mother and daughter holding letter

by Emily Toffelmire, former admissions officer at University of Southern California

December brings our first big round of admissions news from the students we work with here at Bright Horizons College Coach®. While families across the country (and around the world) are feeling a mix of emotions caused by what has felt like a volatile admissions year, we’ve received plenty of news to cheer about from our students. Here are some highlights from our class of 2021’s early action, early decision, and rolling deadline decisions. Stay tuned in 2021 for our regular decision outcomes.

The Ivy League and Highly Selective Schools

Because we know you want to know: From the Ivies, our students were admitted to Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. They also got yeses from Duke, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Stanford, Tufts, Vanderbilt, University of Notre Dame, and Barnard.

College Coach Students’ Perennial Favorites

Year after year, there are certain campuses our students love to apply to; we’re thrilled they received great news from Boston University and Boston College, American University, Wake Forest, University of Rochester, University of Miami, Tulane, and Emory. On the public university side, our students received offers from the always popular Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, Clemson, Rutgers, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Liberal Arts Colleges

Our students looking for small, supportive communities gravitate to liberal arts colleges, and were admitted to many of them, including Colgate, Colorado College, Reed, Dickinson, Eckerd, Franklin & Marshall, Hamilton, Lewis & Clark, Macalester, Sarah Lawrence, Trinity, and Union.

Public Universities

Almost all of our students apply to at least one public university, a strategy we always support. This year, they were admitted early to campuses in 25 states across the country, from large campuses like San Diego State and University of Minnesota, to relatively small communities like University of Vermont, SUNY New Paltz, and University of Nevada at Reno.

Specialized Studies

Our students were admitted to: health sciences programs, including nursing at the University of Portland and the BS/DO program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine; the oldest private military institute in the U.S., Norwich University; the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University; the Rhode Island School of Design and California College of the Arts; and to STEM-focused campuses like Caltech, Georgia Tech, Illinois Institute of Tech, Rose-Hulman Institute, and Worcester Polytechnic.


Many of the students we work with care about diversity and want to see this reflected in student populations, so we were happy to see admissions to some of the most diverse campuses in the country, including Whittier College, the University of San Francisco, St. Edward’s University, University of Houston, and University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

Studying Abroad

Though we primarily work with students applying to American universities, we see more and more students each year looking to earn their degree outside the U.S. Our class of 2021 has already received positive decisions from American University of Paris, Imperial College London, Richmond American International University, University of Edinburgh, and University College London.


Not only have our students received a wide array of amazing admissions decisions in the early round—they have also received some phenomenal scholarship awards. So far, we have seen merit-based aid offers of at least $20,000 per year at Case Western Reserve University, Catholic University, Chapman, DePaul, Dickinson, Drake, Lewis & Clark, Loyola Chicago, Marist, Marquette, Roanoke, Santa Clara, Seton Hall, Stevens Institute, Union, Universities of Denver, Maine, Minnesota, and Tulsa, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

For the full list of colleges that admitted College Coach students, view our acceptances. Note, this list is not comprehensive and will be updated in 2021.

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Written by Emily Toffelmire
Emily Toffelmire is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Prior to joining College Coach, Emily worked as an admissions officer at University of Southern California as well as a college counselor at high schools in the US and Thailand. Visit our website to learn more about Emily Toffelmire.