Tufts University – College Profile

Tufts University

Quick Facts:

Institution type: private university
Founded: 1852
Location: Medford, MA
Undergraduate students: 5131
Mascot: Jumbo (elephant)
Acceptance rate: 16%
Testing requirements: ACT or SAT (if SAT, two subject tests also required)
Middle 50% ACT score range: 30-33
Middle 50% SAT score range: CR 680-750, M 690-770
Superscore: Yes
Website: www.tufts.edu

One student’s perspective:

Name: Sally Williams

Grad year: 2019

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were in the process of applying and selecting your college or university? What surprised you?

I wish I had listened to people when they told me to look at schools without bias. I went into the college application process with an idea of the outcome I wanted and the schools I thought were a perfect fit. In the end, Tufts turned out to be the best school for me and I would never have even applied without my mother’s advice to do so. It’s the schools you least expect that end up being the perfect place.

What’s your favorite thing about your school?

I love that it’s an Ivy League education without the title. There’s no cut-throat competition here, unlike Harvard (that’s only a T-stop away and throws some great parties ;)). People are genuine and diverse. You can create the experience you want, be it with Greek life, mathletes, or a cappella groups. Everyone here is a genius, but they don’t have an ego.

What else would you like people to know about Tufts University?

It is a melting pot. There are people from all around who are all talented and intelligent in their own right, but are also incredibly different. Tufts allows everyone to find their niche. I have yet to meet a person here who isn’t genuinely happy with their decision to enroll here. You’re never bored. Tufts is surrounded by (and happens to be on par with) some of the top schools in the world. You can always meet new people.

Also, the city of Boston is only 20 minutes away and such an incredible escape sometimes. Here, at Tufts, you can truly become your own person, without judgment by others. It is an inclusive and incredible atmosphere filled with thriving, ambitious people.

ACT Scores Released

December ACT Scores (for most students) have been released! Whether your scores are higher than expected or lower than you’d hoped, we have some tips for coming up with your next steps.

  • Don’t freak out.

If you prepared for the December ACT and didn’t get the score you were expecting, you might be understandably disappointed! Spend some time while the test is fresh in your mind and try to figure out what went wrong (and what went right!). Did you encounter material you didn’t expect? Were you well-rested? Did you follow the strategies you had worked out, or did you make last-minute changes?

If you didn’t spend time preparing, your test score might be a total shock. You may not have had any idea what to expect! If you were aiming higher, though, you can use these scores to inform your goals on your next test.

If you’re a senior, though, December was probably your last chance. Not getting the score you wanted is understandably upsetting. Remember that, in the end, the ACT is only a test, and it’s only part of your application. You’ve got a lot else going for you besides your scores!

  • (Try not to) compare scores.

If you scored lower than you wanted, dwelling on your friend/sister/friend’s sister’s roommate who got a higher score than you did is ultimately unproductive. Similarly, if your friend is disappointed in their score, try not to gloat. It’s OK to be proud of yourself, but be supportive of those around you who might be struggling.

  • Be realistic about what score you actually

So your friend, sister, or friend’s sister’s roommate got a 30, or a 32, or even a 36. Do you actually need that score? Look at your schools and your transcript and be realistic about your goal. You may have hit your goal and decided you might as well keep going, aim higher, and try to boost it even further. But if you’ve got the score you were aiming for, taking it again “just to see” is probably a waste of time.

Make sure your goal makes sense. The ACT is a just a test. Its purpose is to help you get into college. If you’ve got the score you need for the schools you’re interested in attending, there’s no reason to take it again.

  • Be realistic about how much time you have to dedicate to prep in the future.

If you’re not fully satisfied, be honest with yourself about how much time and energy you have to dedicate to preparing for the next test date. Improving scores takes work. Signing up for the February test might feel like the obvious choice, but if you are not able to commit to logging some serious hours practicing, the chances that your score will improve at all are incredibly slim.

If you do need to take the test again, look at your schedule and pick a date that will allow you to spend some time preparing. Make a plan, and stick to it!

  • Ask for help.

We’re here to help with each step of the process, from helping set a goal score to picking the best test date to decoding the Science section! Let us know how we can help.

