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Date: Monday, 21 Apr 2014 14:28

For those of you who took the ACT on April 12th, scores should now be available on the ACT website. If you took the ACT Plus Writing, you can expect the score on the writing section to appear about two weeks later. (Each essay gets evaluated by two trained readers, so essay scoring is a much more time-intensive process than the multiple choice section.)

If you find that you are unhappy with your scores, don't panic. There are now about 850 test-optional colleges, and even at schools that require the SAT or ACT, the exam is just one part of the application. Most selective colleges have holistic admissions, so the admissions folks will also be looking for a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities, demonstration of your interest, and good letters of recommendation. Most important of all is a strong academic record.

If you're wondering what your ACT numbers mean, read this overview of ACT scores. To see how your scores measure up to the middle 50% of matriculated students at different colleges, check out these comparison charts:

ACT Scores from the April 12th Exam Now Available! originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Monday, April 21st, 2014 at 14:28:04.

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Date: Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 10:20

From tiny liberal arts colleges to large state universities, Virginia has some excellent options for higher education. Nearly all of the state's best schools have holistic admissions, so the admissions folks will be looking for more than good grades and standardized test scores. Challenging high school courses, a well written essay, interesting extracurricular activities and positive letters of recommendation are all important pieces of the admissions equation.

That said, the empirical part of your application is still remarkably important. To see if you numbers are in line for Virginia's top colleges and universities, check out these graphs of GPA, SAT and ACT data for accepted, waitlisted, and rejected students: Christopher Newport University | College of William & Mary | George Mason University | Hampden-Sydney College | Hollins University | James Madison University | Longwood University | Randolph College | Randolph-Macon College | Roanoke College | Sweet Briar College | University of Mary Washington | University of Richmond | University of Virginia | Virginia Military Institute | Virginia Tech | Washington and Lee University

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Top Virginia Colleges originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Sunday, April 20th, 2014 at 10:20:39.

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Date: Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 14:26

There's a lot more to Ohio State than exciting Division I football. The Ohio State University in Columbus made my list of the country's best public universities in the United States, and its Moritz College of Law and Fisher College of Business are both highly regarded. The Ohio State campus features historic buildings, attractive green spaces, state-of-the-art research facilities, impressive athletic facilities, and a new student union.

Ohio State
Ohio State
ksr8s / Flickr
To see some of the sights and learn more about this huge public university, check out this Ohio State photo tour.

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Explore The Ohio State University in This Photo Tour originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 14:26:07.

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Date: Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 11:10

The only thing harder than getting into a selective college is coming up with the money to pay for your education. Many of the country's most elite schools now have a total price tag around $60,000 a year.

June isn't a time when most students are thinking about applications. The majority of seniors are done with their college searches, and most juniors are still working on coming up with a short list of schools. But don't be complacent -- there are billions of dollars out there to help you fund your college education, but you can't win the money if you don't apply. These 23 scholarships with June deadlines range in value from $200 to $20,000. Entry requirements vary from being entrepreneurial to wanting to help pets. Look through the options to see which scholarships match your interests.

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23 Scholarships with June Deadlines originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 11:10:11.

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Date: Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 10:01

If you're planning to take the SAT on May 3rd, the regular registration deadline has come and gone, but late registration is available until Monday, April 21st. The May exam is popular among high school juniors. Scores will be available online on May 22nd. 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.

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 May 3rd SAT originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 10:01:52.

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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 19:22

During my tour of colleges and universities in Virginia and North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro was one of my favorite stops.

UNC Greensboro
UNC Greensboro
Photo by Allen Grove
UNCG has an attractive 210-acre campus that is both pedestrian and bicycle friendly. The university has a highly regarded business school, a healthy 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and a low sticker price. Student life is active with over 200 clubs and organizations and an NCAA Division I athletic program that competes in the Southern Conference. To see some of the sights and learn more about this excellent public university, check out this UNC Greensboro Photo Tour.

Related Articles:

University of North Carolina at Greensboro Photo Tour originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 19:22:34.

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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 12:18
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made my list of top public universities, and Northwestern is one of the country's top private universities. Some of the other schools on my list of the top 12 Illinois colleges may be less familiar. The colleges on the list were chosen based on a variety of factors including academic strengths, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value and student engagement.
Augustana College
Augustana College, Old Main
Photo Credit: Augustana College

If there's an Illinois college or university that isn't on the list that you think should be, share your recommendation below. I'm a strong believer that my own selection criteria may have little to do with the best school for your own values, academic interests, and professional goals.

