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Date: Thursday, 29 May 2014 10:45

Many college applications, the Common Application included, give you a lot of freedom to choose your topic. This freedom, unfortunately, can lead to confusion and bad decision making. Can you write about sex or drugs? Is it okay to argue for or against abortion? Surely that trip to Central America is a good topic, right?

College admissions officers encounter certain bad essay topics over and over again. Granted, a really skillful writer can make pretty much any topic work, but college applicants would be wise to steer clear of these 10 bad essay topics.

Also be sure to check out these essay tips for the five new Common Application essay options.

Bad Essay Topics - 10 Essay Topics to Avoid originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 at 10:45:33.

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Date: Tuesday, 27 May 2014 15:54

If you're planning to take the popular June 7th SAT, the regular registration deadline has come and gone, but late registration is available until Wednesday, May 28th. The June exam is popular among high school juniors. Scores will be available online on June 26th. If you aren't happy with your scores, you have all summer to beef up your skills and then retake the exam in October. Register online here. You'll need to pay a $27.50 late registration fee on top of the regular exam fee.

To learn what SAT scores you're likely to need to get into some of the country's more selective colleges and universities, these articles can help:

Last Chance to Register for the June 7th SAT originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 15:54:52.

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Date: Friday, 23 May 2014 22:55
The colleges that require SAT subject tests are some of the most selective in the country. As a result, the students who take subject tests tend to be stronger than the much larger group of students taking the regular SAT. Average scores on subject tests are typically in the 600s, and colleges will often be looking for scores up in the 700s.

The articles below provide score information for some of the most popular SAT Subject Tests:

What's a Good SAT Subject Test Score? originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 22:55:46.

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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:04

New England has some of the most prestigious, selective and historic colleges and universities in the country. To see if your grades and standardized test scores are on target for some of the region's top schools, check out these graphs of GPA, SAT and ACT score data for admitted, rejected, and waitlisted students: Amherst | Babson | Bates | Bentley | Boston College | Bowdoin | Brandeis | Brown | Coast Guard | Colby | Connecticut | Dartmouth | Harvard | Holy Cross | MIT | Middlebury | Olin | RISD | Smith | Trinity | Tufts | Wellesley | Wesleyan | Williams | Yale

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Top New England Colleges originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 15:04:14.

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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:42

If you want to get into a top public university such as Berkeley or UNC Chapel Hill, you're going to need good grades and strong standardized test scores. Realize that these prestigious universities do not have a cut-off for grades, ACT scores, or SAT scores. Highly selective universities have holistic admissions, so the admissions officers will be looking at more than empirical data. Challenging courses, a winning essay, and interesting extracurricular activities also play an important role. In many cases, letters of recommendation, a strong interview, and your demonstrated interest can also improve your chances.

That said, the numbers do matter, and higher is better. These graphs show GPA, SAT score and ACT score data for accepted and rejected students at ten of the country's top-ranked public universities: Berkeley | Chapel Hill | Georgia Tech | Illinois | Michigan | UCLA | UCSD | Virginia | William & Mary | Wisconsin

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Top Public Universities originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 13:42:52.

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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:45

If your heart is set on getting into one of the country's top-ranked liberal arts colleges, realize that you're going to need good grades and standardized test scores. Also keep in mind that admissions are holistic, so a winning essay, glowing letters of recommendation, interesting extracurricular activities, and challenging courses are all important factors in the admissions equation. In some cases an impressive interview and clear demonstrated interest can also help.

When it comes to the more empirical information on your application, these graphs of GPA and test score data for accepted and rejected students can help you see where you stand: Amherst | Carleton | Grinnell | Haverford | Middlebury | Pomona | Swarthmore | Wellesley | Wesleyan | Williams | more schools

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Top Liberal Arts Colleges originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 12:45:42.

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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 11:35

The eight Ivy League schools are among the most selective colleges in the country. This doesn't mean that you need a 4.0 gpa and 2400 on the SAT to get in (although it doesn't hurt). All the Ivy League schools have holistic admissions, so they are looking for students who will contribute more than good grades and test scores to the campus community. A winning Ivy League application needs to present a strong academic record, meaningful extracurricular activities, glowing letters of recommendation, and a compelling application essay. Your college interview and demonstrated interest may also help, and legacy status can give you an advantage.

When it comes to the empirical part of your application, you will need good grades and test scores to get accepted to an Ivy League school. But how high do those numbers need to be? Check out these GPA and test score graphs for applicants to each of the Ivy League schools: Brown | Columbia | Cornell | Dartmouth | Harvard | Penn | Princeton | Yale

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for the Ivy League originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 11:35:19.

