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.

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Colleges for Students with Average SAT Scores

No Comments 16 February 2017

High test scores are not the only way to get into college. Take a look at this list of colleges that accept students with SAT scores that range from 1,100 to 1,250.

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Average SAT score – 1,195

The University of Alabama provides an environment that allows its graduates to make a positive difference in their community. Degrees in more than 200 fields of study are offered to Alabama students. UA was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 46th best public university in the country.

University of California- Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Average SAT Score — 1,210

UC-Santa Cruz is a high-impact research university with a commitment to teaching and public service. Students can choose from 65 majors in the fields of arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences and the social sciences. Undergraduates can go on to pursue a degree from one of the 40 graduate programs.

Butler University


Average SAT Score – 1,240

Butler is focused on success for all its students. The university offers more than 65 major academic fields of study with a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. When students are not in the classroom, they can participate in more than 150 student organizations

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Mich.

Average SAT Score – 1,180

Michigan State is the nation’s first pioneer land-grant university. Its’ mission is to advance the common good in uncommon ways. Students can chose to pursue on of the 200 undergraduate, graduate or pre-professional study programs.

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

Average SAT Score – 1,165

Ohio University strives to be the top student-centered transformative learning community in the country. Along with 250 programs of study, students can immerse themselves in any of the almost 500 annually recognized student organizations that spark their interest.

University of New Hampshire

Durham, N.H.

Average SAT Score – 1,190

The university is New Hampshire’s sole public research university that provides top-notch undergraduate and graduate degree programs. By holding land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant charters, the University of New Hampshire is constantly pushing the boundary on continuing education.

Ripon College

Ripon, Wis.

Average SAT Score – 1,220

Ripon is dedicated to help its students pursue their passions, both inside and outside the classroom. Students are given the opportunity to choose from 31 majors, 42 minors or customize their own course plan. Ripon also provides financial aid to 100 percent of its students.

University of Massachusetts-Boston


Average SAT Score – 1,125

The University of Massachusetts-Boston is recognized for a model of excellence for urban public universities across the nation. The university does this by combining a small-college feel with the resources of a major university. Students choose from 82 undergraduate programs and can expect a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

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5 Ways to Use Summer to Help Get Into College

No Comments 17 May 2016

School’s almost out: do you know what you’ll be doing to prepare you to get into college when the time comes to apply?

While it’s important to take some well-deserved rest and enjoy the weather with friends and family, don’t forget that now is a great time to take advantage of some opportunities that will help get you started on your college search as well as beef-up those applications with activities that will set you apart from the rest.

Regardless of whether you’re a sophomore, freshman or even in middle school, as you make your plans consider taking part in these 5 ways to really get ahead this summer.


Want to explore an interest while also doing a little good for the world at the same time? Volunteering is a great way to get some hands-on experience while also helping out in your community.  If you have an idea of a particular career or area of study, try to find a volunteering program that will give you a feel for whether or not it’s something you want to continue to pursue in college.  For example, if you like children or are considering a career in education, volunteering at a summer camp or tutoring program will give you first-hand experience in the field.

Volunteering shows college admissions counselors dedication to your interests at the same time as a commitment to helping others.  This can also be an activity for anyone from the middle school level and beyond, but some places may have restrictions you should check into beforehand such as parental permission for younger students.

 Summer Jobs & Internships

Summer jobs can help you to earn money for school and get experience that shows admissions departments that you’re a motivated applicant.  If you can find a job in a field you’re interested in, you’ll get an awesome head start on your career path; if not, that’s okay, too! Regardless of the kind of summer job you find, you can potentially gain important skills like organization, dealing with customers, responsibility, and teamwork that can help you in a wide variety of careers.  Did we mention that you’ll be able to make money you can save for college, too?

Another option is to find an internship or job shadow. While internships are often unpaid, they usually allow a more in-depth look at a particular field or profession and are specifically meant for interns to gain job-related skills. A job shadow is similar to an internship, but usually it’s for a shorter term (like a day or two.)  You’ll follow a person around for their day and learn the ins and outs of their job.

Summer School

While this one may seem like a punishment for some, certain students can leverage this time to take classes that can boost their GPAs or allow them to explore subjects they don’t have time for during the normal school year. Students who take summer school also show colleges that they take their studies seriously, and seeing summer classes that were completed successfully on a transcript is often impressive.

