Veronica Wickline 4 min read 11th Grade, 12th Grade, College Lists

Why Our Chancing Engine is the Ideal College Fit Finder

Did you know that there are over 5,000 colleges and universities in the United States? Students can pursue everything from a flagship state school to a dude ranch with a liberal arts curriculum. With so many options, each of which has its own requirements, it’s no wonder that students are intimidated by the prospect of applying to colleges.

 

With CollegeVine’s free chancing engine and college fit finder, finding the best fit school for you has never been easier. A lot of websites will offer to show you your admissions chances, but three things set our software apart:

 

1. Your results are data-driven. By filling in a few details about your academic profile and extracurricular experience, we can give you a precise range of the probability that you will be accepted to particular colleges and universities.

 

2. We base our figures on actual applicants. The data that powers our chancing engine has been collected from thousands of student profiles.  We routinely update our chancing engine to reflect the latest trends in college admissions.

 

3. Our chancing engine gives you tips to strengthen your profile. We let you know which parts of your application to improve, whether you want to strengthen your application in general, or for a specific institution. Instead of getting results that feel set in stone, you can think of our feedback as a measuring stick for where you are today. 

 

Try it for yourself by creating a free account at app.collegevine.com. And by “free,” I don’t mean that the only first school is free, or that some reduced version of the chancing engine is available. Recently, we began to offer all of our software to all students at no cost. Keep reading to learn how it works.

 

How CollegeVine’s Chancing Engine and College Fit Finder Work 

 

Fill in Your Academic Profile

 

To begin, create an account with your email address and select “admissions chances” from the option menu. You will be prompted to fill in your academic information. You can do this as early as your freshman year of high school. Here’s an example academic profile:

 

You can always update this information later on if you get new test scores or your GPA changes.

 

Create Your Extracurricular Profile

 

Typically, extracurricular activities are where chancing engines break down. How would someone compare a student conducting their own cancer research with an Olympic ice skater? Which student is more attractive to colleges, the one who participates in a lot of activities or another, who focuses on just a few endeavors?

 

We have developed a tier system that makes this process as objective as possible. For each extracurricular activity, type in the name of the activity and select the best-fit category from our drop-down menu.

 

Next, use the arrows next to the tier pyramid to refine your tier.

 

As you add more activities, our chancing engine will evaluate your profile as a whole.

Add Personal Details

 

We end by asking a few more questions about your race, gender, ethnicity, and preferences for school location. These biographical details help us to ensure we are showing you accurate information on schools that interest you, as data does show that admissions chances vary for students based on race and ethnicity. 

 

Start to finish, the whole chancing engine takes about ten minutes. From there, the fun of exploring colleges begins.

 

Choose 2 Reach Schools

 

Immediately, you get to see a dozen or more reach schools, along with your likelihood of being accepted. In the example, it appears that the sample student has a 9%–17% chance of being accepted at Pitzer College. (They will end up at the higher end of that range if their letters of recommendation and personal essays are strong.)

 

You will be instructed to pick at least two reach schools to consider as you start to build a balanced school list.

 

Choose 4 Target Schools

 

The process is repeated for target schools, and this time you are instructed to select a minimum of four schools to consider.

 

At any point along the way, you can see a detailed breakdown of the school’s profile.

 

The school profile also shows you how each aspect of your profile stacks up against those of previously admitted students. Based on the example, the student would know that their GPA was in a good place for the school but that retaking the SAT or ACT could increase their chances.

 

 

The school profile even gives feedback on your extracurricular activities! We have a more detailed tiered system for students who really like getting into the weeds, and that’s what you see pictured below. It’s your choice whether you want to use the extracurricular Tiers I-IV, or the more detailed letter system.

 

If your parents are willing to share their financial information with you, upload it to learn what your expected financial aid package would be from each of the schools in question.


Choose 2 Safety Schools

 

We round out your school list by asking you to pick two safety schools where you would be excited to apply.

Manage Your School List

 

Based on what you learn from the school profiles, you can refine your school list even further. Our software also makes it easy to track where you have applied and been accepted.

 

Our software makes sure that your school list is balanced and lets you know roughly how many hours it will take to wrap up your remaining applications.

 

There is much more than a chancing engine available through our applications portal. Once you set up your free account, you can do any of the following:

 

 

  • Get feedback on your college essay drafts in a matter of hours
  • Improve your writing skills by editing other students’ essays
  • Learn what your predicted cost of attendance will be for hundreds of schools based on your family’s unique financial situation
  • Find out which schools match your preferences for academics, cost, location, and campus environment
  • Connect with other students in our Q&A forum as they navigate college applications with you

 

At CollegeVine, we’re passionate about making college guidance accessible to all. That’s why we took the guidance that’s helped 100,000 students and made it free. On our college applications platform, you can use our chancing engine, build a best-fit school list, and learn how to improve your profile—all for free. Sign up for your CollegeVine account today to get a boost on your college journey.

Veronica Wickline
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Veronica is an alumna of Harvard College, where she earned her A.B. in History and Classics. After graduating, she joined CollegeVine serving as the Curriculum Development Manager. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA and is writing her debut novel.