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According to naviance....?

agreatperhapsagreatperhaps - Posts: 596 Member
edited February 2013 in College Admissions
Applicants from my school seem to get in easier- the average GPA for an accepted applicant from my school is lower than the average GPA for accepted applicants in general- could this be because the academics at my school are harder than average and admissions realizes that when look at GPA?
Post edited by agreatperhaps on

Replies to: According to naviance....?

  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Registered User Posts: 4,461 Senior Member
    That is correct.
  • theoristtheorist Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    It is somewhat difficult to use a simple GPA as a basis for comparison between two students who are taking different courses with different teachers at the same school. Comparing between different schools which may have widely varying academic expectations and grading standards is very problematic. My most likely explanation for the differences is GPA's of admits from different schools is that it reflects the actual or perceived differences in what those GPA's mean at different schools.

    I have seen differences in the average SAT scores of students admitted from different local high schools.

    For instance consider the following average SAT scores of students accepted to Brown and Columbia from two comparable suburban high schools that I will call LHS and AHS.

    ................................. LHS ............. AHS
    Brown ........................ 2311 ........... 2226
    Columbia .................... 2257 ........... 2370

    One interpretation is that Brown prefers AHS students and Columbia prefers LHS students or that it finds that the admits from those schools tended to be better fits or have other characteristics not captured in SAT scores (gasp) that correlated with their high school.

    Another interpretation is that LHS students tend to prefer Brown and AHS students often prefer Columbia. This Naviance data is for the average scores of admits not matriculated students. If Brown is very popular with students with the highest SAT scores at LHS and less popular with students with the highest SAT scores at AHS, this could raise the average SAT scores of their admits from LHS and lower their average scores from AHS.

    Looking at two other high schools, the SAT scores of admits to the most selective colleges tend to be higher for LHS students than for WHS students. This could indicate that many AdComs prefer WHS students, that LHS students prep harder for the SAT or have higher SAT scores without all the corroborating data or strength in other dimensions, or that LHS students with the highest SAT scores apply to and are admitted to more schools than comparable WHS students.

    And then of course there's the possibility that it's all random =).

    So another possible explanation for the lower average GPA's of admits from your school is that your classmates don't apply to as many safety colleges.
  • bkbmombkbmom Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    I think theorist is over thinking OP's question. theorist's last sentence "So another possible explanation for the lower average GPA's of admits from your school is that your classmates don't apply to as many safety colleges." does not have anything to do with the OP's question but perhaps he/she's unfamiliar with Naviance.

    Naviance utilizes data from the students at OP's high school and the colleges where they apply. It shows total number of students applied and shows the average SAT/PSAT/ACT/GPA of accepted students to each school over generally a five year time frame.

    The number of schools that each student applies to has zero affect on the data so the number of "safety colleges" that classmates apply to is not applicable. It's also not about whether students from one school prefers school A over school B. It's simply about the average GPA (and other stats) from OP's school is lower than the school's information from the CDS (common data set).

    While simplified, I agree with siliconvalleymom and the OP. If your high school's average GPA of accepted students at colleges is lower than the average GPA of all accepted students at the schools, it is a reflection of the academics at your high school.
  • theoristtheorist Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member

    I admit that I overthought the OP's question. I thought this through earlier while studying local Naviance data at a half dozen local schools. I'm sorry that I'm not better at explaining this in plain English without probability models.

    Since you are also familiar with Naviance you realize that a student with 2380 who applies ED to and is accepted by only one college will only enter into the Naviance data for that one school. If that student applied to 16 colleges and was accepted to 10, they would raise the average SAT scores of admitted students that Naviance reports for all 10 colleges that admitted her.

    If the students at the OP's school tend to use ED more or apply to and are accepted by fewer safety colleges, a similar effect can occur. If any fellow quant geeks out there don't quite see this and would like a proof, I'd be happy to oblige. I'm sorry that I am unable to explain this better without somewhat formal and abstract math.
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