Scores from the May 4th SAT will be available on the CollegeBoard website beginning Thursday, May 23rd. If your scores aren't as high as you had hoped, don't panic -- you have plenty of options with low SAT scores.
Also, keep in mind that all highly selective colleges have holistic admissions -- they evaluate the whole applicant, not just some numerical data. A winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities, demonstrated interest and good letters of recommendation can help make up for less-than-ideal test scores. Most important of all is a strong academic record with challenging courses.
That said, if your SAT scores are significantly below the norm for a selective college, your chances of getting accepted will be diminished. These SAT articles and comparison charts can help you figure out how you measure up to matriculated students at different colleges and universities:
- What's a Good SAT Score?
- SAT Subject Test Information
- SAT comparison charts for The Ivy League | Top Liberal Arts Colleges | Top Public Universities | Top Engineering Schools | Top Private Universities | Top Catholic Universities | University of California System | The Cal State System | The SUNY System | The Atlantic Coast Conference | The Southeastern Conference | The Big Ten | More Comparison Charts
- GPA, SAT and ACT graphs for admission to hundreds of colleges
- SAT scores for colleges in: Alabama | California | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Indiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Tennessee | Texas | Virginia | Washington | more states
- Colleges that Don't Require Test Scores
I recently published some ideas on how to spend your summer so that you impress college admissions officers and build your resume. For the flip side of the equation, here are 10 ways to waste your summer. You'll find some great advice for wearing out your couch cushions and damaging your skin at a young age.
If you're planning to attend a selective college, you shouldn't think of summer as a time to kick back and do nothing. Successful college applicants tend to do something productive during the summer. Come up with a plan that will challenge you, develop your skills, and contribute to your educational and career goals. Some great options include
- Work -- try to find a job that is intellectually challenging or develops your leadership skills
- Travel -- learn about different cultures and improve your language skills
- Classes -- get ahead in math or a language, or earn credit from a community college
- College Visits -- narrow down your options
A college degree is often touted as the ticket to a better job and a lifetime of financial security. At the same time, the college admissions process often seems to privilege those who are already privileged. Fortunately, students from underrepresented groups and students who are the first from their families to go to college have an advocate in a relatively new initiative, College Greenlight. Raul Alvarez at College Greenlight recently shared with me a list of scholarships specifically geared towards first-generation and underrepresented students. Be sure to check out the opportunities for college funds, and act quickly -- many of these scholarships expire soon: 26 Scholarships for First-Generation and Underrepresented Students.
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: 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
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 22 scholarships with June deadlines range in value from $200 to $25,000. Entry requirements vary from writing an analytical essay to making a prom outfit out of Duct Tape. Look through the options to see which scholarships match your interests.
More Scholarship Articles:
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
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.
With about 36,000 students, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is the second largest of the Cal State campuses, and the university has an enviable location just south of Los Angeles and near the Pacific Ocean. Students at CSULB have a huge range of academic options offered through the university's eight colleges.
Photo by Marisa Benjamin
University of Texas at Austin
Silly Jilly / Flickr
Some of the other schools on my list of the top 13 Texas colleges may be less familiar. The colleges on the list were chosen based on a variety of factors including academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, graduation rates, financial aid and student engagement.
If there's a Texas college that you'd like to see on the list, share your recommendation below.
More Top Picks by State: