Best wishes to the thousands of prospective college students who are taking the SAT on Saturday, December 7th. Scores for the exam will be available online on December 23rd. If you don't feel that your performance was as strong as you had hoped, don't worry too much. All of the country's most selective colleges and universities have holistic admissions; that is, they look at the whole applicant, not just numerical data. A strong academic record, a winning essay, good letters of recommendation and interesting extracurricular involvement can help compensate for less-than-ideal SAT scores.
Also remember that more and more colleges are going test-optional -- there are now over 850 4-year colleges and universities that do not require SAT or ACT scores. The test-optional schools include some excellent choices: Bowdoin, Holy Cross, Mount Holyoke, Pitzer, Wake Forest, DePaul and many others.
More SAT Information
- SAT Scores for the Ivy League
- SAT Scores for Top Liberal Arts Colleges
- SAT scores for top colleges in: California | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Indiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Texas | Virginia | Washington
- SAT Scores for Top Engineering Schools
- What's a Good SAT Score?
- Should You Use SAT Score Choice?
- SAT Subject Test Information
With an acceptance rate around 7% and an attractive campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, Columbia University stands as one of the country's most selective and most prestigious universities. Columbia is one of the eight members of the Ivy League, and the campus features stunning Italian Renaissance style buildings designed over 100 years ago by the highly regarded McKim, Mead and White architectural firm. Adjoining the Columbia campus is Barnard College, Columbia's sister college and one of the top women's colleges in the country.
Photo Credit: Allen Grove
Is middle school too early to be thinking about college? To a large extent, yes. Colleges will not look at grades or activities from before 9th grade. No one -- parents or students -- should be losing sleep over college during those middle school years, and parents shouldn't be placing lots of college pressures on middle school kids.
That said, a thoughtful and common sense approach to middle school can help a student achieve success once high school rolls around. Here are seven middle school tips to help a student get a strong start to high school.
More College Preparation Articles
Eric Furda, Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, announced that the prestigious Ivy League institution received a record number of early decision applications for the class of 2018. Despite problems with the new Common Application, Penn received 5,133 applications. That's a 6.6% increase over the 4,817 applications the university received last year.
If you're one of the thousands of students who applied early, you can expect your admission decision at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 16th. If you're admitted, you'll need to reply to the offer within three weeks. In recent years, the admit rate for early decision applicants has been roughly twice that of the overall applicant pool.Read more in the The Daily Pennsylvanian: Penn Admissions sees new high in ED applicants
If you love skiing recreationally or competitively, check out these 18 great colleges for skiing. The schools on the list represent a wide range of options from small liberal arts colleges to large public universities. All, however, provide students with easy access to the slopes, and some even have their own downhill facilities.
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These 35 scholarships range in value from $50 to $100,000, but all expire in December. This time of year it's easy to be more focused on the holidays and your college applications than scholarship applications. Don't lose sight of the billions of scholarship dollars that are available if you take the time to apply. You'll limit your options for financial support if you wait until the new year to start looking -- act now and check out the list of scholarships expiring in December.
Auburn University Football
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This Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, the #4 ranked Auburn University Tigers will take on the reigning champions, the #1 ranked University of Alabama Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl. These fierce rivals both compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference.
I'll leave the game analysis to people like Tim Hyland who are much more knowledgeable than I am. Here we'll look at how these two large public universities measure up on the admissions front. Both universities have over 25,000 students, and both have chapters of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society for their strong liberal arts and sciences programs. Costs and test scores are compared below:
- Percentage of applicants accepted: 77%
- Middle 50% SAT Reading: 530 / 630
- Middle 50% SAT Math: 550 / 650
- Middle 50% ACT Composite: 24 / 30
- Total Cost (In-State): $22,788
- Total Cost (Out-of-State): $39,532
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 38%
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 68%
- GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Auburn Admissions
- Percentage of applicants accepted: 53%
- Middle 50% SAT Math: 500 / 620
- Middle 50% SAT Reading: 500 / 640
- Middle 50% ACT Composite: 22 / 30
- Total Cost (In-State): $26,717
- Total Cost (Out-of-State): $40,467
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 38%
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 66%
- GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Alabama Admissions
As the numbers show, the universities are worthy competitors. The schools have similar graduation rates. Auburn, despite it's higher acceptance rate, has a slightly stronger student profile as measured by GPA and standardized test scores. Auburn is also a little less expensive and does better on the financial aid front with more grant aid and less student debt. So on the admissions front, I'd have to give the Tigers a slight edge over the Tide. On the football front, I'd put my money on Alabama, but this should be a closer game than many that Alabama has played this season.
During my tour of colleges in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, Towson University was a pleasant surprise.
Photo Credit: Allen Grove
Towson University offers over 100 degree programs, and the school wins high marks for its value, safety, and green efforts. Professional fields such as business, education, nursing, and communications are particularly popular. Student life is active, and the Towson Tigers compete in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association.
To see some of the sights and learn more about Towson University, check out these articles:
Although the regular registration deadline passed us by a couple weeks ago, students can still register late for the December 14th ACT. Simply go to the ACT registration website by the end of the day today, November 25th, and sign up for the exam. You'll need to pay the normal $36.50 fee ($52.50 for ACT Plus Writing) as well as a $23 late registration fee.
The December ACT isn't as popular as the September or October exams, but seniors will get their scores in time for some regular admission deadlines. And for the ambitious juniors who are taking the exam, you'll have plenty of time to beef up your skills and retake the exam if you aren't happy with your scores.
The regular registration deadline for the December 7th SAT has come and gone, but students can still register late until the end of the day today, Monday, November 25th. Late registration requires a $27.50 late fee on top of the regular $51 cost for the exam. Register for the exam here on the College Board website.
To learn what scores you might need to get into various selective colleges, these articles can help guide you: