@onecot59 I think the point is not that having a waitlist in general affects the yield. I think what they are saying is that who you put on the waitlist and who you accept affects the yield.
Here's a numerical example like you asked for. Let's say we have a school to which 200 students applied. 100 of the students view that school as their eighth choice, and the other 100 view that school as their first choice. Now consider two scenarios:
a) The 100 who view the school as their eighth choice are admitted, and the 100 who view the school as their first choice are waitlisted.
b) The 100 who view the school as their first choice are admitted, and the 100 who view the school as their eighth choice are waitlisted.
In all likelihood, the second scenario would produce a higher yield. Moral of the story: considering demonstrated interest when making admission decisions tends to increase yield. As I have said before, I'm not saying it is wrong to consider demonstrated interest when making admission decisions. It totally makes sense that a school would show preference to people who have shown preference to the school, and I think it is totally fair for a school to do that. All I'm saying is that it is incorrect to believe that it doesn't matter who you accept, the yield will remain the same.
"As I have said before, I'm not saying it is wrong to consider demonstrated interest when making admission decisions. It totally makes sense that a school would show preference to people who have shown preference to the school, and I think it is totally fair for a school to do that. All I'm saying is that it is incorrect to believe that it doesn't matter who you accept, the yield will remain the same."
EXACTLY what I mean, too! All applicants are not equal. For some, WashU is their love (like mine is Penn). For others, it is just a "back-up" (ex. If they don't get into HYPS etc., they'll go to WashU). The question is, if 100 people are qualified for admission, 50 have it as there #1, and 50 as their #10 (on a list of 10), should WashU only accept those who treat it as it's #1 (or demonstrate interest)? Or should they admit all 100 because based on their academics/ECs/essays/recs they fit the bill?
Basically, should interest be factored in? Is it fair?
The argument you are making is that Wash U wait list "over qualified" students to improve their yield. It is a fact they accept very very few of the wait list. So the rebuttal was if they rejected these applicants instead of wait listing them (which is what happens in the end), Wash U would have the same yield.
I think you have now changed your agruement to Wash U accepts students who have Wash U as their first choice. The only way they could try to project that would be demonstrated interest. That is a much different argument.
Many schools place a significant factor on demonstrated interest. There are also plenty of top applicants (by the stats you want to use to measure an applicant) that were accepted to Wash U. If they didn't accept any applicants from the very top stat category, I could see your point that isn't the case. Many of the accepted applicants (see RD thread) state that they didn't show interest. It isn't all based on statistics. How many applicants ranked #1 in their class and how many applicants with 2300+ get rejected by the Ivies? Plenty.
I am sure Wash U has several goals including a strong diversified incoming class and good stats to promote based on stats for accepted applicants and yield. Not any different than the goals the Ivies have.
I don't see why applicants that aren't that interested in Wash U (applying as a safety to the Ivies) get upset when Wash U passes on them.
"I don't see why applicants that aren't that interested in Wash U (applying as a safety to the Ivies) get upset when Wash U passes on them."
I guess it's because people take admissions decisions emotionally/seriously. After all, you are basically opening up everything you've done in your life to these people (at least, for me, I tried to open up my heart and soul in every piece of my application). To an extent, they are judging you (I know everyone says that don't take it as a judgement on you, yada yada yada, but to me and many others, it is (again, to an extent)). I don't know about you, but I don't like feeling rejection. I know I'm not the best, but hey, rejection hurts/stings.
That is why, at least if I was in this situation (want to go to Ivys, WashU as back-up, then rejected), would be upset. After all, it's suppose to be your back-up! Back to my example of the dance, it's as if the girl that accepts everyone has now rejected you. Your immediate reaction is most likely, "what? how did this happen?". The same can be said for these kids who feel that they should've been accepted to their safety.
Is it appropriate for WashU to not accept kids who know are using their university as a back-up, not a top choice??
The Ivy League does NOT factor in interest what so ever (minus, MAYBE, being on their mailing list or not). Visits, info sessions, etc. don't take into account whether or not you get in. Shouldn't WashU do the same? Shouldn't it just admit people based on their academics/essays/recs/ECs, and NOT take into account if people put their school as #1 or not?
I don't see any reason why a school shouldn't take demonstrated interest into account. There are plenty of ways outside of a visit, such as applying to scholarships, going to info sessions, etc. I haven't heard one good argument for why a student's interest is not an important factor.
hardworking, I'd like to know what makes you so confident in the fact that the Ivies DON'T take demonstrated interest into account.