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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:54

If you took the popular May 3rd SAT, your scores should be available on the CollegeBoard website as of this morning. If your scores aren't what you hoped for, don't lose sight of the fact that they are just one part of your college application. The admissions officers at selective colleges will also be looking for a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and glowing letters of recommendation. Most important of all is a strong academic record in challenging courses.

To see how your scores measure up with matriculated students at various colleges, check out the SAT comparison charts below:

And if you need to get your scores up to be competitive at your top choice schools, check out the SAT test prep options from Kaplan.

May 3rd SAT Scores Now Available! originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 06:54:02.

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Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:17

Some colleges and universities send out a lot of rejection letters every spring. You can probably guess that Harvard and Stanford are on the list. Some of the other schools may surprise you. This list presents admissions data for the country's 20 most selective colleges. All have acceptance rates below 17%, and a many are below 10%. You'll find a mix of small colleges and large universities.

Princeton University
Princeton University
Photo by _Gene_ / Flickr

I've included just those colleges that have an enrollment of over 200 students, and I have not included places with an audition- or portfolio-based application process (although it's worth noting that Juilliard is more selective than most members of the Ivy League).

More Top Colleges and Universities:

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Date: Monday, 19 May 2014 19:19

College graduates with engineering degrees are some of the most sought after by employers, and they bring home some of the biggest paychecks among bachelor degree holders. And more good news: engineers will find that there are lots of scholarship dollars available to help support their college educations. To see some of the opportunities, check out this list of college scholarships for engineering students.

College Scholarships for Engineering Students originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Monday, May 19th, 2014 at 19:19:00.

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Date: Monday, 19 May 2014 09:28

If you took the popular May 3rd SAT, your scores should be available on the CollegeBoard website this Thursday, May 22nd. If your scores aren't what you hoped for, don't lose sight of the fact that they are just one part of your college application. The admissions officers at selective colleges will also be looking for a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and glowing letters of recommendation. Most important of all is a strong academic record in challenging courses.

To see how your scores measure up with matriculated students at various colleges, check out the SAT comparison charts below:

And if you need to get your scores up to be competitive at your top choice schools, check out the SAT test prep options from Kaplan.

May 3rd SAT Scores Available Thursday! originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Monday, May 19th, 2014 at 09:28:02.

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Date: Saturday, 17 May 2014 17:15

FGCU didn't make our list of top colleges for beach lovers, but that's only because the university's beautiful white sand beach is on a lake, not the ocean. If you love sun, sand and water, Florida Gulf Coast University could be a great choice. It's also a great place for nature lovers -- the large campus includes many ponds and wetlands, and a solar array and environmentally friendly buildings all work towards the school's sustainability efforts.

Beach at FGCU
Beach at FGCU
Photo by Amy Jacobson
Professional fields such as business, education, nursing, and criminal justice are all popular at FGCU, and the university has been growing rapidly since it first opened its doors in 1997.

To learn more about this young but impressive university in Fort Myers, Florida, explore the campus in this FGCU Photo Tour.

Photo Tour of Florida Gulf Coast University originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 17:15:42.

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Date: Saturday, 17 May 2014 16:00
Harvard University is the most selective member of the Ivy League, and it is often considered the most prestigious university in the world. It also has an extremely attractive main campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Explore some of the sights in this Harvard photo tour.
Harvard University
Harvard University
David Paul Ohmer / Flickr

More College Photo Tours

Explore Harvard University in this Photo Tour originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 16:00:20.

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Date: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 09:13

With the cost of college continuing to outpace the growth of the economy, the number of students going to community college has gone up significantly in recent years. The logic is simple -- a student can save tens of thousands of dollars by spending two years in community college and then transferring to a four-year college. Indeed, there are many good reasons to go to community college, and community colleges make higher education accessible to millions of people who would otherwise have difficulty furthering their educations.

However, you need to be deliberate and careful if you plan to transfer from community college to a four-year college. If all of your credits don't transfer or if you've chosen community college classes that don't fulfill major requirements at the four-year college, you may find that you need more than four years to complete your bachelor's degree. If this happens, your cost savings suddenly disappear.

To learn more, be sure to read the article on the possible hidden costs of community college. If you've had a frustrating experience transferring from a community college to a four-year school, please share your experiences with other readers.

The Hidden Costs of Community College originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 at 09:13:30.

