtown College
166. Elmhurst College
167. Elon University
168. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
169. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
170. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Campus
171. Emerson College
172. Emmanuel College
173. Emory and Henry College
174. Emory University
175. Endicott College
176. Erskine College
177. Eugene Lang College
178. Evergreen State College
179. Fairfield University
180. Fairleigh Dickinson University
181. Fisher College (MA)
182. Fisk University
183. Fitchburg State University
184. Flagler College
185. Florida A&M University
186. Florida Atlantic University
187. Florida Institute of Technology
188. Florida International University
189. Florida Southern College
190. Florida State University
191. Fordham University
192. Fort Lewis College (CO)
193. Fort Valley State University
194. Franklin and Marshall College
195. Franklin Pierce University
196. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
197. Fresno Pacific University
198. Furman University
199. Gannon University
200. George Fox University
201. George Mason University
202. Georgetown College
203. Georgetown University
204. Georgia College and State University
205. Georgia Institute of Technology
206. Georgia State University
207. Gettysburg College
208. Gonzaga University
209. Gordon College
210. Goshen College
211. Goucher College
212. Green Mountain College
213. Grinnell College
214. Guilford College
215. Hamilton College
216. Hampshire College
217. Hampton University
218. Hanover College
219. Harding University
220. Hartwick College
221. Harvard University
222. Harvey Mudd College
223. Hastings College
224. Haverford College
225. Hawaii Pacific University
226. Hendrix College
227. High Point University
228. Hillsdale College
229. Hiram College
230. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
231. Hofstra University
232. Hollins University
233. Hope College
234. Howard University
235. Idaho State University
236. Illinois Institute of Technology
237. Illinois Wesleyan University
238. Indiana University
239. Iowa State University
240. Ithaca College
241. Jacksonville University
242. James Madison University
243. John Carroll University
244. Johns Hopkins University
245. Juniata College
246. Kalamazoo College
247. Kean University
248. Keene State College
249. Kent State University
250. Kenyon College
251. King's College
252. Knox College
253. La Salle University
254. La Sierra University
255. Lafayette College
256. Laguna College of Art and Design
257. Lake Forest College
258. Lawrence University
259. Le Moyne College
260. Lehigh University
261. Lewis & Clark College
262. Linfield College
263. Longwood University
264. Louisiana State University
265. Louisiana Tech University
266. Louisianna State University-Shreveport
267. Loyola Marymount University
268. Loyola University Chicago
269. Loyola University Maryland
270. Loyola University New Orleans
271. Luther College
272. Lynchburg College
273. Lynn University
274. Lyon College
275. Macalester College
276. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY
277. Manhattan College
278. Manhattanville College
279. Marist College
280. Marlboro College
281. Marquette University
282. Marymount Manhattan College
283. Maryville College
284. Maryville University of St. Louis
285. Marywood University
286. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
287. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
288. McDaniel College
289. Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York
290. Menlo College
291. Mercer University
292. Mercy College
293. Mercyhurst College
294. Merrimack College
295. Miami University (OH)
296. Michigan State University
297. Michigan Technological University
298. MidAmerica Nazarene University
299. Middlebury College
300. Millikin University
301. Mills College
302. Millsaps College
303. Milwaukee School of Engineering
304. Mississippi College
305. Missouri University of Science and Technology
306. Monmouth College
307. Moravian College
308. Morehouse College
309. Mount Holyoke College
310. Mount Saint Mary College
311. Muhlenberg College
312. Murray State University
313. Muskingum College
314. Nazareth College
315. Nebraska Wesleyan University
316. New College of Florida
317. New England College
318. New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
319. New Mexico State University
320. New World School of the Arts
321. New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York
322. New York Institute of Technology
323. New York University
324. Newbury College
325. Niagara University
326. Nichols College
327. Norfolk State University
328. Northeastern University
329. Northwestern University
330. Notre Dame de Namur University
331. Nova Southeastern University
332. Occidental College
333. Ohio Northern University
334. Ohio State University-Columbus
335. Ohio University
336. Ohio Wesleyan University
337. Oklahoma State University
338. Old Dominion University
339. Olivet College
340. Oregon Institute of Technology
341. Oregon State University
342. Pacific Lutheran University
343. Paul Smith's College
344. Pennsylvania State University-University Park
345. Pepperdine University
346. Piedmont College
347. Pine Manor College
348. Pitzer College
349. Point Park University
350. Pomona College
351. Portland State University
352. Post University
353. Presbyterian College
354. Prescott College
355. Princeton University
356. Providence College
357. Purdue University-West Lafayette
358. Quinnipiac University
359. Radford University
360. Randolph College
361. Randolph-Macon College
362. Reed College
363. Regis College
364. Regis University
365. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
366. Rhode Island College
367. Rhodes College
368. Rice University
369. Richard Stockton College of NJ
370. Rider University
371. Ringling College of Art & Design
372. Ripon College
373. Roanoke College
374. Rochester Institute of Technology
375. Rockland Community College
376. Roger WIlliams University
377. Rollins College
378. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
379. Rosemont College
380. Rowan University
381. Rutgers-New Brunswick
382. Rutgers-Newark
383. Sacred Heart University
384. Sage College of Albany
385. Saint Anselm College
386. Saint Joseph's College of Maine
387. Saint Leo University
388. Saint Martin's University
389. Saint Mary's College (CA)
390. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
391. Saint Michael's College
392. Saint Vincent College
393. Salem College
394. Salisbury University
395. Salve Regina University
396. San Diego State University
397. San Francisco State University
398. San Jose City College
399. Santa Clara University
400. Santa Fe Community College
401. Sarah Lawrence College
402. Savannah State University
403. Scripps College
404. Seattle Pacific University
405. Seattle University
406. Sewanee: The University of the South
407. Shenandoah University
408. Shorter University
409. Simmons College
410. Skidmore College
