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Is it true that it isn't easier to get into Brown ED?

gray7timegray7time Registered User Posts: 226 Junior Member
edited August 2015 in Brown University
I read on another forum that applying to Brown ED doesnt help a students chances because ED is mainly meant for recruited athletes. Is there anybody who can confirm this, for Brown specifically?
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Replies to: Is it true that it isn't easier to get into Brown ED?

  • ciervociervo Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    edited August 2015
    According to this article, 26% of last year's ED admits were recruited athletes.
    http://www.browndailyherald.com/2014/12/11/20-percent-early-decision-applicants-offered-admission/

    My daughter and many of her friends at Brown were admitted ED and are not athletes. Similarly, none of the other students from her high school admitted ED in recent years have been recruited athletes.

    You can also take a look at the ED results threads for the past few years.
  • fenwayparkfenwaypark Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    Looking at it another way...

    617 were admitted ED last year. 26% of that is 160 (plus a fraction, but I do not think Brown acknowledges partial athletes!) So 457 non-recruited athletes were accepted out of a total pool of 3016. That is a 15.1% acceptance rate.

    There is anecdotal speculation that a high percentage of legacy applicants/celebrities/development cases/Rhode Islanders apply ED. But no one posting here can claim that this is true unless they also say they are affiliated with the Office of Admission or otherwise have inside information
  • fenwayparkfenwaypark Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    edited August 2015
    OK, you may say, but Brown's overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2019 was 8.5%, the ED rate for non-recruited athletes was 15.1%....... and Dean of Admission has been quoted as saying that:

    “If we pull (recruited athletes) out, the admit rates for early and regular decision are very similar,”

    http://www.browndailyherald.com/2014/11/11/u-sees-second-largest-early-decision-pool/

    Dean Miller has a reputation for impeccable integrity, so how can all this be reconciled?

    Here is my stab at it (not based on any affiliation with Admissions or inside information)

    For our simple (simplistic?) example let's say in RD there are 10 slam-dunk/no-brainer/can't miss applicants, and 40 other applicants ranging from really weak to average. Brown accepts only the 10 no-brainers. Acceptance rate is 20%

    In ED there are 9 no-brainers, 12 moderately good ones, 1 weak one, and 8 athletes. Brown accepts the 9 no-brainers plus the athletes. Acceptance rate for non-athletes is 30%.

    Taking a quick look at this, the ED acceptance rate looks much better than the RD rate. But there are fewer weak to moderate candidates in the ED pool. Keeping everything else the same, but increasing by 10 the number of weak to moderate applicants in the ED pool who are not accepted, the ED rate for non-athletes in this example drops to 22.5%.

    Are the acceptance rates for ED and RD "very similar" for non-athletes because of different make-ups of the ED and RD pools?

    I don't know. What are other theories?
  • fireandrainfireandrain Registered User Posts: 4,715 Senior Member
    Sorry, I don't follow your logic, fenway.

    And I'm not sure I agree with you that Miller has a reputation for impeccable integrity.

    Here are last year's facts as we can interpret them based on the numbers suggested in press releases:

    3043 applied early, 617 accepted, for an acceptance rate of 20 percent (https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/12/early)

    26%, or 161 were athletes, whose acceptance rate was 100%.

    Acceptance rate for non-recruited athletes = 16%

    Total applications were 30,397, 1970 were accepted regular decision. (https://news.brown.edu/articles/2015/03/admission)

    Subtract from the total applicants the number accepted ED (617) and the number denied ED (408) and you get total RD applicants = 29,372.

    Acceptance rate for regular decision = 6.7%. (And this percent is actually much lower for unhooked students, since some of those 1,970 acceptances went to recruited athletes, legacies, development applicants, etc.).

    Overall acceptance rate (total acceptances/total applicants) = 8.5%

    It is accurate to say that an unhooked student cannot compare the 20% ED acceptance rate to the 8.5% overall acceptance rate. The more accurate comparison would be 16% vs. 6.7%.

    Another variable we don't know, in addition to how many legacies and development cases apply ED, is how many private school kids apply ED vs. RD. My educated guess is that the applicant pool for ED is heavily skewed toward private school. And private school kids make up 41% of the accepted class -- while private school students make up about 8% of the total 9-12 school-age population in the US (from links on this page, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=55)

    gray7time, the answer to your question is that while there is an advantage to applying ED it is not as significant as the initial numbers suggest, and if more hooked students apply ED than RD, then the advantage narrows some more. But clearly, of the 456 non-athletes accepted ED last year, many were unhooked. We just don't know how many.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,826 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    ED students are also typically stronger since they are able to apply without having senior fall on their application. The recent reddit AMA with a former Cornell admissions officer turned admissions consultant said that, if anything, ED is harder than RD at Cornell.
  • fenwayparkfenwaypark Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    Sorry, I don't follow your logic, fenway.

