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Class of 2021 Results: Celebrate, Discuss, Support Here

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Replies to: Class of 2021 Results: Celebrate, Discuss, Support Here

  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    Oh I forgot about that, @Cubanmom3 -- good question!
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,183 Senior Member
    edited May 8
    @Cubanmom3 -- I would say that D's struggles with her challenges and how she has dealt with them are precisely what made for a very compelling essay. That's what I meant by her essay being able to "showcase her passions, interest, struggles, resilience, and personality." Adcoms that wrote personal notes made reference to D's resilience as well as her passions. Her resilience, academic interests, and passions were backed up by the counselor (and possibly the teacher recs -- I never actually read them; the snippet about her being one of the teacher's "best student ever" was shared to me by the teacher in a progress report; given that she had both of those teachers twice -- in tenth and twelfth grades, they are very familiar with her work and can speak to her passions.

    In Adcomland, D's having to overcome (or learn to live with) physical challenges probably merits a check in the "overcoming adversity box," which probably carries as much weight as a check in the "URM box," the "athlete box," the "legacy box," the "geographic diversity box" or the "major donor box." If you've got checks in more than one box, so much the better.

    Admissions folks are looking at grades, test scores, rigor, and -- according to one Dean of Admissions -- "the quality of thought and expression in the application essays." He goes on to say that they look at "recommendations, essays, extracurricular and academic choices, accomplishments...[that convey] a strong sense of kindness, grit, wit, or a particular flavor of intellectual fervor."

    There's no magic formula -- there are just pieces of a puzzle that, when taken together, paint a picture.

    And then the rest comes down to institutional need.
  • Cubanmom3Cubanmom3 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    @LoveTheBard I absolutely agree with you that all things being equal a student with a physical disability will be looked upon more favorably by most colleges than one without.
    Kudos to your D for her brilliance and resilience. Stanford is lucky to have her.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,407 Senior Member
    @LoveTheBard When you say Athlete Box I'm assuming you don't mean the Recruited Athlete Box because that's it's own special level above all those listed except Institutional Development. And not all URMs are the same level of institutional desire/need.

    I wouldn't say that a physical disability is looked upon favorably but of course rising to the challenge it present's and succeeding can be a favorable impression conveyed. Generally speaking overcoming physical challenges is a safe topic whereas there are plenty of students that have overcome mental challenges that aren't necessarily a safe topic to discuss with Adcoms. Institutions are equipped to deal with physical challenges due to ADA but many schools would rather not have to deal with the challenges some students face.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,183 Senior Member
    @Dolemite - Yes, you are correct on all counts.

    I should have said that those boxes are weighted both within each category and among categories, with athletic recruits and large donors at the top of the pecking order (the individual students' fates determined by the teams' needs or how much $$ their families' can cough up). Likewise, a Native American from North Dakota would most certainly score higher on the URM Box than a Mexican from California.

    And yes, there is unfortunately a pervasive stigma regarding mental health issues in our society and academia is no exception, and you're correct that it's probably "safer" to talk about physical challenges than mental illness. But not all institutions are alike in dealing with physical challenges -- there is no mandate to make all campus buildings ADA accessible (it's only new buildings and buildings undergoing extensive renovation that ADA compliance even comes into play legally), and "accessible" can be a relative term.
  • MotherOfDragonsMotherOfDragons Registered User Posts: 3,928 Senior Member
    re: ADA compliant-I'm surprised that it's not required. Our very old studio on campus is ada accessible, and it has NEVER been renovated (it looks like the church it used to be, down to the stained glass windows-they just replaced the pews with easels). They added the handicapped-accessible doors, which are really handy when you're dragging in a huge canvas and don't have a hand free, but it is otherwise untouched.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,407 Senior Member
    I'm sure a lawyer can either correct me or provide a better explanation but it could also be different from state to state and possibly by city due to the litigious environment. Philadelphia seems to be much more up to ADA regulations due to the fact it's much easier to win a monetary award here than in many places.
  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 885 Member
    edited May 8
    Hopefully this info will help someone next year or beyond in some way who is looking at California schools. We were surprised by the consistency of the UC acceptances - we expected a random waitlist/rejection at a place or two.

    Stats:
    GPA: 4.0 UW
    SAT: 1550
    SAT Subjects: Math II 800, Physics 750
    APs: World History, APUSH, Calc AB, Lang, Physics 1 (score of 5 on all). 5 APs + college calc senior year.
    Awards: National Merit Finalist, District Honor Band
    ECs: Music and Robotics
    Essays: Excellent IMO. They wove a coherent narrative between his ECs, a challenge he overcame, and his academic interests. I believe these were key in the UC acceptances.
    Ethnicity: White
    Large public HS

    Schools (applied to 8 schools, Mechanical Engineering at all):
    UCLA: Accepted (Attending)
    UCSB: Accepted w/Regents
    UC Davis: Accepted w/Regents
    UC Irvine: Accepted w/Regents
    UCSD: Accepted
    Cal Poly SLO: Accepted
    Rejections: Stanford, USC

  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,183 Senior Member
    @aquapt - I cannot like your post enough!!

    FWIW, D found Rice to be among the more accessible -- and accommodating -- campuses she visited; it's unfortunate that those accommodations are underutilized.
  • osasmomosasmom Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Aquapt, stay on that soap box! Thank you for your eloquence and insight.
  • dfbdfbdfbdfb Registered User Posts: 2,974 Senior Member
    And, of course, accessibility doesn't just help those with permanent disabilities—automatic doors are amazing while one's healing from blowing out a knee, curb cuts make life way better for anybody pushing strollers, and so on.
  • dustypigdustypig Registered User Posts: 877 Member
    Great post @aquapt!

    With regard to the legal requirements, of course individual jurisdictions may have their own rules, but in general you won't find that institutions are required to retrofit their existing buildings and infrastructure to provide accessibility because that would impose a huge cost burden (and in some cases might run afoul of historical preservation statutes). It's pretty typical for laws to require that only new construction or significant renovation is required to follow accessibility requirements. The idea is that eventually every old building (and crumbling sidewalk, etc.) will have to be renovated, so over time the entire landscape will become accessible.
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