411. Smith College
412. Soka University of America
413. South Carolina State University
414. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
415. Southern Methodist University
416. Southern Nazarene University
417. Southern New Hampshire University
418. Southern University at New Orleans
419. Southwestern University
420. Spelman College
421. Spring Hill College
422. Springfield College
423. St. Catherine University
424. St. Edward's University
425. St. Lawrence University
426. St. Mary's College
427. St. Mary's College of Maryland
428. St. Olaf College
429. St. Petersburg College
430. St. Thomas Aquinas College
431. Stanford University
432. State University of New York at Albany
433. State University of New York at Binghamton
434. State University of New York at Buffalo State College
435. State University of New York at Cortland
436. State University of New York at Fredonia
437. State University of New York at Geneseo
438. State University of New York at New Paltz
439. State University of New York at Old Westbury
440. State University of New York at Oneonta
441. State University of New York at Oswego
442. State University of New York at Plattsburgh
443. State University of New York at Stony Brook
444. State University of New York-University at Buffalo
445. Sterling College
446. Stetson University
447. Stevens Institute of Technology
448. Stonehill College
449. Suffolk University
450. Susquehanna University
451. Swarthmore College
452. Sweet Briar College
453. Syracuse University
454. Temple University
455. Texas A&M University-College Station
456. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
457. Texas Christian University
458. Texas State University
459. Texas Tech University
460. Touro College
461. Transylvania University
462. Trine University
463. Trinity College (CT)
464. Trinity University
465. Troy University
466. Truman State University
467. Tufts University
468. Tulane University
469. Tuskegee University
470. Union College
471. United States Air Force Academy
472. United States Naval Academy
473. Unity College
474. University of Alabama
475. University of Alabama-Huntsville
476. University of Alaska-Southeast
477. University of Arizona
478. University of Arkansas
479. University of Bridgeport
480. University of California-Berkeley
481. University of California-Davis
482. University of California-Irvine
483. University of California-Los Angeles
484. University of California-Merced
485. University of California-Riverside
486. University of California-San Diego
487. University of California-Santa Barbara
488. University of California-Santa Cruz
489. University of Central Florida
490. University of Chicago
491. University of Cincinnati
492. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
493. University of Colorado-Boulder
494. University of Colorado-Denver
495. University of Connecticut
496. University of Dallas
497. University of Dayton
498. University of Delaware
499. University of Denver
500. University of Evansville
501. University of Findlay
502. University of Florida
503. University of Georgia
504. University of Great Falls
505. University of Hartford
506. University of Hawaii-Manoa
507. University of Idaho
508. University of Illinois-Chicago
509. University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
510. University of Iowa
511. University of Kansas
512. University of Mary
513. University of Mary Washington
514. University of Maryland-College Park
515. University of Maryland-University College
516. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
517. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
518. University of Massachusetts-Boston
519. University of Massachusetts-Lowell
520. University of Miami
521. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
522. University of Minnesota-Morris
523. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
524. University of Mississippi
525. University of Missouri-Columbia
526. University of Montevallo
527. University of Nebraska-Omaha
528. University of New England
529. University of New Hampshire
530. University of New Haven
531. University of North Carolina-Asheville
532. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
533. University of North Carolina-Charlotte
534. University of North Carolina-Wilmington
535. University of North Dakota
536. University of North Georgia
537. University of Northern Colorado
538. University of Notre Dame
539. University of Oklahoma
540. University of Oregon
541. University of Pennsylvania
542. University of Pittsburgh
543. University of Portland
544. University of Puget Sound
545. University of Redlands
546. University of Rhode Island
547. University of Richmond
548. University of Rochester
549. University of San Diego
550. University of San Francisco
551. University of Saskatchewan
552. University of Scranton
553. University of South Alabama
554. University of South Carolina-Columbia
555. University of South Florida
556. University of Southern California
557. University of St. Thomas
558. University of Tennessee
559. University of Texas-Austin
560. University of Texas-Dallas
561. University of Texas-San Antonio
562. University of Texas-Tyler
563. University of the Pacific
564. University of the Sciences
565. University of Toronto
566. University of Utah
567. University of Vermont
568. University of Victoria
569. University of Virginia
570. University of Washington-Seattle
571. University of Western Ontario
572. University of Wisconsin-Madison
573. University of Wyoming
574. Ursinus College
575. Utah State University
576. Valdosta State University
577. Valparaiso University
578. Vanderbilt University
579. Vassar College
580. Villanova University
581. Virginia Commonwealth University
582. Virginia Tech
583. Virginia Wesleyan College
584. Wabash College
585. Wagner College
586. Wake Forest University
587. Warren Wilson College
588. Wartburg College
589. Washington and Jefferson College
590. Washington and Lee University
591. Washington College
592. Washington State University
593. Webb Institute
594. Wellesley College
595. Wells College
596. Wentworth Institute of Technology
597. Wentworth Military Academy and College
598. Wesleyan College
599. Wesleyan University
600. West Virginia University
601. Western Carolina University
602. Western New England University
603. Western Washington University
604. Westminster College (MO)
605. Westminster College (PA)
606. Westminster College of Salt Lake City
607. Westmont College
608. Wheaton College
609. Wheaton College (IL)
610. Wheelock College (MA)
611. Whitman College
612. Whittier College
613. Widener University
614. Willamette University
615. William Jewell College
616. William Paterson University
617. Williams College
618. Wingate University
619. Winona State University (MN)
620. Wittenberg University
621. Wofford College
622. Woodbury University
623. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
624. Wright State University
625. Xavier University (OH)
626. Xavier University of Louisiana
627. Yale University