Ask your counselor for the summer school options available at your school. If you find the choices don’t suit your needs or if your school doesn’t have summer classes available, you may be able to take classes at another school in your area or even a private school and still receive credit–but check to make sure this option is offered and is compatible with the credit system where you attend.

Summer Programs on College Campuses

If you’re looking to get a taste of the college experience while also visiting a school you may be interested in, check to see if they have any summer programming for prospective students on campus.  Usually, you’ll live in a dorm, sit in on a few classes, and get a tour of the campus.  Some programs include activities both on campus and off to allow you to get a feel of campus culture and the area where the college is located.  These are especially great programs to participate in if you find one at a college you really want to attend–many schools take note of who has participated and keep that in mind when reviewing applications.

Many of the deadlines for programs like these are quickly approaching, so those interested should start looking at applying now. Unfortunately, sometimes these programs cost money and not many have great scholarships offered.  The good news is College Greenlight has compiled a list of 2016 summer programs with generous financial aid to make it easier to find schools where programs like this are affordable.

Visiting Colleges

If you’re a student entering your senior year, the summer is a great time to take a road trip and visit colleges you may be interested in applying to in the fall.  This is one of those opportunities where starting your college search can actually be fun! Whether it’s while you’re on vacation with your family, or if it’s a road trip to check out campuses with your friends, you can check out the schools and also plan side trips along the way.  Before you go or begin planning, make sure to check out the College Greenlight blog post on how to take advantage of your visit for tips on setting up a time, what to do to prepare, and making the most of the tour.

Bonus for Rising Seniors: Don’t Forget The College Greenlight Summer Challenge!

One of the easiest things to do to start your college and scholarship search is to enter to win the College Greenlight Summer Challenge Scholarship. We are entering students to win one of two $500 scholarships if they add 10 colleges to their college list and 5 scholarships to their scholarship list before September 1.  Enter to win scholarships while also getting some important work finding colleges that are the right fit for you and ways to pay for it!

Find the Right College, Resources

College Fly-In & Diversity Programs for 2016

26 Comments 09 May 2016

One of the most important factors is in deciding if a college is right for you is whether or not you can picture yourself as a member of campus and for many students this means a campus visit.  If the college isn’t nearby, however, being able to make the visit might not be possible due to financial limitations.  The good news is that a number of institutions offer free fly-in programs, travel assistance scholarships, overnight programs, and diversity programming that comes at little or no cost to students accepted to their programs!

Below is our updated list of these fly-in, diversity, and other programs that are great opportunities for multicultural students.   While many of these programs have announced their dates for 2016, some colleges hold their events later in the year and these dates have yet to be announced.  Be sure to check back later in the summer for updates.

Do you know of any great programs that we missed? Feel free to share in the comments section so we can add it to our list.

College NameName of Fly-in or Diversity ProgramProgram DateApplication Deadline
Allegheny CollegeFall Into Allegheny Overnight ProgramNovember 6-7
Amherst CollegeAmherst College Diversity Open Houses (DIVOH)Saturday, September 24 – Monday, September 16

Saturday, October 15 – Monday, October 17
Deadline for 2016 has passed
Babson CollegeMulticultural Overnight Experience
Sunday, November 6, 2016 – Monday, November 7, 2016
noon EST on Friday, September 15, 2016
Barnard CollegeBarnard BoundOctober 8-10, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Bates CollegePrologue To BatesPrologue I: October 9-11, 2016
Prologue II: November 13-15, 2016
Prologue I: September 7, 2016
Prologue II: September 28, 2016
Bentley UniversityFalcon Preview!Friday, November 11 at 12:00 p.m. to Saturday, November 12 at 3:00 p.mOctober 14th
Brandeis UniversityExplore Brandeis SEED Fly-in ProgramOctober 6-8thSeptember 9th
Bowdoin CollegeExplore BowdoinExplore Bowdoin I: September 15-18, 2016
Explore Bowdoin II: November 3-6, 2016
First session: August 22, 2016
Second session: September 23, 2016
Bryn Mawr Fall Travel ScholarsFlexibleDeadline for 2016 has passed
Bucknell UniversityJourney to BucknellNov. 6-8, 2016
Carleton CollegeTaste of CarletonThursday, October 27th - Saturday, October 29th, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Connecticut CollegeExplore WeekendSaturday, November 12 - Monday, November 14, 2016October 3rd
Carnegie Mellon UniversityCelebration of DiversityNovember 12-14, 2016 (Prospective students) or Jan. 21-23, 2017 (Students who have applied)
Registration is open now.
College of Saint BenedictNational Fly-in Weekend ProgramNovember 12-14
February 4-6*
February 25-27
March 18-20
April 8-10
Application available September 15
Colby CollegeCommitment Experience Fly-InSunday, September 18 – Tuesday, September 20, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Colorado CollegeTigers on a Quest or Flyin' TigersTigers on a Quest: October 1-3, 2016

