Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Accepted to Only 2 Out of 17 Schools - and What I Learned

12345679»

Replies to: Accepted to Only 2 Out of 17 Schools - and What I Learned

  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,727 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    "There are also plenty of excellent colleges that focus more on stats than HYPSM... Vanderbilt is a good example, although that may fall under your "second tier school" description."

    Ok but HYPSM are in the top-10 schools with the highest averages, in fact a few higher than Vanderbilt. This is the list I saw recently:

    1-10: Cal Tech, Chicago, MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Vanderbilt, WashU-Stl, Columbia, Stanford

    So HYPSM definitely focus on stats, it would be impossible for them to have such high averages without a lot of high stat kids walking around campus.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,045 Senior Member
    So HYPSM definitely focus on stats, it would be impossible for them to have such high averages without a lot of high stat kids walking around campus.

    However, for super-selective schools, high stats may be necessary, but not sufficient, to be admitted.
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,374 Senior Member
    Ok but HYPSM are in the top-10 schools with the highest averages, in fact a few higher than Vanderbilt. This is the list I saw recently:

    1-10: Cal Tech, Chicago, MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Vanderbilt, WashU-Stl, Columbia, Stanford
    You also need to consider differences in applicant pool, acceptance rate, and class size. For example, many less selective colleges have a ~100% admit rate for top scoring applicants, yet they still don't have as a high median scores as HYPSM... , which reject most top scoring applicants. I'd expect Vanderbilt has notably fewer top scoring applicants than Harvard, yet their CDS lists the same 32/35 ACT score range as Harvard, suggesting that they admit a much larger portion of the high scoring applicants that they do get. Admissions decisions histories, scattergrams, and statements on the respective websites are consistent with this expectation.

  • blockchainblockchain Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    Could it be possible you came off too contrived? Your post sounded a bit like every course, EC, interest, etc., you participated in was calculated to “look good” to Ivy admissions. In the big picture, working for marquee name companies after graduation and getting sophisticated work experience is more important than which school you attended. College education will always be at the bottom of your resume.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,727 Senior Member
    "My point isn't that the system is not based solely on ACT/SAT plus AP scores - it clearly isn't. But it also is reasonably predictable."

    It's really not that predictable for Asians and whites at the top 20 universities (including LACs). Once you get into the less selective schools and public universities it becomes more predictable I agree.

  • turtle17turtle17 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Just based on my experience in our local area, it has been reasonably predictable. Not 100%, but reasonably predictable. I'm in a good public school district in the midwest in an area near a large university. My take is unhooked, you need more than just top grades and GPA for HYPSM, but any of urm, likely letter athlete, or something more like intel/regeneron/siemens and its equivalent in other areas will give you a fairly good shot. At the next level, say 5-20 just checking all of the boxes really well will do, although many now require ED for that to work. Really that approach has been accurate for a large percentage of the time. Most disappointment comes from not realizing top grades plus scores is necessary but not usually sufficient for top 5 maybe 10, some recently from not realizing how critical ED is for some schools. Oh, and every now and then there is the case of not realizing a 4.0 but few APs doesn't work. It is likely the bar for the "something extra" is higher in competitive coastal places.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,101 Senior Member
    The top 20 schools are NOT predictable in any way. Many, many, MANY kids with perfect scores and GPAs are declined. How can that be predictable. In essence you need to be at or extremely close to that level just to play the game. Then it becomes about all the other things.
  • dragonmom3dragonmom3 Registered User Posts: 389 Member
    edited December 2017
    My D14 had a perfect 4.7 weighted (4.0 UW) gpa, 2340 SAT, 15 AP's (12 /5's) National AP Scholar as a Junior, NM Finalist, many top notch EC's, two part-time jobs.......she was rejected from Stanford, Yale ED, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, Brown, and accepted to Vanderbilt, Duke, Cornell, and UCLA (regents)....but alas she is white --no one to blame--so she cried a little, picked a great college and moved on. Some Asian families here need to be aware of the complexity and randomness of the process.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,727 Senior Member
    I'd expect Vanderbilt has notably fewer top scoring applicants than Harvard, yet their CDS lists the same 32/35 ACT score range as Harvard, suggesting that they admit a much larger portion of the high scoring applicants that they do get.

