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How Does a Near-Perfect Student Get Denied Almost Everywhere?

CCEdit_SurajCCEdit_Suraj 3 replies130 threads Editor
Even students who are practically perfect can face denials. The Dean explains why. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/near-perfect-student-denied
13 replies
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Replies to: How Does a Near-Perfect Student Get Denied Almost Everywhere?

  • compilercompiler 62 replies29 threads Junior Member
    The reasons are the geographic diversity as mentioned in the above article 3 AND your family income/class. The ivy or top schools prefer students from high income/class family. A major may be another reason but it seems no effect because a change of major is always doable after admission.

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82723 replies738 threads Senior Member
    compiler wrote: »
    A major may be another reason but it seems no effect because a change of major is always doable after admission.

    When admission selectivity differs by major, changing into the more selective major after enrolling often requires a high college GPA or another competitive admission process.

    For example, at colleges like UIUC, UCSD, Washington, and Purdue, a student applying as a CS major may get admitted undeclared or in some other major. If s/he then enrolls, it can be very difficult to change into the CS major later.
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1151 replies112 threads Senior Member
    Your high school’s strength can backfire for you. If you are attending large competitive suburban school with dozens of high achievers, it’s a negative as after top 3 ranked, URM, athletes and legacy/donor, they move on to next school, not going to fill up their class from one public school.
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  • henderson11henderson11 8 replies0 threads New Member
    We have a bunch of students like your son at our high school. Seems like the very high score on the SAT and the SAT-II is not so rare, and there are plenty of 4.0 GPA students. If you don't win a competition or national award, you are not going to set yourself apart. Mostly those award-winning students were the ones who got into ivies. Try for the wait-lists and show interest, surely something will pop up. Otherwise attend your local university and transfer, or take a gap year. Plenty have been down this path with good results.
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  • Questioning2772Questioning2772 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Just adding my own data from this year.

    I generaly agree with the points above. Coming from a competitive high income private school in CA with high achievers it is certainly posible to get rejected as a high achiever.

    However I disagree that one has to win competitions to get in. Likely it really comes down to the non changable soft factors when comparing students in one particular highschool. I for one was one who "won compeititions" however, I was the most "unluckiest" in terms of my graduating class.

    Here was my run this year.

    Giving the main idea

    Asian American
    Top 10% HS
    35 ACT
    800 Math II
    750 Physics
    10+ Regional awards in major
    Multiple Regional and School Leadership with a started (accomplished) club
    4 year School Sports
    3 year long school sponsored engineering project (small-hook)
    co-homeroom teacher to a freshman homeroom
    Regeneron, CA state Science fair competitior....
    etc the list goes

    I got accepted to UIUC early which made it easier for me to apply to abundant targets, reaches. And that was when the acceptances really stopped.

    Results: 3 accepted, 3 waitlisted, 17 rejected

    Heres the kicker, all 17 schools and 1 waitlist were private. I got accepted to all state schools and waitlisted to out of state (understandable due to number of ppl applying from CA).

    So, I got rejected to all private schools I applied to and accepted to all state schools I applied to. I don't mean to be a bummer but all my other classmates who were less
    "award dense", recieved T20s.

    All non Asian American.

    So perhaps it really isnt about how or what awards one has won but the softer factors. Citing the "R" word.


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  • PublisherPublisher 11138 replies145 threads Senior Member
    It would have been more helpful if the near perfect student who got denied almost everywhere identified which schools denied him & which schools waitlisted him.
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  • Questioning2772Questioning2772 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Waitlist:
    GTech
    UMich
    CMU

    Rejected
    Yale
    Princeton
    Hopkins
    Caltech
    MIT
    USC
    Dartmouth
    Penn
    Columbia
    Mudd
    Duke
    Northwestern
    Cornell

    Memory failing me atm but theres the gist of it
    @Publisher
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4756 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Did you apply for FA at all your schools?
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  • Questioning2772Questioning2772 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited April 7
    I was full pay. No FA @Sybylla
    edited April 7
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  • Questioning2772Questioning2772 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Hi @goodnewsmom sorry if it wasnt clear, I am the applicant (not the parent).

    Thank you first for your input. I definitely agree that personality matters and your are true to your point that I may have not scored because of that. However, I anticipated that in advance (Thanks Harvard lawsuit on Asian Americans) and I see two points which backs myself up.

    First, I was not offered an interview at roughly half my schools (10) which I guess puts more emphasis on the essay. But, the interviews that I went through, in my opinion, were good. I don't know if you further communicate with your interviewees after the interview but I had multiple conversations going on after leading me to belive that they were not at all crippling (in fact I believe they should have helped).

    Thanks btw for being an interviewer!

    Second, each essay to each school was written multiple time (as in multiple drafts) with no copy and pasting for each school. Additionally I was fortunate enough to afford an admission expert to review each essay. Sure, I may have missed completely on some essay however statisticly some should have hit???

    On an application standpoint, my recs were fine and leadership in various aspects should have passed any physical documentation of personailty.

    Admission to top schools are very variable and sure I may just be unlucky. I understand that there are thousands of applicants who are in a similar situation however I did my research and homework in regards to this process. I do not think it was my essays nor interview that got me rejected.



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  • Questioning2772Questioning2772 24 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited April 7
    oops didnt know you were responding to the article. Sorry. I will refrain from responding on this thread. Sorry if I may have responded towards message directed towards my comment.
    edited April 7
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1151 replies112 threads Senior Member
    edited April 26
    Just adding my own data from this year.

    I generaly agree with the points above. Coming from a competitive high income private school in CA with high achievers it is certainly posible to get rejected as a high achiever.

    However I disagree that one has to win competitions to get in. Likely it really comes down to the non changable soft factors when comparing students in one particular highschool. I for one was one who "won compeititions" however, I was the most "unluckiest" in terms of my graduating class.

    Here was my run this year.

    Giving the main idea

    Asian American
    Top 10% HS
    35 ACT
    800 Math II
    750 Physics
    10+ Regional awards in major
    Multiple Regional and School Leadership with a started (accomplished) club
    4 year School Sports
    3 year long school sponsored engineering project (small-hook)
    co-homeroom teacher to a freshman homeroom
    Regeneron, CA state Science fair competitior....
    etc the list goes

    I got accepted to UIUC early which made it easier for me to apply to abundant targets, reaches. And that was when the acceptances really stopped.

    Results: 3 accepted, 3 waitlisted, 17 rejected

    Heres the kicker, all 17 schools and 1 waitlist were private. I got accepted to all state schools and waitlisted to out of state (understandable due to number of ppl applying from CA).

    So, I got rejected to all private schools I applied to and accepted to all state schools I applied to. I don't mean to be a bummer but all my other classmates who were less
    "award dense", recieved T20s.

    All non Asian American.

    So perhaps it really isnt about how or what awards one has won but the softer factors. Citing the "R" word.


    Race and geography are big factors for top privates as they use a soft quota to build a diverse community.
    edited April 26
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