Admissions, Apply to College, Money, Resources

How Do Colleges that Allow Self-Reported Test Scores Help Me?

No Comments 08 December 2017

Applying for colleges gets expensive. It’s not even really large fees that do it, it’s the nickel-and-diming that goes on. There’s the $25 for this application, the $30 for this application here, the gas cost to visit schools… It adds up. There’s one less cost you’ll have to worry about, though, because the number of colleges allowing you to self-report your test scores is increasing!

So, let’s break down what that means. When you take your ACT or SAT, you have a limited number of colleges that they’ll send your results out to, and you have to indicate them within so many days for each test. After that time period has passed, it can cost up to $13 dollars each time you want to send your scores to a college, depending on whether you go through The College Board or ACT. Most colleges currently require that you send official transcripts when submitting your application, and that’s just for consideration. That means that if you apply to six or eight schools, you can end up dishing out almost a full $100 just to be considered. That may not be an option for you, and you shouldn’t be hindered in the application process just because you can’t afford to send test scores to every school you want to apply to.

All of these fees can really add up, and self-reporting helps reduce that!

This is where self-reporting comes in. Institutions, like Colby College, have been allowing students to self-report scores since last year, and it works like this: when you fill out your application, you mark your ACT or SAT score yourself. They’ll consider you based on the information you’ve provided, and, once you’re accepted, and have chosen that college in return, only then will you be required to send over the official transcripts. The first year of self-reported test scores for colleges reportedly went exceedingly well — the concerns about honesty regarding test scores were proven to be totally unfounded. Every student had reported their scores accurately. This opens up more doors for students who come from low-income families, and the trend is catching! 

The University of Washington is the latest addition to the list of over 25 colleges now accepting self-reported test scores, and we at College Greenlight are over the moon about this gap-bridging process! Check out the current list of colleges accepting self-reported test scores in the nifty table below. An ever-growing list of schools participating in this movement is available in this Google Doc maintained by Gabrielle McColgan, the Director of College Counseling at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. We hope more and more institutions are added, effectively opening up more options for you!

Keep in mind that some colleges also allow counselors to report scores to colleges as part of an unofficial process to help low-income students, and a complete list of those institutions is available here. It’s constantly updated by the Princeton Review, so check back periodically. Importantly, never hesitate to call the school you’re interested in applying to and ask how they can make applying affordable! Listed below is just a taste of the colleges you’ll find on the full document, so check out all of your options!

 

