I'm tired of people thinking that the only reason I go to Chicago is because I couldn't get into the ivies/pseudo ivies (I didn't want to go to those schools anyway). Well, I have news for you, Chicago is no longer a safety school. Deal with it.
Yup, UChicago is quite selective and considering the over-admitting this year, it should be even more selective next year (possibly single digit). Although I'm sure most of us knew Chicago is becoming super selective
It's not all that much more selective, it's just that it's less self-selective. Instead of the applicants weeding themselves down to a small number who truly want to go here, the adcoms have a hey-day rejecting.
Relax and just give it some time. UChicago has really only not been a safety school for maybe 3-4 years. It takes some time for reputations to change.
For example, UPenn began making big strides to improve its reputation in the late 90s, but there was a lag between the improvement and the recognition.
UChicago is in the same spot. It'll take at least 4-5 more admissions cycles before there's a general awareness of UChicago's selectivity.
Also, UChicago03, I think UChicago is considerably more selective at the "bottom" end of the class. The top kids at Chicago were always great, but, at least when I was there, there was a very weak bottom 25-30% of the class, who were admitted just because the school needed to fill seats. You can do some google searches for the news articles on this by UChicago administrators.
Now, the entire class is strong, and the top of the class might be a bit stronger. On aggregate, that leads to a considerably more selective group.
I suppose we can quibble on the "when," but there's no question that, in the relatively recent past, UChicago was a safety school for top students. (Note, I say for top students - students with really subpar abilities weren't getting into UChicago in the 80s, 90s, or today.)
Here's a Chicago Mag article that provides some statistics:
As seen there, for most of the 90s, UChicago accepted around 60-70% of applicants, and, as recently as 2006, accepted around 40% of applicants.
Now, of course, UChicago was still only accepting (for the most part) very high caliber students, and perhaps instead of using the term "safety" school, we could say that, for most of the 2000s, UChicago was considerably easier to get into, especially without the hooks needed for other top schools.
Whether we call it a safety school or a school that's a level of selectivity below its peers, UChicago was not really in the same ballpark of admissions metrics up until quite recently.
For your D's former classmate who got into H and S but not UChicago, of course there are always exceptions to this, but one anecdote doesn't disprove the point that UChicago admissions was considerably easier to navigate than Harvard, Stanford (or, up until recently, Penn, Northwestern too).
Fast forward to now, and UChicago is playing ball with everyone else. The Class of 2017's admit rate should probably be ~10%, the yield indicates that a healthy number of those admitted are matriculating, and we're not losing top students to attrition (or transfers) during their time at UChicago.
It's a lot different now than it was in the recent past. At the same time, as I said above, there will be some lag in recognition. UChicago has really only played the game (and gone from being "easier" in admissions at the other schools to being on the same level) for a few years now. It'll take at least 4-5 more admissions cycles before recognition/perception picks up.
We are also playing the game in a very smart way, rejecting qualified students who probably wouldn't attend. Although some people think yield protection is a bad tactic, I view it as an art form. It is very difficult to sieve through the applicants to figure out which students would rather go to other schools. There is no shame in using yield protection, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Everyone does it to differing degrees, and I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn't make extensive use of it to help our undergraduate programs catch up to our grad schools in quality.
Do you have any proof of this at all? Also, as I say continually on this board - define your terms.
When you say UChicago rejects qualified students, what is a "qualified" student? Also, what is "yield protection"? Do you mean a student with top scores who doesn't display adequate interest in UChicago? If this is the case, all schools use yield protection - if you don't display enthusiasm for a school (any school) either through interviews, the Why UChicago (or Why Penn or Why Northwestern or whatever), you won't get in, even if you have the stats.
If, on the other hand, you mean that UChicago is rejecting students who display interest in UChicago, but whose stats are EXTREMELY good, well, then, there's a very big problem there.
Rejecting students because they don't evidence sufficient interest in a particular school is fine. Rejecting students - even if they show enough interest in the school - because these students may go elsewhere is a very big issue.
When I said play the game, I meant that UChicago was playing the "big numbers" admissions game, and rejecting students who don't show adequate interest in UChicago.
Do you mean something else?
As I've said continually, if you're going to argue that UChicago uses yield protection (e.g. rejecting qualified students who WOULD really like to be at UChicago) please present comprehensive evidence. Otherwise, what you just said is a useless assertion.
I will believe that U Chicago is rejecting "overly" qualified students who showed interest in the school IF, and ONLY if, the stats for the new incoming freshmen body shows meaningful a decline from those of the previous years.
So far, last few years, as the admission rates plunged and the yield went up, the stats did not go down. If anything they went up. this trend shows a real advancement of the U chicago's mind share among the top student, NOT an artificially high yield ora lower admission rate due to some kind of games the admissions officers are playing.
By the way, when the admitted students stats are as high as that of U Chicago and its peers within USNWR top 5 or top 10 schools, there is no such thing as a safty school among these. What a ridiculous assertion.....
I am refuting what other people have said on this forum in the past. I'm saying ALL schools use yield protection, and there is nothing wrong with it. Also, hyonjee or whatever your name is, I got into Chicago a long time ago when it was much easier to be admitted, it was a safety school then, it's not anymore! However, I don't believe that we will hit single digits because these things don't change once they reach a certain threshold. Some of our students are becoming too vociferous in their advocacy.