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Date: Monday, 12 May 2014 21:19
Georgia's top colleges and universities represent a wide range of public, private, large, small, and specialized schools. My list of the top 12 Georgia colleges includes an engineering school, an art school, four single-sex colleges, and a college with a strong religious affiliation.
University of Georgia
University of Georgia
hyku / Flickr
You can probably guess that Emory, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia are on the list. Some of the other selections may be less familiar. The schools on the list were chosen based on a variety of factors such as academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, financial aid and student engagement. Check out the list to see who made the cut.

To get a partial idea of what it takes to get into these top Georgia colleges, I've created side-by-side comparison charts of the ACT scores and SAT scores of matriculated students.

Is there another Georgia college that you think deserves a spot on the list? If so, share your recommendation below.

More Top Picks by State:

Top Georgia Colleges and Universities originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 21:19:41.

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Date: Friday, 09 May 2014 06:30

Some college scholarships pay much more than others. For some meaningful cash, check out this list of 54 big-money scholarships. Each has awards of $10,000 or more.

Also, be sure to look at my list of scholarships with June deadlines. You'll want to act quickly to have a chance at winning the cash for college.

54 Scholarships Worth $10,000 or More originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Friday, May 9th, 2014 at 06:30:55.

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Date: Tuesday, 06 May 2014 09:39

Advanced Placement exams take place over the next two weeks. Check out the AP schedule on the College Board website to see when a particular exam is being administered.

AP Textbooks
AP Textbooks
Amanda Munoz / Flickr

If you're taking AP exams this year, you may be wondering what score you'll need to impress college admissions officers and earn college credit. The College Board states that students with a score of 3 are "qualified" to earn college credit and students who get a 2 are "possibly qualified." The reality of what scores colleges will accept is much less generous. To learn more, check out this overview of AP scores as well as these articles on specific AP topics: Biology | Calculus AB | Calculus BC | Chemistry | English Language | English Literature | European History | Physics B | Psychology | Spanish Language | Statistics | U.S. Government | U.S. History | World History

What AP Score Do You Need? originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 09:39:44.

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Date: Monday, 05 May 2014 23:32

The NACAC College Openings Update for 2014 (formerly known as the Space Availability Survey) just went live, and 285 colleges and universities are reporting that they still have spaces available for qualified applicants. So if you received a stack of waitlist or rejection letters, or you're not happy with your options, realize that a lot of colleges are still looking for a few good students. The list is quite a bit longer than it was in 2013, in part because the number of graduating high school students decreased this year. See the full list of colleges on the NACAC website.

Don't conclude that only second-rate schools will still be looking for students at this late date. While it is true that you won't find Harvard, Berkeley or Williams on the list, there are many excellent colleges that will still welcome new applications for the fall. The reasons can be many: the applicant pool may have been too small or of low quality; the yield may have been lower than predicted; or the school may simply wish to keep the doors open in case an outstanding applicant comes along.

I found some of my favorite colleges on the list. Be sure to check out NACAC's complete list, but below is a sampling of my top picks. Click the school's name to learn more about the school and see admissions data:

Rejected? Waitlisted? Transferring? These 285 Colleges Still Have Spaces originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 23:32:02.

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Date: Sunday, 04 May 2014 14:15

From giant Ohio State to little Kenyon College, Ohio has some great private universities, public universities, and liberal arts colleges. The schools on my list of the top Ohio colleges and universities were chosen for a variety of factors including academic strengths, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, financial aid and student engagement.

The College of Wooster
The College of Wooster
JesseLegg / Flickr

Rankings are far from an objective science, and many less selective and prestigious schools are also excellent. Is there a college or university that you think should be on the list of top Ohio colleges? If so, make your recommendation below.

Compare top Ohio colleges and universities: SAT scores | ACT scores

Top Ohio Colleges and Universities originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Sunday, May 4th, 2014 at 14:15:45.

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Date: Sunday, 04 May 2014 13:14

Rising high school juniors have an important year coming up. Junior year is the last for which colleges will see a year's worth of grades, and ideally those grades will be as good as (if not better than) freshman or sophomore year. Your application will look best if your grades are trending upwards, not down.

Junior year is also a time for advanced placement courses, the PSAT, a first run at the SAT or ACT, and deeper involvement in extracurricular activities. It will be early in senior year when you apply to college, so you can't put off strengthening your credentials until your final year of high school.

These 10 tips for junior year college preparation can help keep you on track as you gear up for college applications.

More College Preparation Articles

Junior Year College Preparation originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Sunday, May 4th, 2014 at 13:14:42.

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