More Colleges Caught Falsifying Data

Most people would agree that the college application process is stressful for students. The pressure to get into a top college can be intense, and should a student decide to misrepresent himself on his applications, getting caught would likely mean getting shut out of all colleges. Colleges, however, may not be held to the same standards. Bending to pressures of their own, a growing number of colleges have chosen to falsify data in order to attract more elite applicants. Though they have faced little consequences as a result, news is finally reaching the ears of the public. Here are some of the colleges who have been in the news:

  • Bucknell University admitted increasing students' SAT and ACT scores when reporting to magazines
  • Claremont McKenna has falsified SAT scores
  • Dickinson State University lied about the number of students enrolled
  • Emory Univeristy falsified standardized test scores
  • George Washington University admitted misrepresenting data
  • Iona College misrepresented data not only to magazines, but also to its accreditor
  • Scripps college lied about the debt its students will carry from loans

While unfortunate that students have another thing to worry about during the admissions process, it does highlight the fact that college rankings are not the best decision-making tool when selecting a college. See this article for a list of tips on how students can make the best decision when selecting a college.

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National Candidate Reply Date Approaches

Decision day is coming fast.

On May 1st, students must make a final decision regarding the college they would like to attend for the next four years. While this decision is an important one, and undoubtedly stressful for many, it is now in the hands of the student to make the decision to accept or reject a college. Seniors are busy making final visits to colleges in order to weigh the pros and cons and determine the best fit.  The New York Times Choice blog posted some tips to consider when narrowing down your choices:

  • Take rankings with a grain of salt. While it is helpful to investigate the quality of the food, campus safety, and job placement, rankings can be misleading, and won't necessarily lead you to find your best choice college.
  • Once you've done your research, go with your gut. Ultimately, you're the one who has to spend four years at a particular college, so after studying the facts and listening to your friends and family, take your gut feeling into account.
  • Give a college a second chance. Even if you visited on a rainy day or didn't get the best first impression, it may be worth giving a college another visit. The weather or other factors can play a big part of an initial impression, but it may not be representative of the college on a day-to-day basis.
  • Once you make your decision and send in your deposit on May 1, don't look back. After all the hard work that went into getting to that final decision, you deserve to relax with confidence knowing it will all work out for the best!



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2013 Acceptance Rates Reported

Just when you think acceptance rates can't get any lower...

Now that college decisions are out, acceptance rates are trickling in, offering a realistic view of the admissions process. While many seniors experienced disappointments, it is easy to see that they are far from alone. Juniors who may already be experiencing some fear of what's to come can benefit from a larger view of the process as well. And it's important to keep in mind that, ultimately, the majority of students find a college that feels just right for them, even if it's not where they expected to end up.

Here are a few examples of top schools' acceptance rates that continue to go down each year:

  • Columbia University had 33,531 applicants and accepted 2,311 applicants
  • Brown University had 28,919 applicants and accepted 2,649 applicants
  • Johns Hopkins had 20,614 applicants and accepted 3,465 applicants
  • UNC at Chapel Hill had 30,815 applicants and accepted 7,806 applicants

For a complete list of available acceptance rates, click here.


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Upgrades, Survey Results, IECA Conference, and Deactivating Accounts

We are so excited to dive into the new admissions season with independent consultants and wanted to highlight a few key things now that spring is here.

Upgrades Independent Consultants Asked For (and More)

Within the next few weeks, before the new admissions season officially starts, we'll unveil the following features, which include dozens of new elements:

- Customize your RoadMap so that you can control exactly how each client's information is presented.

- Enjoy a more intuitive user experience with our enhanced layout and recently updated algorithm.

- Get down with our completely re-designed website, which will be more modern and student-friendly.

Your Common App Survey Results

Here are the results of our survey regarding whether the Common App's new personal statement still allows students to write on any topic they wish:

71% = Yes, either because of the first prompt or all the prompts collectively

11% = Most likely

10% = Not sure

8% = No

These results are consistent with College Essay Organizer's position that the new essay prompts indeed allow students to write on a topic of their choice. If you have any question about this, please don't hesitate to contact us, as we are happy to explain the reasoning here.

Last Season's Student Accounts Will Be Deactivated Today

This is our reminder that all student accounts from last season will be deactivated today (whether accessed through CollegePlannerPro, MyCCA, or our site directly). Contact us if you need any info from a deactivated account. You can begin creating new accounts for this coming season immediately.

IECA Conference 

We hope to see you at the IECA Conference in Chicago this week, and invite you to visit our table and say hello. We will be answering all questions and providing private demonstrations as requested. Plus, one lucky member who stops by will win five FREE student accounts for this coming season!  

Thanks and hope to see or talk to all of you soon!

Dan Stern & the College Essay Organizer team

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Checklist for Juniors

Time is flying, and for juniors that means that the college admissions process is getting closer and closer. It's always good to check in and see if you're where you need to be. The New York Times Choice blog posted this calendar which lets juniors know if they're on track. Here are a few highlights:

  • Stay focused on your grades. Junior year is the last full year of grades that colleges will see, so it's important to finish the year on a high note.
  • Plan next year's classes and your standardized testing schedule. If you're leaning toward applying to any special programs, make sure that the classes you take in high school reflect your interests. Taking AP classes may be a great way to  demonstrate your strengths. Determine whether the colleges you'll be applying to require SAT IIs, and consider which test better suits you: the SAT or ACT.
  • Narrow down your college list. Continue to research and visit colleges in order to better pinpoint colleges that will be a good fit. Be sure to discuss your college list with your parents to make sure that you're all on the same page.
  • Choose your summer plans wisely. The summer before your senior year is an opportunity to dive into one of your passions, whatever that might be, and to ultimately allow colleges to better understand who you are. It can also provide an experience for a strong college essay. Create your College Essay Organizer account now to get an idea of what next year's essay questions will look like.
  • Relax and stay positive. If you're working on the above items, then you're ahead of the game. As long as you stay calm and focused, you may even enjoy the college admissions process.



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