Plus, the entire premise of your argument about people feeling bad when they get rejected from Wash U (their backup school) seems misguided to me. Those people are the ones to blame for believing that Wash U is a backup school. It's established itself as quite comparable to the Ivies in terms of academics, even if its shortcomings in national reputation/recognition don't allow people to realize it.
Actually, for the Ivys, interest is a factor. Why do you think applying ED makes such a difference? The fact that a student is committing his or herself to the school is a bonus.
Also, Wash U. should not be a backup school for any student. At this level, a huge factor of luck plays in and nothing is guaranteed, even to the best of us. It would also be a major mistake not to show interest at any school you apply to, even a backup. All I had to do to show interest in Wash U. was to make a phone call, but it was enough. If someone could not show even that level of commitment, it is obvious that they are not right for the school.
And finally, to all the "overqualified" applicants who were waitlisted - come back when you're into an Ivy. But even then, students are accepted to Harvard and rejected from all other Ivys all the time. Schools simply have different sets of criteria.
Last edited by ohthatgirl; 03-16-2012 at 06:42 PM.
Bottom line is if you're not accepted into washu, it's because you're not deemed to be fitting. The admissions office can tell if you're a good fit; idk how and frankly it's quite amazing but they can. The people currently at washu fit well in the community. Grades, ECs, etc. are all just technical stuff. A lot of students already excel in those, and when you can't make a decision through technical traits alone, you have to consider how well each kid fits in the community.
School isn't purely about academics or prestige, it's about finding the correct people for a community. So everyone who got waitlisted and seemingly overqualified, for the most part, you obviously didn't show enough interest. Or maybe your mindset just doesn't fit well either, in which case, it's not your fault. There's a school for everyone and washu, while diverse, still can't accomodate everyone. We may have a diverse student body, but in the end, there's something we all share, and probably only the admissions office would know.
2nd theory: they just throw all the application papers in the air and shoot them with a shotgun. Those that emerge unscathed are accepted.
"Actually, for the Ivys, interest is a factor. Why do you think applying ED makes such a difference? The fact that a student is committing his or herself to the school is a bonus."
I thought we were discussing the RD round. In the RD round, Ivys don't factor in interest (ex. if you visited, if you went to their info sessions, etc.). How do I know? Because some of my peers don't have the financial capability to visit their favorites (ex. Yale) but got a likely letter from them nonetheless.
Based on what I am reading here, it seems as if WashU does indeed factor in interest in the RD round. Do you sincerely think that that is fair? In the RD round? I know ED is a whole 'nother ball game---I applied ED to my top choice so I guarantee you I understand the ED game. But I'm talking about RD.
The fact that some of you complain about not being admitted to WUSTL but to other schools shows that you don't know about college admissions. Last time I check, college is a match to be made, not a prize to be won. Those who complain with demeaning justifications just make themselves look selfish and cocky. WUSTL realized that you are just looking for prizes, not a match. Why does WUSTL look at interest? It's because they are looking for kids that match the school. They don't look for students who will take a college acceptance letter and flash it around. They look for students who will take the letter and actually appreciate it's value.
I hope you guys learn this right now because you sure don't want to have to learn this the hard way later in life.
College admissions is like applying for a job. Human Resource look for people who not only are smart but will show dedication to the company. In an interview, they look for people who have genuine interest in the company, people who seriously want to be there. I highly doubt one would want to go into the interview and be like, "yeah, I don't know about your company that well". It shows ignorance and lack of dedication. So why would WUSTL admit you if you pretty much say "yeah I applied cause there is no supplement essays."
coffeeannarbor, I respectfully disagree. In my case, I applied ED to the University of Pennsylvania and got in. I made every attempt to showcase how I was a match (via essays) and I love the school every breathing minute I have. When I got in, I was overjoyed---called family, teachers, friends, etc. I only showed the official acceptance letter to those who provided me a recommendation/were close to me.
However, I disagree with your statement that "college is a match to be made, not a prize to be won". While I 100% agree in admissions being finding that match between student and university, I feel as if I did win. I won the grand prize. Why? Simple. I am able to attend my top-choice/dream school, and most importantly, I am happy. I think that such happiness and the feeling that you did "win" is most definitely very real in such a process.
Why can't applying to college be a prize you win? After all, if you land your dream job, have you not won the grand prize (in reference to your human resources/job application example)?