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Five Biggest Trends in College Admissions

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Replies to: Five Biggest Trends in College Admissions

  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    Is that supposed to be a joke?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    I went to a public magnet that has never taught AP classes (though plenty of students still take AP tests).
    It tends to do well in placement in to Ivies/equivalents (among the top 50 HS's in the country even when ranking by a percentage of the graduating class, and that ranking is dominated by small elite private prep/boarding schools).
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    ^ BTW, the average ACT score there is now 32, so 50th percentile students tend to do at least decently in college admissions.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    edited August 31
    @whatisyourquest

    Far more people get perfect ACT scores than perfect SAT scores. The number of perfect ACT scores has increased dramatically over the past 10-15 years, while the number of perfect SAT scores has remained relatively flat. The ACT clearly made the decision to target a distribution with more high scores.
  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    @roethlisburger What's the national average ACT score?
  • jmek15jmek15 Registered User Posts: 611 Member
    Interesting article. I did see a big difference in schools willing to superscore the ACT in the course of just two years (from dd2015 to ds2017), For what it's worth...
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 13,202 Senior Member
    @droppedit True, but I think that public schools could move in the direction of having advanced classes without making them AP classes and the subsequent AP test, just as these private/magnet schools have done. Doesn't help students in the here and now, but seems like it would be a better place to be. Obviously, as these private/magnet schools have proven, AP isn't that important. I think that's the point we're trying to make and to reinforce that point from the article linked. Classes will still be rigorous but I do think it would eliminate some of the craziness and cost.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 23,731 Senior Member
    Her article: out of the mouth of...a private admissions counselor.

    "brag about the 95% of the enrolled class being in the top 10% of their high school." Interesting claim, since so many hs have discontinued reporting rank. Many top colleges report 50-plus percent not reporting, and that it's growing.

    If you're worried about the pressure, well, spare your kids the pressure. Really. Take the reins. Nothing wrong with stretching but maybe the pressure to get A grades needs to be revisited, when parents are concerned.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,522 Senior Member
    edited September 1
    doschicos wrote:
    True, but I think that public schools could move in the direction of having advanced classes without making them AP classes and the subsequent AP test, just as these private/magnet schools have done. Doesn't help students in the here and now, but seems like it would be a better place to be. Obviously, as these private/magnet schools have proven, AP isn't that important.

    For the vast majority of college frosh who enter college advanced in one or more subjects, AP courses and exam scores are convenient for both the high schools and colleges in evaluating how advanced the student should start, based on previous advanced work in high school. Non-elite high schools are not likely to want to go through the trouble of designing their own advanced level courses when they can simply use premade AP courses. Most colleges may prefer to use AP scores for advanced placement rather than have to administer their own placement tests.

    Indeed, the AP program originally came about partly because some elite high schools (Andover, Exeter, Lawrenceville) and colleges (Harvard, Princeton, Yale) saw the value of some standardized means of offering college frosh advanced placement based on advanced work in high school.

    http://www.andover.edu/gpgconference/documents/four-decades.pdf
    http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/news_info/ap/ap_history_english.pdf

    Seems ironic now that a program that was once promoted for elitist reasons by elite high schools and colleges is now commonly disdained by those associated with elite high schools and colleges, as it has become much more widespread among non-elite high schools.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 13,202 Senior Member
    Probably because it's become a bit of a monster morphing from what it used to be. It a money making machine and doesn't allow for flexibility in curriculum and teaching, and as the linked article states:

    "Growing research suggests that schools offering the AP curriculum are only teaching to the test, the AP exams at the end of the year.

    The Mastery Transcript Consortium is a group of high schools offering an alternative: a curriculum and assessment which promotes a deeper understanding and a “mastery” of the subject area rather than teaching to the test. While the list of member schools still looks like a page out of a prep school guide from the 1950’s, these are some of the most respected schools in the country and have the power to influence the colleges who have relied on their students for decades. Look for more schools, even public schools, to take a stand against unreasonable expectations for students by limiting the number of AP courses they can take each year or even eliminating the program altogether."

    Obviously, given the article, many colleges are willing to forgo APs as a convenience.

    As mentioned in the article, some key educators are looking at alternatives to the rat race in grades/transcript. Colleges seem amenable as they not only want bright students but students who develop deep, intellectual understanding and mastery of subject matter.

    http://www.mastery.org/

  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    Interesting claim, since so many hs have discontinued reporting rank. Many top colleges report 50-plus percent not reporting, and that it's growing. If you're worried about the pressure, well, spare your kids the pressure. Really. Take the reins. Nothing wrong with stretching but maybe the pressure to get A grades needs to be revisited, when parents are concerned.
    For one example, see: http://admission.stanford.edu/apply/selection/profile16.html

    These kids aren't stupid. They can read a stat sheet. They see that the vast majority of enrolled students at the top schools are in the top 10% of their HS class. That leads the kids to focus on weighted GPA and that leads to excess AP classes because those are the ones that bump up the GPA/class rank.

    In our family the pressure is definitely not coming from the parents. D18 always says how the other kids' parents pressure them to take all this stuff and how we are always trying to talk her out of taking all the AP classes.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 23,731 Senior Member
    edited September 1
    Droppedit, the footnote is always, "for those whose hs report rank." Stanford doesn't have that written but it is not so easy to guess rank without it being supplied.

    There seems to be a lot of roiling and boiling over this thread topic. Some venting.

    I'm pretty close to admissions and from my perspective, kids should focus less on stats and superficials, as the be all and end all, and more what truly matters to the colleges, holistically. The real attributes they want to see. There's so much hierarchical thinking on CC (gotta be the best, need national awards, need umpteen APs, have to get over 1500, have to have some title, even if you crowned yourself, those awful colleges, those awful elite preps, the pressure.) Then so many miss putting together a fully impressive package. They assume too much, dig (and think) too little.

    These are 16 and 17 year old kids. If a kid can manage the highest orders of rigor, plus responsibility in ECs, fine. Really, fine. Some thrive on stretch. If anyone's kid can't handle that, take the reins.
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