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how does admissions work?

StarterStarter Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
edited January 2013 in College Admissions
I don't understand it. The more I read the more it seems like pure luck. Two people with the same stats get different decisions. People with ungodly incredible stats get denied and people who seemingly could never get accepted get a letter. This is mostly for ivies it just seems like luck. Kids get accepted to princeton and denied at Cornell how does that make sense?
Post edited by Starter on

Replies to: how does admissions work?

  • kagami6918kagami6918 Registered User Posts: 593 Member
    You seem to be implying that stats are everything. What about their essays? Two people with the same stats can still present themselves in different ways. And what about their letters of recommendations? Maybe the admissions officers got a "better idea" of who one person was because he/she had great recommendation letters that really showcased him/her.

    Though I guess luck can be a factor. -shrug- Or different admissions officers have different values. Who knows.
  • TinnyTTinnyT Registered User Posts: 1,677 Senior Member
    Admissions is such a tricky code that many CCers try to crack but usually fail.
  • neuroticparentneuroticparent Registered User Posts: 684 Member
    Yes, admissions to top schools are often a crapshoot. Admissions officers often say that they sadly have to turn down a class that's just as qualified as the one they accept.

    But there is a method to their madness - they are looking to round out the class in terms of diversity, talents, field of interest, accomplishments, etc. Princeton might be interested in an oboe player/robotics champ from North Dakota, when Cornell has already accepted two.

    Good stats will get you onto the dance floor, but they're only a piece of the big picture.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    May I direct you to this forthright essay?

    Reed College Message essay
  • KKmamaKKmama Registered User Posts: 3,001 Senior Member
    Students are going to be accepted at one Ivy but not at another because, for the most part, the majority of applicants are equals in terms of grades and test scores. The school cannot accept every applicant that has a 4.0 and SAT scores in the 2300's. Just the number of applicants guarantees that the chance of being accepted at every Ivy is slim to none.

    So the school looks at other aspects of the applicants, putting together a group that they think will be varied and complimentary, or, because of a unique situation, has something to offer the school. So a real go-getter who has organized a community event but only has a 3.75 may be more appealing than a run-of-the-mill class valedictorian. Valedictorians are a dime a dozen (one at every high school in the country). But someone who arrived in this country as a refugee, speaking no English, who managed to be in the top 10% of her graduating class while also accomplishing impressive community service skills are much rarer.
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