    Why would you assume that? If Vanderbilt has a reputation for favoring high scores, then you'd expect more high scoring applicants to apply there over Harvard. In fact Harvard would get more low scorers applying because they don't prioritize high scorers. The 1200/27 ACT applicant who thinks they're going to change the world will apply to Harvard over Vanderbilt, right? Of course, Harvard actually wants a ton of high scorers to apply, they're not going to have a bunch of 27/1200 running around campus.
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,374 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    The top 20 schools are NOT predictable in any way. Many, many, MANY kids with perfect scores and GPAs are declined. How can that be predictable. In essence you need to be at or extremely close to that level just to play the game. Then it becomes about all the other things.
    Awhile back I tried to see if I could come up with a set of rules that would predict admissions decisions among CC posters in the Stanford decisions thread. Stats based predictions failed abysmally. There was actually a negative correlation between most academic stats and admissions decisions in this CC poster group (not at all representative of typical applicants). However, once I added in a couple EC/award/out of classroom variables with a 1-5 rating based on a national/state/... scale, then I could predict ~80% correctly. After varying admission thresholds for special groups like URMs, then I could predict ~90% correctly in spite of having huge holes of missing content from the application, such as not knowing about essays and LORs. The decisions are carefully thought out and are not random, but they may appear random, if you just look at who has the pinnacle of highest stats.

    You also don't necessarily need to have " extremely close" to perfect scores and GPAs to be admitted. Many students are also admitted with scores or GPAs below the median for the entering class, including some who aren't hooks. For example, my CR SAT score was in the bottom 1% of students in my class at Stanford. I was not an URM or other hook. Instead I was a planned engineering major, with perfect scores in math and science..
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,374 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    Why would you assume that? If Vanderbilt has a reputation for favoring high scores, then you'd expect more high scoring applicants to apply there over Harvard. In fact Harvard would get more low scorers applying because they don't prioritize high scorers. The 1200/27 ACT applicant who thinks they're going to change the world will apply to Harvard over Vanderbilt, right? Of course, Harvard actually wants a ton of high scorers to apply, they're not going to have a bunch of 27/1200 running around campus.
    Harvard's reputation as one of the most desired colleges among top scoring applicants is much more commonly known/believed than Vanderbilt's reputation as favoring high scores. Harvard is also commonly believed to be much more selective than Vanderbilt, which leads to an academically stronger on average applicant pool. The top scoring valedictorian type is more like to apply to Harvard, even though they likely have a much better shot at Vanderbilt. Ignoring all of that, you don't have to apply to either Harvard or Vanderbilt. You can apply to both. For example, the post immediately above yours states:

    "she was rejected from Stanford, Yale ED, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, Brown, and accepted to Vanderbilt..."

    She applied to both Harvard and Vanderbilt. Among the many high scoring applicants who apply to both HYPSM... and Vanderbilt, how do you think Vanderbilt is going to do with cross admits? Vanderbilt maintains the same 25/75th percentile ACT scores as Harvard in spite of having a tremendously lower yield among their high stat admitted students, so they need to admit a higher portion of top scoring admits to maintain their 75th percentile 35 ACT. If you look at scattergrams for Vanderbilt, the rejections almost form a wall at an ACT of 34, with hardly any rejections in their 75th+ percentile ACT of 35+... very different from Harvard where the vast majority of 35+ are rejected.
  • turtle17turtle17 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    All of the posts above support the statement "My take is unhooked, you need more than just top grades and GPA for HYPSM, but any of urm, likely letter athlete, or something more like intel/regeneron/siemens and its equivalent in other areas will give you a fairly good shot. "
    Just because top grades and GPA don't themselves lead to likely admission to 5 or so schools doesn't mean it isn't predictable. National level accomplishments are verifiable and not random (to be clear here, national level accomplishments means Siemens or math olympiad team or equivalents in other fields).
Sign In or Register to comment.