Kansas State University

Name: Hannah Ford
College: Kansas State University; Graduation Year 2017
High School: Basehor Linwood High School; Graduation Year 2013
Major: Accounting and Finance


1. What first drew you to Kansas State University?

The first time I visited Kansas State University, I knew it was the college for me. K-State is about an hour and fifteen minutes from my house which is not too close to home but far enough away that I have a chance to really be independent. Everyone around campus was so nice and eager to help me with whatever I needed. I felt a very positive energy. I also loved how the campus was compact; everything was in a reasonable walking distance. It seemed easy to get around.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

I looked at the University of Kansas, Central Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University, and Creighton.

3. What clubs or groups do you plan on getting involved in?

I plan on rushing and being a part of Greek Life, which will give me a lot of opportunities to be a part of community service groups. I would also like to look into being a part of a religious group on campus.

4. What are you looking forward to most about college?

I am most excited for a fresh start. I am also looking forward to being a part of Greek Life and having the opportunity to meet so many new people. The whole idea of college seems pretty exciting to me- I can’t wait to have more freedom and independence. Lastly, I am most definitely looking forward to all of the extracurricular things that come with college such as football games, basketball games, and campus events!

Author Hannah Ford is the part-time Summer Office Manager at Get Smarter Prep and will be starting at Kansas State University in Fall 2013.


University of San Diego

Name: Henry Powell
College: University of San Diego; Graduation Year: 2012
High School: Pembroke Hill; Graduation Year: 2008
Major: Marketing


1. What first drew you to the University of San Diego?

When I was going through my college search, I knew that I wanted to find a school that fit three criteria: a small school in a warmer climate that was also respected academically. I found that school in USD. Or rather more accurately, it found me since I had never heard of USD or even been to Southern California before an admissions representative visited my high school.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

Tulane University, Elon University, Rollins College, Pepperdine

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

It was a little bit more of a challenge for me to adjust to the differences in culture between the Midwest and Southern California than it was to make the leap from High School academics. I was faced with this on the first day when I met my two roommates, who were both from Newport Beach and had more shoes and ironed t-shirts than I ever thought guys should have, but I quickly adjusted to it and then fell in love with it.

4. What was your favorite class?

Given the small class sizes (my largest class had 43 students), I had several classes that I truly enjoyed, but if I had to pick one I would have to go with Physical Aspects of the Ocean, which was a Lab course that took us on field trips to the beach and ocean every week.

5. What clubs or groups are you involved in?

Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, Marketing Club

6. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I got a fantastic education while living at the beach, what else is there to know?

Author Henry Powell is a recent graduate of USD.


University of Virginia

Name: Page Schult
College: University of Virginia; Graduation Year 2015
High School: Pembroke Hill; Graduation Year 2011
Major: History Major with a Minor in Media Studies

1. What first drew you to the University of Virginia?

The first time I visited the University of Virginia, I could immediately feel the passion and excitement that every student had. Walking around the beautiful grounds, I could feel the sense of tradition that existed at UVA as I saw students laughing on the way to class, tossing a frisbee back and forth on the lawn, and debating current politics over lunch. Everyone just seemed so nice and eager to be a part of such a wonderful academic environment.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

I was mainly looking at two other schools: University of Southern California and Claremont McKenna College. However, I also looked at a variety of other schools like SMU and Davidson.

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

The adjustment was actually much easier than I had anticipated. Everyone always says that when going to college, you have to remember that everyone else is in the same shoes as you: new to a place and just trying to meet people and make friends. Although this seems rather cliché, it is absolutely true. Any college that drew you in likely drew in other students who share similar interests with you so it is easy to find that common ground to build friendships!

4. What is your favorite class that you have taken so far?

I think the class I have enjoyed the most so far is a class I took my first year on the history of philanthropy in the United States. It was the first history class I had taken that was different from the typical high school history class. I loved that the structure of the class was a seminar structure, so every week we were free to discuss and debate different topics.

5. What clubs or groups are you involved in?

I am mainly involved in three different organizations around grounds. One is Greek life, where I am a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority here at UVA. Another organization that I am involved with is the tutoring program through Madison House. Madison House is the organization that houses all the different community service and volunteer programs available to UVA students. Lastly, I am a member of the Advertising and Marketing Association on grounds.

6. Anything else you want to tell us?

My advice for choosing colleges is that when choosing a school you must make sure it has everything you would want both academically and socially.

7. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I love everything about my school; mainly, I love that I have endless opportunities and have met fascinating and interesting people!

Author Page Schult is a Second Year at the University of Virginia.