More Midwest Top Picks:

Top Illinois Colleges and Universities originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 12:18:03.

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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 15:14
The interview is one of the few opportunities in the college admissions process for showing off your passions and personality, and it allows you to demonstrate your interest in a college. It also gives you a chance to learn more about a college. However, that wad of chewing gum or silent shrug of the shoulders can hurt your chances. Make sure the interview works in your favor by avoiding these 10 College Interview Mistakes.

Also be sure to master these 12 Common Interview Questions before you ever set foot in the interview room.

10 College Interview Mistakes originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at 15:14:41.

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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 11:30

North Carolina has some impressive options for higher education, and the admissions standards for places like Duke and UNC Chapel Hill can be daunting. Most top-ranking schools have holistic admissions, so the final admissions decision takes into consideration things like your extracurricular involvement and application essay.

That said, you're going to need high grades and strong test scores to get in. To see if you're on target for admission to some of North Carolina's top colleges, click on a school's name to view a graph with GPA, SAT score and ACT score data for accepted and rejected students: Appalachian State | Davidson | Duke | Elon | Guilford | High Point | Meredith | NC State | Salem | UNC Asheville | UNC Chapel Hill | UNC School of the Arts | UNC Wilmington | Wake Forest | Warren Wilson

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Top North Carolina Colleges originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at 11:30:25.

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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 08:35

New England is home to some of the most selective and prestigious colleges and universities in the world. My list of the 25 top New England colleges is filled with many familiar names -- Harvard, Yale, Williams, Amherst, and many others. A couple of the schools may be less familiar to readers. The colleges and universities on the list were chosen based on retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, student engagement, academic strengths, and financial aid.

Wellesley College
Wellesley College
Photo Credit: Allen Grove

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Top New England Colleges and Universities originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at 08:35:07.

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Date: Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 11:57

With May fast approaching, you seniors out there probably think that you're about done with the whole college admissions process. Fair enough, but keep in mind that scholarship deadlines continue to pass you by. There are thousands of organizations out there with money to award to deserving students, but you can't win the cash if you don't apply.

These 64 scholarships with May deadlines range in value from $100 to $50,000. Check them out to see if any match your interests and background.

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Act Quickly! 64 Scholarships with May Deadlines originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 11:57:15.

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Date: Saturday, 12 Apr 2014 11:57

There's so much hype surrounding a few of the country's most selective colleges that many applicants feel they need a 35 or 36 composite score on the ACT to get into a good college. The reality is quite different. If you're on track to graduate from high school and you've completed a core curriculum, you'll be able to find a good college that wants you. If you have high grades and strong extracurricular involvement, you'll find you have hundreds of excellent options even if your ACT scores aren't what you had hoped for.

For one, you can explore the roughly 850 colleges that do not require ACT or SAT scores. You can also browse through the college profiles to find interesting colleges where your ACT scores are within the range of many matriculated students. And, of course, strengths in other areas can help make up for less-than-ideal ACT scores. Learn more in this article on low ACT scores.

Low ACT Scores? What Now? originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at 11:57:27.

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Date: Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 17:13

Best wishes to the thousands of students taking the ACT on Saturday, April 12th. Scores from the exam will be available online on Monday, April 28th. If you're worried about the ACT, keep in mind that at many colleges a strong academic record, glowing letters of recommendation, a winning essay, and interesting extracurricular activities can help make up for a sub-par score.

Also keep in mind that about 850 colleges are now test-optional. The test-optional schools include some excellent choices: Bowdoin, Holy Cross, DePaul, Pitzer, Wake Forest, and many others.

More ACT Articles:

Good Luck on the April 12th ACT! originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 17:13:02.

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Date: Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 14:15

Stanford University had the most selective admissions process in the school's history.

Stanford University
Stanford University
matsuda.yukihiro / Flick
Of the 42,167 applicants vying for a spot in the class of 2018, just 2,138 were admitted. That's an acceptance rate of 5.07%, lower than the admit rate for any of the Ivy League schools (see Ivy League Admit Rates for the Class of 2018). See The Stanford Daily for more information.

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Stanford University Admits Just 5% of Applicant Pool originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 14:15:52.