InstitutionWebsite
Amherst Collegehttps://www.amherst.edu/admission/apply/firstyear/testing
Augustana Collegehttps://augustana.net/x65310.xml
Babson Collegehttp://www.babson.edu/admission/undergraduate/applying-to-babson/Pages/standardized-testing.aspx
Baylor Universityhttps://www.baylor.edu/admissions/index.php?id=872011
Birmingham-Southern Collegehttps://www.bsc.edu/admission/apply.html
Bowdoin Collegehttp://www.bowdoin.edu/admissions/apply/testing-policy.shtml
Carroll Collegehttps://www.carroll.edu/admission-aid/apply
Catawba Collegehttp://catawba.edu/news-events/news/college-news/catawba-college-announces-enhanced-initiatives-assist-applicants/
Champlain Collegehttps://www.champlain.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/how-to-apply-undergraduate/first-year-applicants
Colby Collegehttps://www.colby.edu/admission/apply/first-year/
Colgate Universityhttp://www.colgate.edu/admission-financial-aid/apply/first-year-applicant-checklist
Colorado Collegehttps://www.coloradocollege.edu/admission/application/instructions/
Columbia Universityhttps://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/apply/first-year/testing
Dickinson Collegehttp://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/279/apply
Florida State Universityhttp://admissions.fsu.edu/counselors/
Georgia Techhttp://admission.gatech.edu/freshman/standardized-tests
Hampden-Sydney College (VA)http://www.hsc.edu/admissions-and-financial-aid/apply
Harvey Mudd Collegehttps://www.hmc.edu/admission/2017/11/07/harvey-mudd-now-accepting-self-reported-test-scores/
Illinois State Universityhttp://admissions.illinoisstate.edu/counselors/hs/requirements.php
Iowa State Universityhttps://www.admissions.iastate.edu/apply/faq.php
Johns Hopkins Universityhttps://apply.jhu.edu/standardized-test-information/
Kansas State Universityhttp://www.k-state.edu/undergradadmit/qualified_admissions_and_regulations/self_reporting.html
Kenyon Collegehttp://www.kenyon.edu/admissions-aid/how-to-apply/required-submission-of-standardized-testing-score-choice/
Lawrence Universityhttp://www.lawrence.edu/admissions/apply/what_we_consider
New York Institute of Technologyhttps://nyit.edu/admissions/first_year
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineeringhttp://www.olin.edu/admission/apply/process-requirements/
Pomona Collegehttps://www.pomona.edu/admissions/alerts
Saint Anselm Collegehttps://www.anselm.edu/how-apply/first-year-applicants
Southwestern Universityhttp://www.southwestern.edu/live/news/9766-application-faqs
Stanford Universityhttps://admission.stanford.edu/apply/freshman/testing.html
Stevenson Universityhttp://www.stevenson.edu/admissions-aid/admission-requirements/admissions-testing-guidelines.html
Swarthmore Collegehttps://www.swarthmore.edu/admissions-aid/standardized-testing-policy
Texas Christian Universityhttps://admissions.tcu.edu/apply/testing-policy/
University of Hawaii at Manoahttp://manoa.hawaii.edu/admissions/freshman.html
University of Chicagohttps://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/apply/application/standardizedtesting
University of Iowahttps://now.uiowa.edu/2012/07/ui-applicants-will-now-self-report
University of Kansashttps://admissions.ku.edu/freshman-requirements-deadlines/applying-to-ku
University of Northern Iowahttps://admissions.uni.edu/undergraduate-admissions-checklist
Washington University at St. Louishttps://admissions.wustl.edu/apply_site/Pages/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx
Williams Collegehttps://admission.williams.edu/apply/
Worcester Polytechnic Institutehttps://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/apply/how-to/self-reported-test-scores

 

Apply to College, Find the Right College, Resources, Study, Volunteer

How to Utilize Your Spring Break

No Comments 13 March 2017

It’s never too early to start preparing for college. Spring break is great time to get ahead of the game. Between your Netflix marathons and beach trips, here are some tips for preparing for college during any grade.

Build a College List

Take some time to think about what you want from your college experience. What size campus do you want? What do you think you want to study? How far from home do you want to be?

Once you’ve answered these questions, research colleges that fit your requirements. From there, you can start to build your college list. Make sure your college list includes a variety of safety, match and reach schools.

Make Time for Extracurriculars

Utilize this free time to make your college application stand out. Reach out to a professional in your desired career path and shadow them for a day. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen. Grades and test scores are important, but colleges want to see who you are beyond those criteria. Show your dream college why you’d be a great fit in their community.

Practice for the ACT or SAT

Complete a few practice questions every day of spring break. Review some geometry concepts. Spend a little more time reading. The earlier you begin preparing for the test, the better you will likely perform on the test. Whether you’re about to take the test for the first, second or third time, any bit of preparation helps.

Look into Scholarships

It is never too early to start looking start thinking about money for college. Make sure your College Greenlight profile is up-to-date so we can match you to scholarships you are eligible for. We always are updating our scholarship database, so check in weekly to see what’s new on your list. Get creative with your scholarship search as well. Reach out to local businesses, your place of worship or leaders in your community to see if they are aware of any local scholarship opportunities

Pick Next Year’s Classes

Your high school courses should be selected with a bit of strategy. Aside from your required classes, think about what classes will best serve you in the future. Experiment with different subject matter to see if you can a course you’d be passionate about to study in college. If you are eligible, see where you can fit in a college credit or AP class.

Apply to College, Diversity, First Generation Students, Resources

College Application Tips for First-Generation Students

No Comments 01 February 2017

Resources for first-generation college students are abundant — you just need to know where to look. Here are a few tips to help you get started on the college-application process.

