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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!


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



Helping Students Overcome Undermatch

No Comments 24 May 2017

For many high achieving, low-income students, undermatch is a real phenomenon.

Undermatch occurs when a qualified student attends a college or university that is below his or her grades, test scores and abilities. Academically promising students wind up in community college or mediocre four-year colleges. Often times, they receive less financial, academic and social support than if they attended a more competitive college.

By following these steps, academic counselors can help students avoid being undermatched in the college application process.

Be Relentlessly Respectful and Respectfully Relentless

In order to overcome undermatch, counselors need to step into some discomfort and have crucial conversations with students. Counselors should tell students they value their strengths and never doubt their potential. With that mindset and a bit of patience and persistence, we can enable students to have the best options.

Nudge Students outside of Their Comfort Zone

I worked closely with a student in the top 10 percent of her class who was a committed member of the city’s youth council and the daughter of single mother who never graduated high school. On paper, she was a very competitive applicant to the most selective universities.

In her mind, though, she had doubts about being admitted to a local state school. I told her to open her options. After weeks of constant back and forth, she finally added more colleges to her list.

Show Students They Fit at Selective Institutions

Students often think they cannot get into or afford to attend more selective colleges and universities. But, with a bit of research, counselors can show students they are qualified to attend selective colleges and universities.

The student I encouraged to apply to more colleges was admitted to seven of the 12 she had on her list. Her mom cried with happiness when she submitted her decision to attend a university she never thought she would attend.

You should create a College Greenlight profile to see what colleges and scholarships you qualify for. Continue to make sure your information is up-to-date and you will be matched with the best options for you.

This piece was contributed by Alex Serna, assistant director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano.


College Decision Day is here. Now What?

No Comments 01 May 2017

May 1 is College Decision Day. Here are the next steps you should follow after formally committing to a college:

Withdraw Applications

If you have been accepted to multiple colleges, it’s important that you notify colleges that you will not be attending. Once you commit to a school, it’s common courtesy to withdraw your application from the other colleges you applied to. That way, the next-most qualified student on the college’s waitlist can take your spot. If you received any merit-based or institutional aid, this also allows those funds to be freed up for other students. Reach out to admissions offices if you have any questions about withdrawing applications.

Look for Scholarships

Just because you have made your college decision doesn’t mean you need to stop looking for scholarships. High school students aren’t the only people eligible for scholarships – students in college can apply for scholarships. College is expensive and any bit helps. Keep your College Greenlight profile up-to-date throughout college so we can continue to match you to scholarships.

Plan for Orientation

Your college will offer a student orientation this summer. Get this date on the calendar now because this will be an event you won’t want to miss. There will be a lot of useful information at orientation that will help you ease into college life. You will also get the opportunity to meet your future classmates.

Start Shopping

If you will be living on campus next year, you will need a lot of new things for your new home away from home. Stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target have special deals on dorm supplies every summer, so start keeping an eye out for these sales. If you find a store near your campus, you can order things online and arrange to pick them up when you move in.

Enjoy the Summer

The college search, application and decision process is a long and stressful journey but you’ve finally reached the end of it. Finish the school year strong and relax this summer so you can go into college feeling refreshed.

Greenlight Scholars

Tips for Completing Your Greenlight Scholars Application

No Comments 01 November 2016

Don’t let expensive application fees and complicated admissions applications stop you from pursuing your college dreams. The Greenlight Scholars Application is a free application that makes it easy to apply to multiple colleges without time-consuming extra essays and questions for each college. Applying to college should be a simple, streamlined process. Here are some tips for using the Greenlight Scholars Application to achieve your college goals!

Target your college list. The Greenlight Scholars Application allows you to apply to many colleges at the same time. So, be sure to narrow down your college list as much as possible before you apply. Aim for a good mix of safety, match and reach schools. A safety school is a college where your grades and admissions test scores are above average for the college’s accepted students, a match school means that your grades and test scores fall perfectly in line with the college’s accepted students, and a reach school is one where your grades and test scores and GPA fall below the college’s accepted students. No matter what your chances are of being accepted into each college, every college on your list should be a good social and financial fit for you.

Share your story in your essay. The Greenlight Scholars Application is designed to showcase your strengths and talents. Share your story, so the colleges can see a more complete picture of you. The Greenlight Scholars partner colleges are passionate about serving talented first-generation and low-income students. Be yourself and tell them why you deserve a spot at their college. To do this, think like an admissions officer. On top of sharing your unique perspective, your essay should also display strong writing and an authentic voice. Have someone you trust read over your essay to ensure you hit all these points!

Talk with your counselor. If you haven’t already, develop a good relationship with your counselor, who will help you through the college admissions process. They can answer your questions and give you advice. Your counselor can review your Greenlight Scholars Application and make suggestions before you submit it to colleges. They can give you recommendations that speak to why you deserve a spot at that institution!

We want to make sure the Greenlight Scholars Application is simple and stress free. Please let us know if you run into any problems! Email us at application@cappex.com if you need help or find inaccurate information.

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