Flyin' Tigers: October 29-31, 2016
Tigers on a Quest: August 26, 2016

Flyin' Tigers: Sept. 21, 2016
Columbia UniversityColumbia Engineering ExperienceOctober 9 – 11, 2016September 7th
Dartmouth CollegeSummer Bound ProgramJuly 17-20Deadline for 2016 has passed
Davidson CollegeMulticultural Visitation Program (MVP)Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2016Friday, Sept. 16
Dickinson CollegeDiscover Diversity at DickinsonNov. 10-12, 2016October 3, 2016
Emory UniversityEmory's Cultural Overnight Recruitment Experience (CORE) Fall Visit ProgramDeadline for 2016 has passed
Franklin & Marshall CollegeCollegiate Leadership SummitFall Session 1: Sunday, Sept. 25, to Tuesday, Sept. 27
Fall Session 2: Sunday, Nov. 6, to Tuesday, Nov. 8
Goes live May 16
Grinnell CollegeGrinnell College Diversity Preview ProgramOctober 2-3September 12, 2016
Hamilton CollegeDiversity OvernightSeptember 18-20, 2016 & October 23-25, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed, but may accept students if room is available
Harvey Mudd College
Future Achievers in Science and Technology (FAST)September 29–October 1
November 10–12
Deadline for 2016 has passed
Haverford CollegeMulticultural Scholars ExperienceOctober 23-25, 2016Friday, September 16, 2016.
Holy Cross CollegeFly-In WeekendTBATBA
Ithaca College"Inside Look" Program for accepted students who self-identify as ALANA (African American, Latino[a], Asian American and Native American) April of each yearTBA for 2017
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityTitan WeekendThis year's program has passedTBA
Johns Hopkins University
H.O.M.E. ProgramThursday, September 24–Saturday, September 26Deadline for 2016 has passed
Kalamazoo CollegeIntercultural Fly-In ProgramTBATBA
Kenyon CollegeCultural Connections ProgramsNovember 5-7, 2016Registration is open now
Lafayette CollegeOur Beloved Community (OBC) SymposiumSaturday, November 12, 2016Friday, October 14, 2016
Lehigh UniversityTBATBA
Lewis and Clark CollegeLEAD Fly-In ProgramNovember 6-8Deadline September 15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Weekend Immersion in Science and Engineering (WISE)d September 18-20, 2016 and October 2-4, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Miami U. at OxfordBridges at Miami UniversitySESSION I:
September 16
Middlebury College
Discover Middlebury multicultural open houseOctober 9-11, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Missouri University of Science and Technology¡Sí Se Puede! weekend retreat for Hispanic and Latino studentsOctober 30th-November 1stOctober 16th
Mt. Holyoke CollegeFocus on Diversity overnight programNovember 6-7, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Occidental CollegeFall MVP campus visit programThursday, November 10 - Saturday, November 12September 26th
Oberlin CollegeMulticultural Visit Program (MVP)Session I: October 27-29
Session II: November 17-19
Session III: December 1-3
Session I: September 29
Session II: October 20
Session III: November 3
Pitzer CollegeDiversity Program at PItzerOctober 27-29Monday, September 12
Pomona College Fall Diversity WeekendSeptember 17-20, 2016 or October 8-11, 2016Deadline has passed for 2016
Purdue UniversityPurdue University Cybersecurity CampJune 12th - 17th, 2016Deadline for 2016 has passed
Reed CollegeDiscover Reed Fly-InOctober 9-11September 6, 2016
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute STAR (Science, Technology, Arts at Rensselaer)TBATBA
Scripps CollegeMulticultural Outreach travel grantsTBATBA
Smith CollegeWomen of Distinction ProgramOctober 14-16September 14, 2016
Swarthmore CollegeDiscover Swarthmore overnight weekend programThursday, September 15 - Saturday, September 17, 2016 or
Thursday, October 20 - Saturday, October 22, 2016
Deadline for 2016 has passed
Trinity College Preview WeekendTBATBA
Tufts UniversityVoices of Tufts: the University ExperienceENGINEERING EXPERIENCE
OCTOBER 20-21, 2016
OCTOBER 27-28, 2016
Engineering: October 6
Arts & Sciences: 27-28
Union CollegeGetting to Know Union Weekend October 9-10 and November 10-11Students from the Northeast: 9/22
All other students: 9/16
University of RochesterMulticultural Visitation Program November 10 - November 12October 7, 2016
University of St. ThomasSt. Thomas' Fly-In ProgramAvailable for during a Tommie Overnight VisitRolling
University of Vermont Discovering UVMOctober 23–25, 2016
November 6–8, 2016
Wellesley CollegeDiscover WellesleyOctober 16-17, 2016TBA
Wesleyan University
Fall Open House Transportation Assistance ProgramsColumbus Day Open House October 9-10, 2016
Veterans Day Open House November 10-11, 2016
Columbus Day: Forms due August 15 Veteran's Day: October 12
Whitman CollegeVisit Scholarship ProgramTBATBA
Whitworth UniversityMulticultural Visit Program (MVP)Visit date has passed: April 7-9, 2016Deadline has passed for 2016
Williams CollegeWindows on Williams (WOW)September 22-24 and October 13-15Deadline for 2016 has passed
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Discover: The Diversity ExperienceNovember 10-11, 2016Friday, October 21 at 5:00pm EST