Attend Fly-In Programs and College Fairs

It’s vital to know about a college before you apply. Seeing a campus in person is drastically different than experiencing it behind a computer screen.

Traveling to a college for a campus visit can get expensive, so some colleges offer fly-in programs to curb costs for prospective students. These programs cover transportation and allow you to see the school for yourself.

If a fly-in program is out of the question, attending a local college fair is a great alternative. Although you won’t be able to experience a college in-person, this gives you the opportunity to talk to a representative from that institution.

Research

If you have questions related to the college-application process, don’t be afraid to Google. Look up any terms on an application that you are unfamiliar with.

If you need further assistance, email or call an admission counselor. They can break down application requirements and financial aid into easy-to-follow steps. Once you have narrowed down your college list, search for “first-generation students” on a college’s website to see what resources are available.

Sign Up for a Summer Program

A summer program is the best way to learn about a college’s culture and curriculum. First-generation students can feel out of place at college. Attending a summer program can ease the transition to college and ensure students are up for the challenge of college courses. Not every summer program provides financial aid to its participants, so take a look at this list of programs that do.

Ask For Help

Although your parents may not be able to guide you through this process, you don’t have to go through it alone. Share your goals with your family. They can offer emotional support and assist you in finding another family member, friend or organization that can to provide you with financial support or answer questions. Organizations like I’m First guide first-generation college students through this process.

Apply to College, Greenlight Scholars, Resources

Common Application Mistakes for First Generation Students

No Comments 31 January 2017

First-generation students are college applicants who are the first in their families to attend college. These students often go through the college application process by themselves.

Here are some mistakes first-generation students should avoid:

Going Through the College Application Process Without Any Guidance

You need a mentor. Find someone you trust and look up to. It can be a teacher, guidance counselor or club organizer with experience in the college application process. Ask your mentor any questions you might have, whether it’s about financial-related matters or editing your application essay.

Skipping Optional Application Sections

The Common Application has an additional information section that first-generation students could utilize to write an essay sharing their situation. This essay can demonstrate what college means to you, given your background. If you skip this essay, you could miss an opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants.

Applying to One College

First-generation students often make the mistake of applying to a single college to save on application fees. In order to find the best fit and explore all your options, you need to apply to multiple colleges. Don’t be afraid to request a fee waiver — colleges typically waive application fees for low-income students.

If you have already taken the SAT, you will be eligible to receive four free college application waivers. You can contact a college to see if you qualify for a waiver.

Greenlight Scholarships Application

The Greenlight Scholars Application is a great option for applying to college. It is a free and streamlined application that allows you to apply to multiple colleges at once. This application was designed with first-generation and low-income students in mind. It allows students to share a more complete picture of their academic record, skills and experiences.

The Greenlight Scholars Application levels the playing field for students who are at a disadvantage during the college application process.

Apply to College, Resources

Resources for Low-Income Students Applying to College

No Comments 26 January 2017

For low-income students, the cost of higher education could stop their journey to college before it begins. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to widen college accessibility for low-income students.

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant does not need to be repaid and is free money for college. You apply for the Pell Grant by filling out the FAFSA. The financial need listed on your FAFSA dictates how much money you will receive through the Pell Grant. Keep in mind, there is a maximum Pell Grant amount, and it can vary from year to year.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs allow students to earn cash at part-time jobs on or off campus. All you need to do to apply is check a box on the FAFSA. About 3,400 colleges participate in work-study programs. Talk to the financial aid offices at the colleges you’re applying to and check if they participate.

Net-Price Calculator

Sticker shock is a common problem for low-income students applying to college. Instead of being scared away from college, use a net-price calculator to make a more informed decision.

The net price is determined by estimating the total cost of college — including tuition, books, room and board — and subtracting the average amount of student aid. Colleges are required to post a net-price calculator on their website. Utilize this tool when deciding where to apply.

Scholarships

Take a look at College Greenlight and fill out a profile to create a scholarship match list. Be sure to provide lots of information so you can be matched with as many scholarships as possible.  There is no limit to how many you can apply for as long as you meet eligibility requirements.

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