    The way you did it (using the ED application figure of 3043 in the article you cited and the RD-only rate), the relevant admit rates are 16.7% vs 6.7%, yielding a ratio of 2.49, ED vs RD

    The method I used (with the ED application figure of 3016 in the article ciervo cited and the overall rate) produces relevant admit rates of 15.1% vs 8.5%, yielding a ratio of 1.77, ED vs overall.

    I think similar conclusions can be drawn.
    @fireandrain said

    And I'm not sure I agree with you that Miller has a reputation for impeccable integrity.

    That is a pretty strong statement, especially by an anonymous message board poster about an absent named individual. Of course we are all entitled to our opinions, but in these circumstances I think an explanation of the basis for your opinion might be in order.

    After all, I think it is crucial for applicants to Brown to be able to trust the utterances of Dean Miller, and now that you have called his integrity into question on a public forum, I also think there is a duty to substantiate your claim

  • goingnutsmomgoingnutsmom Registered User Posts: 1,579 Senior Member
    My D was invited to a presentation where Brown and some other selective colleges ( Barnard, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Bryn Mawr) gave a lot of information about the application process. There were only about 10-12 students there. My D specifically asked about ED for Brown. Admissions related that there would be no advantage to applying ED. She made it clear that the majority of admits during ED are athletes. She was not encouraging at all.
  • fenwayparkfenwaypark Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    She made it clear that the majority of admits during ED are athletes.

    The Brown Admissions Officer made it clear that the majority of admits during ED are athletes? While Dean of Admission James Miller stated in the article cited by ciervo above that 26% of the ED admits are athletes?

    Is it possible there was a misunderstanding at the presentation? It is hard to believe that the Brown Admissions Office would tell such silly lies that are so easy to catch.

    To be clear, until I am advised otherwise, I trust the statement of the Brown Dean of Admission that 26% of the 2019 ED class were athletes and that the ED and RD admit rates are similar if athletes are not included. The way I reconcile those statements, as stated above, it by speculating that the ED and RD pools have different make-ups.

    I mean, does anyone think that Brown would accept a bunch of relatively weak candidates in ED, who would probably not be accepted in RD, which would result in a bunch of really strong candidates in RD being rejected for lack of space?

    There have been two posts now that call into question the integrity or accuracy of the Brown Admissions Office. I am not yet persuaded by either, but will keep an open mind.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,826 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I think more likely she said the majority of athletes are admitted during ED vs. RD, not that the majority of ED acceptances are athletes. There are only 205 recruited athletes in the entire class (http://www.browndailyherald.com/2014/11/17/majority-undergrads-oppose-reserving-spots-athletes/). Over 600 students are admitted ED (http://www.browndailyherald.com/2014/12/11/20-percent-early-decision-applicants-offered-admission/). It's literally impossible for the ED round to have a majority of athletes.
  • goingnutsmomgoingnutsmom Registered User Posts: 1,579 Senior Member
    Well, I really don't think that we misunderstood. I will ask my daughter again exactly how she she phrased it but the message definitely was that an ED applicant would not be at an advantage unless they were an athlete. The message was one of recruited athlete gets the most out of ED and the other applicants would not have an advantage applying ED.
  • fireandrainfireandrain Registered User Posts: 4,715 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    A friend of ours just went to an info session and got the exact same message as goingnutsmom.

    To clarify my earlier statements -- I don't think there are many people on this planet who have "impeccable integrity." I think Miller and Brown admissions staff have integrity and try to do a good job, but I also think they stretch the truth and have a message to deliver.

    Right now, the message from admissions to unhooked students is very clear -- don't apply ED only because you think it gives you an advantage. The numbers that we have don't support that statement. You can come up with whatever convoluted analysis you want, but it seems crystal clear that the acceptance rate for non-athletes is higher ED than RD.

    Let's flip this, and look at this from Brown' perspective. What does Brown want from early decision? Here's my theory.

    Brown wants to lock in the strongest applicants, particularly those who meet institutional needs (AKA hooks). Number one are recruited athletes -- who make up a quarter of ED acceptances. My guess is that the number two priority are development students, and close behind are children of celebrities and famous people. Who else? Any student who Brown really wants -- kids from Utah, kids who have won important awards, kids who are prodigies, etc. My other guess is that Brown also accepts a large number of private school kids ED -- they want to lock in full-pay students. Same with legacies.