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College Admissions Officers Look for Red Flags

While you spend this last week preparing and perfecting your remaining college applications, be sure that the content will not raise any red flags with admissions officers. Any glaring inconsistencies in your applications will definitely end you up in the rejections pile no matter how high your test scores or how magnificent your prose. Here are a few situations outlined in this article written by Andrew Belasco that you should definitely avoid:

  • Your resume states that you had the lead role in a play while your drama teacher's recommendation praises your abilities as a stagehand.
  • Your SAT writing score is in the 400s, but your admissions essay is as perfectly written as they come.
  • You mention that you volunteer 20 hours per week at a nursing home, but you play three varsity sports, take 4 AP classes, and edit the school paper.
  • You claim that you are passionate about political science, but you did not take your school's AP Government course. If your interest recently developed, clearly share your story in the essays.

As Belasco writes, "Colleges want to see a real human being capable of communicating their passions and actual life experience. Be genuine. In the world of college admissions, an honest stagehand is always a more marketable applicant than a fraudulent lead player."

Colleges Regularly Google Applicants

Make sure colleges Like what they see on Facebook.

Now that your early admissions applications are in the hands of your top-choice colleges, take a moment to reflect on another important source of information colleges use to evaluate you. While it's not yet a universal policy to check a student's Facebook or Twitter pages, it is becoming more and more routine: "According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey of 350 admissions officers, more than 25 percent of school officials said they had looked up applicants on Facebook or Google. Off campus, a similar percentage of private scholarship organizations also acknowledge researching their applicants online, according to a National Scholarship Providers Association survey."

Every year, we always hear a story about a student whose chances were dashed due to an inappropriate posting on Facebook or a picture that gives off the wrong image. Read this article in Time magazine for more reasons to google yourself now and see what comes up. You've taken hours of your time writing the perfect essay describing who you are. Don't overlook making your online image just as clean. Admissions representatives know that you are teenagers, and that you don't always make the best decisions, but flaunting those not-so-good choices could be deadly to your chances of attending your dream college.


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More Colleges Extending Early Application Deadlines

If you're in Hurricane Sandy's projected path, stay safe.

As we prepare for Hurricane Sandy to cross our path, more colleges are extending their early application deadlines in an attempt to soften the storm's impact. Here is a list of schools that have either formally changed their early deadlines or stated that they will be flexible with their existing deadlines:

Boston University
Columbia University
Duke University
George Mason University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tufts University
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
University of Vermont
Villanova University
Yale University

Be prepared so that even if your college does not extend its early deadline, you still submit on time. We've always believed that a problem well organized is a problem half solved, which is why we give students all their essay questions from the very start. Create your free account now so you don't encounter any surprises at the last minute.