Find the Right College, Summer Challenge

Class of 2017: Summer College Checklist

No Comments 03 May 2016

As the school year comes closer to an end and the current high school seniors begin making their college decisions, current juniors might find themselves wondering: what do I do now?  While many students may be thinking of summer as a time to relax, don’t forget it’s also a good time to start your college and scholarship search (and, participate in the College Greenlight Summer Challenge!) Between getting a tan and enjoying some much needed rest, consider this summer college checklist of tasks that will have you start your senior year on the right track.

Begin to Create Your College List

You’re about to begin the adventure to find the college that is right for you!  There are tons of schools out there and many factors to consider, and now is the time to start prioritizing what’s important to you. How much financial aid will you need? Do you want to stay close to home, or do you want to get out and explore? Do you want to go to school in a big city, or in a rural environment? Once you’ve decided the answers to questions like these, we recommend creating a College Greenlight profile and filling out as much as you can.  From here, you’ll be matched with schools that can be good matches, and you can use College Greenlight to explore other schools you are interested in.

See a school you like? Add it to your college list! College Greenlight helps to keep you organized with an easily accessible list with more in-depth information about the school just a click away.

College Greenlight Tip: Don’t forget to read the messages you receive from colleges, either: these come from schools that think you’d be a great addition to their campus, and may provide you with some college options you hadn’t considered or weren’t previously familiar with.

Consider What Teachers You’ll Ask for Letters of Recommendation

Choose teachers that know you pretty well and are familiar with your academic performance or extracurricular participation.  It can also be helpful to choose a teacher in the field of study you’re interested in that can vouch for your interest and potential.  You should plan to provide them with copies of your resume and personal statement, as well as the list of schools you’re applying to when you’ve finished your college list.

Research Scholarships You Plan To Apply For

Log in to your College Greenlight account (or create one if you haven’t already!) to easily research scholarships.  Once your profile is filled out as much as possible, you’ll  be able to visit your scholarship center to find even more scholarships we’ve matched you with.  The more complete your profile is, the better and the more scholarships you apply to, the more your chances to get free money for school improve. While you’re at it, apply to the College Greenlight Summer Challenge scholarship–it’s super easy!

Start Working on your College Application and Scholarship Essays

For a lot of people, their least favorite part of college and scholarship applications is the dreaded essay.  If you happen to be one of those people, getting started as soon as possible can help ensure you get it done and have plenty of time work through your entire writing process from rough draft to final.  Using resources like family and friends to help proofread, and online tools like the Purdue Online Writing Lab and Story2.

Begin Applications For Early Decision or Early Action Schools

If you are super interested in a school, it may be worth seeing if the have an early decision or early action plan.  It’s important to note that these are very different; early decision plans are binding, and early action plans are not.  This means if you apply to a school’s early decision and are accepted, you must attend that school. On the other hand, early action just means you’ll apply and get a decision earlier. Early decision and action often can mean early application deadlines, so if you choose to participate in one of these plans, you may need to begin your applications in the summer.

Did you finish these tasks, or even just check a few off your summer college checklist? Congratulations! You’re maximizing your summer and getting started on your college search–and important jump start as you enter your last year of high school.

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