finding the right college

Determine Your Match Schools

Match schools make great choices because you'll be among peers who have academic abilities that are similar to your own. A match school is a college or university that is more than likely to admit the applicant as a student. The reason for this is because grades, along with ACT or SAT test scores, are similar to average students at the school. When applying to undergraduate institutions, it's important to choose schools wisely.  

Is the school a match for you? 
If you know your high school GPA, and you've taken either the ACT or SAT, it's simple to figure out if your GPA and ACT or SAT test scores are average for a specific school. There’s two ways for finding out this information:
Find schools that interest you and go to the admissions department page on their website. ACT and SAT data for matriculated students is usually posted. For most schools, the posted information represents the 25th and 75th percentile of students who enrolled. If your ACT or SAT scores are above the 25th percentile number, you're a possible match for the school. Though, the ultimate goal is to be at the middle 50th percentile. If you cannot find the data on the school’s website then give the admissions office a phone call. It doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and ask! 

View a sample student body profile (Princeton University).

Your match school choices
You must understand that there is no guarantee of admission. Perhaps, many students with grades and ACT or SAT test scores similar to yours were offered a spot to attend next year. It’s very likely that students with comparable portfolios to yours were not admitted. This is a good reason to apply to safety schools. Try to have a few of these because it can be a shock to find out the spring of senior year that you've received nothing.

Top reasons for why you may not have been admitted to a match school:
•    The application was incomplete or had careless errors. 
•    You failed to show your interest in the school. 
•    The college has a holistic admissions process. Meaning, your essay or extracurricular activities weren't as impressive as other students.
•    You may have been knocked out by applicants who applied early action or early decision. 
•    Your letters of recommendation contradicted or drew suspicion compared to the rest of your application. 
•    The school wasn't able to meet family financial needs.
•    Many schools believe that a diverse student body benefits the campus environment.

Contact us if you need help determining your match schools.

6 Tips for College Visits

College visits are extremely important. The summer is a great time to schedule college visits. Finding the right fit can't be found by browsing school websites. You can't get the "feel" of a school without visiting the campus. You'll be spending a few years of your life there and thousands of dollars as well. Here are 6 tips to ensure your college visit is successful:

1. Dine in the food hall - Is the food good? Are there healthy choices? Most admissions representatives will give prospective students tickets for free meals in the dining halls.

2. Read campus bulletin boards - Please spend a few minutes reading the bulletin boards. These boards provide an easy way to see what the campus events are. 

3. Check things out on your own - The tour guide will show you the school's top highlights. Do yourself a favor and walk around for a bit. Try to get the complete picture of campus life and how it all comes together.

4. Schedule a meeting with a professor - You can see if the department's interests match your own. Be sure to ask about graduation requirements, research and internship opportunities, and average class size.

5. Spend the night - Many schools offer overnights, and nothing will give you a better sense of dorm life than spending the night. Your host can share all sorts of information. You'll also get a chance to ask questions to other students.

6. Chat with current students - Look for other students on campus and try to ask a few questions. These random conversations can provide insight about campus life that isn't included on the official tour. 

Make sure you're prepared for college by taking a college readiness class!