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Date: Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 14:05

Most college decision letters have now been sent out, and, unfortunately, many students have found themselves the recipients of bad news -- the dreaded college rejection letter. The likelihood of a rejection letter is particularly high for some of the country's most selective colleges that have acceptance rates well below 20%. But is a rejection letter always the end of the road? Can an applicant ever appeal a college rejection?

In the majority of cases, no. A rejection letter means the game is over for that college for the current admissions cycle (down the road, transferring might be an option). However, some schools do allow appeals if a student has significant new information to present, or if the student knows of an administrative error that may have weakened the application. Read this article on appealing a rejection to learn more about legitimate grounds for an appeal. The article also has a list of circumstances that do not justify an appeal. Also be sure to check out this sample appeal letter.

If Rejected from a College, Can You Appeal? originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 14:05:47.

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Date: Monday, 07 Apr 2014 21:38

If you've been placed on a college waitlist, the general advice is pretty simple: if the school remains your top choice, let them know of your continued interest. If you have new data to strengthen your application, send it along. Be careful not to harass or pester the admissions office--too much effort can backfire.

However, perhaps the most important waitlist advice I can give is that you approach your waitlisted status realistically. Waitlists are an insurance police for colleges. If too few students accept their offers of admission, the school turns to the waitlist to fill the gaps. Sometimes there are no gaps and no students get off the waitlist. In nearly all cases, the waitlist is much, much larger than the number of students who are likely to get off the list. The Ivy League schools, for example, typically waitlist hundreds of students. In many cases, just one or two percent of them will actually get in.

So if you've been waitlisted, take the recommended steps to keep yourself in the game, but move forward with other plans. Don't postpone preparing for college waiting for news that, in reality, isn't likely to come.

Waitlist Articles:

Waitlisted? What Now? originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 21:38:46.

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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 07:16

Barnard College has a lot to be proud of. It's one of the top women's colleges in the country, and a highly ranked liberal arts college.

Barnard College
Barnard College
Photo Credit: Allen Grove
Barnard graduates a higher percentage of students in math and science than most liberal arts colleges, and the college was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences.

Barnard students have the added perk that Columbia University is right across the street, and the two schools share numerous resources. Barnard students have access to libraries that hold 10 million volumes and 140,000 subscriptions. They also compete in the Barnard / Columbia Consortium for athletics which makes Barnard the only women's college in the country to compete in the NCAA Division I.

To learn more about Barnard and see the campus buildings, check out this Barnard College photo tour.

Barnard College Photo Tour originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 at 07:16:16.

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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 06:38

My top picks for the Midwest encompass a wide range of colleges and universities -- private and public, urban and rural, large and small, secular and religious. The 30 colleges and universities on my list were chosen based on a range of factors including retention rates, graduation rates, student engagement, academic strengths, and financial aid.

Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo College
AaronEndre / Flickr

It will come as no surprise that schools like Notre Dame, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, Carleton and Grinnell made the list. Other schools may be less familiar. To see who made the cut, check out the 30 top Midwest colleges and universities. If there is a school that you think should have made the list, share your recommendation below.

More Top Picks

30 Top Midwest Colleges and Universities originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 06:38:59.

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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 10:46

With the May 1st deadline for picking a college coming up, now is the time to learn more about the schools that accepted you. An overnight visit is one of the best ways to gather information that you won't find on the college website or from your campus tour guide.

Berkeley Dorm Room
Berkeley Dorm Room
Prayitno / Flickr

To explain the benefits of an overnight visit, Smith College graduate Margaret Barthel put together this new article: 8 Reasons to Do a College Overnight Visit. Margaret is well qualified for the topic -- she was a campus tour guide and overnight host for Smith's Admissions Office.

8 Reasons to Do an Overnight College Visit originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 10:46:17.

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Date: Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 19:51

Who has most influenced you? Who is your hero? Who most helped make you who you are today? The questions sound easy enough, and there's a good chance your college interviewer will ask a question like these. As with all common interview questions, however, this one is worth a little thought and planning before you set foot in the interview room. Some influential people are better choices than others, and you want to be prepared with specific details that will allow you to bring your influential person to life for your interviewer. These interview tips on an influential person can help you think through this type of question.

Related Articles

"Who Has Most Influenced You?" - College Interview Tips originally appeared on About.com College Admissions: U.S. on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 19:51:45.

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