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Low GRE Scores, How in the heck did I get in?

UnconventStudentUnconventStudent Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
I applied to the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California online program for public health. I had a solid essay and recommendations, however, I scored in the 27th percentile for the verbal reasoning, the 14th percentile for the quantitative reasoning and the 82nd percentile for the analytical reasoning section.

I was told by my admissions counsellor that the University of Arizona admission committee would not even look at my application if I did not score within the 50th percentile and so my application was not forwarded along. I was told to retake the GRE and submit my scores for review. I was also offered to have my application forwarded to a different program as GRE scores were not required, but I passed on that.

A week later I get a letter from USC saying that I was accepted. I guess I am baffled because USC has like a 17% acceptance rate and UOA has a 47% acceptance rate.

Any thoughts on this?

Replies to: Low GRE Scores, How in the heck did I get in?

  • SlynnxSlynnx Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Are those acceptance rates for the specific online programs you applied to, or the department/school in general? Sometimes online programs admit a greater number of students than on-campus programs.

    None of us can really tell you how it happened. Perhaps one of your recommendation writers knows someone at the school and reached out to them, giving your application some weight (though I'm not sure how common this is for online programs). Maybe your other credentials were strong enough, and the applicant pool wasn't very large or competitive, that they gave your application another look. Or if you explained your low GRE scores in your essay, it may have been convincing.

    Is your concern that your admission could be an indicator of the program's strength, reputation, etc.? I assume you applied to that program because you did some research and wanted to attend USC, so does it really matter how it happened?
  • ConcernedRabbitConcernedRabbit Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    I feel like you need to hear this: Congratulations!
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,484 Senior Member
    Those acceptance rates are probably not for graduate programs, especially online graduate program.
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