I definitely think UChicago can get an acceptance rate under 10%! They could easily do that for next year's class if they decided to make the class about 1000 or 1100 to offset the large classes of 2015 (100 too big) and 2016 (200 too big) due to housing already being overly full (UChicago had to open International house and new grad. Residence hall for undergrad housing) and the pierce tower is being demolished soon so there will be even less housing available and so class sizes might have to drop. UChicago will probably get another large increase in apps (maybe 10-15%) and if yield remains high at ~47%, an under 10% rate will come in a few years but hopefully next year cause we need smaller class sizes so that more housing will be open for upper class men to stay on campus as the President or Dean wanted to make happen. Going from 55% to 70% or something of students living on campus.
In a few years maybe, but I don't think it's going to happen next year. Also, it is unlikely for the number of applicants to keep increasing indefinitely. There will be a decline across the board. Although 'hot' schools like chicago, cal, duke, NU are less likely to be affected.
UChicago used to pay virtually no attention to a student's actual interest in the school. The old admissions dean's policy was: “We accept the best, and hope to get as many as we can." At that time, UChicago really only looked for the top minds, without regard for their interest in the school itself.
This differed strongly from many other schools, which tried to gauge student interest in a school (either through ED policies, a "Why X school" essay, etc.)
Now, UChicago is trying to get the best minds, but is also paying more attention to students that actually really want to come to UChicago. This is different from the past, and is a form of "yield protection," at least in the sense that in the past, UChicago didn't give two hoots about yield (and had maybe a 25% yield).
For the second question about UChicago being a "safety" school in the recent past, well, here it is from the horse's mouth (that is, the NY Times):
The most pertinent quote: " If you want an intellectually rigorous, urban campus, the University of Chicago may be a fallback for the University of Pennsylvania."
Now, of course, this article was poorly researched, and the author also ridiculously claims that Georgetown could be a safety for Columbia. Nevertheless, the point holds - in 2007, when UChicago had a 38% accept rate and UPenn had a 20% accept rate, and both accepted comparable students, one could reasonably state that UChicago was taking a greater share of good students in relation to the school's applicant pool.
Go back another 10 years, when UPenn had a 38% accept rate overall, and the same holds for Penn - it was seen as a "safety" school for students that didn't get into their top choices.
Whether the author's assertions are true or not (and I certainly don't think they were), they demonstrate an important point - at least as recently as 5 years ago, UChicago was perceived as being a safety school, in some regards.
Now, with my original point in mind, it's really tough to say that a school with a 13% accept rate is a safety for any school. Moreover, if, in a few years, UChicago's accept rate is ~9%, it will be virtually impossible to make that argument. As people sometimes blindly go by admit rate, it's easier to question a school's 38% accept rate than it is for a 9% accept rate.
So, again, give it some time - in 4-5 more admissions cycles, as UChicago's admit rate should solidly be in the 10% range, I highly doubt we'll ever see an article like the one that was published in the NY Times in 2007.
I don't think there is an inferiority complex. UChicago's seen a lot of changes in terms of admissions statistics and numbers so naturally there is some debate as to projecting future statistics. Some of it may come off as an inferiority complex and some of it may come off as bashing UChicago. Either way, the acceptance rate has greatly decreased and the yield has greatly increased. Both great things. As to how long the change will last or how important it is...that's up to the individual.
Although I do agree, this thread is quite unnecessary and perhaps even worsens UChicago's reputation on CollegeConfidential.
Objectiveperson: of course the concept of a "safety" school plays on insecurities and hints at an inferiority complex. The reality of the situation is that much of the prestige game plays on inferiorities, and students/schools want as much recognition as they can get.
This is just reality, and it works for any school. It's why Penn students grumble about being confused with Penn State, Duke students hand-wring about lower yield, and Yale looks cautiously to what its neighbors do in Cambridge.
When you look at the pond of elite universities, you'll see a lot of ducks - and everything looks placid above water, but below water, all the ducks are churning their legs furiously to try to keep up or get ahead of their peers.
A Berkeley professor, Jerome Karabel, once said that, for elite universities, "prestige is the coin of the realm." Well, there's only a limited amount to go around, and it's a zero-sum game, so students AND schools are going to display insecurities, and fuel those insecurities in an effort to get ahead. This is exactly why UChicago started playing the big numbers admissions game, why certain schools rely heavily on ED, and why, say, in an admissions scandal a few years back, Princeton admissions officials "hacked" into the Yale admissions website to view the decisions on a dozen students.
Students absolutely draw their self esteem from rankings, as do schools themselves. For example, when Penn broke firmly into the top 10 about a decade ago, it was near-front page news in their yearly summary report:
Insecurities and inferiority complexes are a reality in elite schools today - and UChicago is no different. If anything, UChicago has probably gotten more relaxed on this front because all of its numbers and rankings fall in line with a "more prestigious" institution. Again, though, at the end of the day, this is reality for all the top schools.
As a larger point - lots of people are insecure - whether it's what schools they went to, how much money they have, etc. This is just reality. You can deride this fact, or you can just deal with the fact that many people are insecure about a whole host of things.