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A must see for college applicants.

RedMachineKaneRedMachineKane 38 replies6 threads- Junior Member
edited December 2013 in College Admissions
The best thing one can learn in college application process is how to present oneself in best possible light. So these videos show you how admission officer scrutinize one's application.
these videos are presented by former Stanford admission officer- Erinn Andrews. These apply completely to other schools as well!
Case study 1
Case study 2
Case study 3
Case study 4
Case study 5
Case study 6
Have fun :)
edited December 2013
134 replies
Post edited by RedMachineKane on
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Replies to: A must see for college applicants.

  • howaboutnohowaboutno 30 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thank you very much for posting these! I showed them to my brother (ninth grade), and they were very helpful!
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  • RedMachineKaneRedMachineKane 38 replies6 threads- Junior Member
    I'm glad they helped! Good luck to your bro :)
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  • nemesis55nemesis55 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I was under the impression that AP scores play little to no weight in college admissions, and they are just used for placement. Correct me if I'm wrong please!
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  • nicedayniceday 2406 replies92 threads Senior Member
    There is a bump in admissions for just taking AP classes, regardless of whether score is reported. AP scores definitely factor into the admissions process, if you choose to report them.

    I would note two things:

    One, most schools don't require official AP score reports with your application the way they do for SAT, ACT and subject tests. AP scores are self reported.

    Two, in the videos you watched, the presenter assumed each student took an AP test and reported the score for every AP class taken. On that basis, she discussed whether the student had a rigorous load. In reality, many students (especially in public high schools) take very rigorous loads but elect not to take AP tests for every course (often based on cost). If these students have strong grades across the board and get good scores on the AP tests they do take, they aren't necessarily penalized by adcoms for not taking AP tests in every course.
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  • nemesis55nemesis55 52 replies6 threads Junior Member
    That makes sense. Thank you! :)
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  • hardcoregamerhardcoregamer 41 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for posting, very informational.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13138 replies246 threads Senior Member
    *Like button pressed*
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  • SikorskySikorsky 5745 replies106 threads Senior Member
    Really emphasizes the point that for the insanely competitive schools (HYPSM et al.), the best you can do is to ensure that you're "competitive." Unless you're 7 feet tall, or Malia Obama, with strong grades and test scores, you really can't guarantee yourself admission.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13138 replies246 threads Senior Member
    I got the sense that rigor, grades and scores would keep the app alive, then after that it was all about interesting ECs and leadership.

    [running off to tell D to start a food blog] ;)
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  • SikorskySikorsky 5745 replies106 threads Senior Member
    I think that's exactly right.

    If anything, I was surprised that Andrews seemed more willing to try to redeem an applicant with lackluster academic credentials and interesting activities than I would have expected.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13138 replies246 threads Senior Member
    ...while she kind of shot down the kid with 5 million programming languages and great stats. Interesting indeed. I wonder if ad reps simply get bored with all the smart kid apps they read :)
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  • nicedayniceday 2406 replies92 threads Senior Member
    It certainly provides insight into the reason valedictorians aren't auto-admits everywhere.
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  • Bigdaddy88Bigdaddy88 631 replies50 threads Member
    Forget piano lessons. Instead take bagpipe lessons. Forget travel soccer. Replace it with fencing or squash. Forget learning three foreign languages. Study sign language instead.
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  • Bartleby007Bartleby007 493 replies1 threads Member
    Really emphasizes the point that for the insanely competitive schools (HYPSM et al.), the best you can do is to ensure that you're "competitive." Unless you're 7 feet tall, or Malia Obama, with strong grades and test scores, you really can't guarantee yourself admission.
    An applicant can't guarantee admission at the top-tier schools...but he/she can certainly make the probability of multiple acceptances more likely by: (1) presenting an academically superior record (4.0 GPA UW, maximum AP/IB classes at school, 2300+ SAT or 35+ ACT, 750-800 scores on multiple Subject tests), (2) showing leadership in the community and demonstrating depth of involvement in extracurricular activities, and (3) showing initiative/creativity in community service/academic interests/noteworthy accomplishment.

    I like to think of #1 as simply "checking the box" on demonstrated academic ability. Most HYPSM applicants have great stats.
    #2 and #3 are the elements that distinguish a student in the college admissions process at the most competitive schools.

    None of the applicants presented by Ms. Andrews was a shoe-in at a top-tier university. Not surprising at all. Each had glaring deficiencies...and, to be fair, only certain parts of the students' records were discussed. Review of the essays and supplemental app materials would go a long way in determining the accept/reject/wait-list decision.
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  • turtletimeturtletime 1247 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I don't know if it's so much "bored with smart kids" as much as looking for different sorts of smart kids. Consider that gifted children have one of the highest high school drop-out rates. That means some of the brightest minds aren't making it to these top college (or any colleges.) Some of the brightest minds really don't thrive in a traditional schooling environment and so their records are spotty despite having these phenomenal aspects. While obviously, schools want those killer scores and grades that prove a child is capable for the most part... I think there is a special sort of joy in finding that diamond in the rough.

    I believe with the internet and hired college planners, lots of fantastic kids are sort of looking the same.
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  • itsvitsv 1364 replies114 threads Senior Member
    posting for future reference. thanks for sharing.
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  • samxfarotsamxfarot 56 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Same thank you
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  • TempeMomTempeMom 2970 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Interesting. I liked the breakdown of both competitive (academically) and compelling (EC/personality) and her contrast of the "well rounded student" case 5 and the "angular student" case 6.
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  • SikorskySikorsky 5745 replies106 threads Senior Member
    RE: post #15. I think virtually nobody is a shoo-in at Stanford, Harvard and the rest. Chelsea Clinton probably was one if she was a top student at Sidwell, but there aren't very darn many.
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  • incadincaincadinca 134 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Interesting that in a couple of the case studies she seems to weight the SAT score more heavily than the ACT. I thought colleges say they don't prefer one over the other. Seems not the case for Stanford. I wonder how that affects kids like my son who have to send in ALL scores to some of the more select schools but whose ACT is considerably better than the SAT. I wanted him to not even send the SAT and pretend he never took it but don't want to be dishonest when they ask for all scores.
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