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Academic Index?

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Replies to: Academic Index?

  • capitalamericacapitalamerica 442 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 451 Member
    edited August 2014
    @FCCDAD This might not be the most solid answer, but on multiple occasions, in books by former AO's, they have described the process in that they group together the applicants from high schools... But that's IIRC.
    edited August 2014
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  • gibbygibby 10528 replies246 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,774 Senior Member
    ^^ I should have said the process varies from college to college. There are some schools, like MIT for example, that specifically say they do not read all applications from a high school at one time. Other colleges do -- or at least track all students from one high school together on an excel spreadsheet to make head-to head comparisons. Here'a Washington Post article on how some colleges go about the process: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/11/the-education-issue-does-anyone-read-all-those-college-applications-a-parent-finds-out/
    Prospective students are listed alphabetically by high school. Across the top of the spreadsheet are more than 20 fields, such as region, grade-point average, midyear GPA, class rank (if available), ethnicity, whether the student is of athletic interest, whether he or she took the SAT (optional at Goucher) and the student’s contact history with the college. This constitutes the student’s personal row.
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  • FCCDADFCCDAD 964 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 984 Member
    Thank you for the Post article. There were some surprises there, such as listing students by high school and placing a lot of weight on demonstrated interest (contacts) at Goucher. Although even there, they only say the apps are divided up 500 per reader, and only the uncertain ones are reviewed by committee - it doesn't say that most are grouped by high school when they are first read, only that they all are when the questionable ones go before the committee.

    If UVa is (was) shifting towards a regional approach, that implies that they previously did not organize by geography (which would include specific schools, I'm sure). Would they now, for example, compare all applications from a particular Boston high school, compare all New England applications, or simply assign all applications from that region to a particular dean, in no particular order? I can't tell. (BTW, UVa got over 31,000 applications this year, increases of around 2% IS and around 9% OOS applications over last year.)

    For UMd, they clearly do not group them: "The University of Maryland received 26,000 undergraduate applications this year. Twelve admissions counselors will each read more than 2,000 randomly assigned applications to fill 3,975 spaces."

    I guess the issue is that you really need to consistently get a representative sample from a school before comparing an application to others from the same school (as opposed to comparing the application to all students and courses at a school, regardless of college applications) could have any validity.

    If exactly 2 kids from a graduating class of 400 apply to the same college, could it help the college in any way to compare them to each other? I expect not. But comparing them to the data for the entire 400 graduating class should give all kinds of good information.
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