Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, NC and has an undergraduate population of around 5,100 students. It’s a southern, small-ish, bordering on medium but not quite medium-sized school, that identifies as a collegiate university with a liberal arts curriculum. It’s test-optional, which could be appealing for some applicants, but it’s still quite competitive. Their acceptance rate has hovered around 30% for the last couple of years, though dipped a bit below last year. It’s academically rigorous and boasts a number of quite unique majors and minors that appeal to the student who has a true understanding of exactly what they want to do. For example, their sports medicine program, Elementary Education program, Business and Enterprise Management program, which is rare for a liberal arts school, and their Cultural Heritage & Preservation Studies program.
This blog post is for the student that is considering pursuing a B.A. in Art, which could mean a few things. Maybe you love art but also want to take general education classes to supplement your education. Maybe you want to be able to draw, paint, or make sculptures but aren’t sure if you want to make a career out of it. Or maybe your parents won’t let you go to RISD. Keep scrolling to read about some of our favorite programs:
Vassar is a small liberal arts school in Poughkeepsie, New York. The school is liberal, diverse, and students are encouraged to study multiple disciplines. For the class of 2023, just over 2,000 students were admitted. The acceptance rate was 23.4%.
Disclaimer: there are a lot of international business programs, only some of which are included below. As with all of our “best of” blog posts, we are highlighting programs with interesting opportunities and diverse course offerings. This list is not exhaustive and the schools are not listed in a particular order.
NYU is a private university in New York City. 84,000 students applied last year, 17,000 of which were international students. The acceptance rate for the class of 2023 was 16%.
While many schools still believe that SAT and ACT test scores are an important metric for evaluation, more and more universities are becoming test optional. Students can submit their scores if they want, but not doing so will not affect the evaluation of their application. Here’s a list of some of the top national universities that are test optional, which we created from a data set released on May 9th of 2019. There are additional schools on this list, but we selected the below based on interest from our client base.
Swarthmore College is a small, liberal arts college in Swarthmore, PA. There are around 1,600 undergraduate students. So, when we say “small” we really mean it. It’s a true liberal arts college, in that it has strong roots in the arts and humanities as well as has a strong engineering program and many degree options for those oriented more towards math and science. It’s a part of the Tri-College Consortium with Bryn Mawr and Haverford, and students have the ability to take classes cross-registered with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It’s competitive and academically rigorous, with an acceptance rate of around 8.7% for the class of 2023. Over 11,400 applied and 995 were accepted. It’s no joke.
Standardized testing is a heavily debated topic and in recent years, more and more schools have become test optional. This means that you can submit your scores should you decide to, but not submitting them won’t affect your chances of getting in. This list is not exhaustive, but instead focuses on the top liberal arts schools that our clients and readers most commonly apply to. We created our list from a data set that was updated on May 9th of 2019.
The University of Michigan is a public research university in Ann Arbor, MI. There are about 30,000 undergraduate students enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus and the school has over 1,600 student organizations. The most recently reported acceptance rate was 23.5%.
We recently received this email from one our readers:
“Hi Caroline! I am STRUGGLING to get an idea for what to write about for my common app essay. I'm over the whole "overcome challenges, and solving problems". I think they're overdone and I'm looking to try something new. Any ideas?”
We recently received the following email:
Subject: Book recommendation request for International Studies
Message: Hi, I'm interested in international studies and business/economics. Do you have any book recommendations that combine these two, that will look good on a college application?
Demonstrated interest is a college admissions term that you’ve probably heard before. When a student demonstrates interest, it means they’ve taken steps to show a college that they’re particularly interested in attending. Ways to demonstrate interest include:
At the risk of starting things off on a dark note, your chances of transferring into an Ivy League school are incredibly low. The numbers (transfer acceptance rates from 2014-2017) speak for themselves:
Some days, it might feel like there is just so much to do when it comes to the college application process. And there is. But the personal statement, while significant, should come as somewhat of a relieving assignment. Unlike other essays, this one requires no research. It just requires some knowledge about yourself and often, the best ones are just honest, authentic portrayals of some aspect of the applicant. In fact, the best ones are usually those in which the writer had some fun.
As we’ve stated before, we do our best to answer the emails we receive from our readers. Recently, we wrote a blog post titled “Which Ivy League Should I Go To?” and in that post we kindly requested that our readers stop asking both that question, and variants of it. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you should know that we do not subscribe to the theory that everyone needs to go to an Ivy League school.
Whether or not the colleges you apply to should look at your social media has recently become a heavily discussed topic. As that debate rages on, we wanted to find out whether or not they actually do look at it. So, we called colleges. A lot of them. And the general consensus turned out to be quite logical and uncomplicated.
Choosing a major to write about in your college applications is important, but we’ll get to that in a moment. What’s way more important to understand is that it’s completely, totally, absolutely normal to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life. At 17 or 18, it’s rare to have everything figured out. It’s rare to have everything figured out, ever. You might have goals and ideas, and those goals and ideas might change more than once. That’s fine, too. Most of the students we work with panic when they tell them they have to choose a major before writing their supplement, so you’re not alone if trying to choose yours is causing you stress. We understand how scary it sounds, but it’s an effective application strategy and there are multiple reasons why:
Our clients and the regular readers of this blog should know by now that we do not subscribe to the insane theory that everyone should go to an Ivy League school. The truth is that most students aren’t better off at an Ivy, and one of our goals is to demystify the application process so that kids can apply to schools that they actually have a chance of getting into. That said, there are still a lot of high school students (and parents) out there that think the Ivy League is the only way to go.
With acceptance rates so low these days, it’s natural for a student’s instinct to be applying to a number of schools instead of just one or two. Applying to a bunch of schools can act as an insurance policy. But applying to a bunch of schools that aren’t a great fit can also be a waste of time.
We get SO many questions about interviews that we’ve decided to consolidate some of our advice. Interviews are not the most important part of your application, so above all else: RELAX.