    If you are a wonderful kid who is valedictorian of your public high school and has great SATs and is editor of the school paper and captain of the soccer team -- but with no hooks -- why should Brown accept you ED? You don't meet any of its institutional priorities, and it knows that come RD, there will be another 10,000 valedictorians with great SATs and equally great ECs to chose from. Do some of those kids get in ED? I'm sure they do. I'll bet most get deferred.

    From Brown's perspective, the ED thing has gotten out of hand. Students are applying ED because they are trying to game the system, not because the school is their first choice. Students are way too stressed. Especially students who can't apply ED for very legitimate reasons -- the last thing Brown wants is for those students to feel they shouldn't even bother if they can't apply ED.

    Not to mention that admissions and alumni couldn't handle a huge increase in early applications. (One of the reasons Brown switched from EA to ED a decade or so ago.)

    So the current message to unhooked students from Brown (who assumes that most students don't do a detailed analysis of the numbers) is -- calm down. You don't have to apply early. It doesn't put you at a disadvantage.

    If you read my interpretation as questioning the integrity or accuracy of Brown admissions, so be it.
  • fenwayparkfenwaypark Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    Well, I really don't think that we misunderstood.

    A couple of weeks back you posted in this forum:
    My D was invited to a Brown admissions presentation (along with Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Barnard and Bryn Mawr). It was intimate- about 12 students. My D asked the Brown admissions person about ED. She said that frankly ED is not an advantage unless you are an athlete. Their stats show that something like 26% of ED are athletes. She basically was very discouraging to applicants whose first choice is Brown but are not offering the school something that they really want- a strong hook I would imagine.
    (bold added)

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/18682601/#Comment_18682601

    A couple of days ago you posted in this thread:
    My D was invited to a presentation where Brown and some other selective colleges ( Barnard, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Bryn Mawr) gave a lot of information about the application process. There were only about 10-12 students there. My D specifically asked about ED for Brown. Admissions related that there would be no advantage to applying ED. She made it clear that the majority of admits during ED are athletes. She was not encouraging at all.
    (bold added)

    I am going with the 26% that Dean Miller stated and that a couple of posters here have cited
  • fenwayparkfenwaypark Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    edited August 2015
    A friend of ours just went to an info session and got the exact same message as goingnutsmom.

    Majority or 26%, which message?

    ED is no advantage? That message? I think that is what Dean Miller and all the posters on this thread are saying.

    Three other points:

    1. The acceptance rates that colleges publish are overall rates, not each individual's chances. Every applicant to Brown did not have an 8.5% chance last year. Recruited athletes and other special situations had 100% chances. Some starry-eyed applicants had 0% chances. If anyone thinks, with their particular credentials, that they would have an 8.5% chance overall, or a 6.7% RD chance....compared to a 16.7% ED/non-athlete chance, they are not understanding how the system works.

    If you would be a slam dunk for RD, you will probably get admitted ED. If your application would not be competitive RD, you will probably get rejected ED. If your application is a possibility but not a sure thing for RD, you will probably get deferred ED. Your acceptance rate ED and RD is very similar.

    2. This is the Brown forum and the context for the observations is Brown. But I think ED works the same at all elite colleges and the comments here should not be construed as being unique to Brown

    3. Applicants, I encourage you to listen carefully, take to heart, and rely on the statements of Dean Miller and other members of the Brown Office of Admission



  • fireandrainfireandrain Registered User Posts: 4,715 Senior Member
    This was the message our friend got, to quote goingnutsmom:

    "An ED applicant would not be at an advantage unless they were an athlete. The message was one of recruited athlete gets the most out of ED and the other applicants would not have an advantage applying ED."

    The numbers show that the acceptance rate for non-recruited athletic students is higher ED than RD (15% compared to less than 8%). Interpret that however you wish.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,826 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    Putting aside the question of advantage, it is simply impossible for the majority of ED acceptances to be recruited athletes unless you think they are lying about the number of recruits allotted per class or the number of admitted students in the ED round. And I'm not just talking about lying to applicants. These are public numbers and would certainly cause major trouble with the NCAA/Ivy League if they aren't true since the API for is based on recruited athletes only for ivies.

    Maybe you heard right and the officer misspoke but there's no way the majority of ED acceptances are recruited athletes. Period. End of that discussion.
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