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New Study Highlights How College Visits Boost Admissions Chances At Selective Colleges


Replies to: New Study Highlights How College Visits Boost Admissions Chances At Selective Colleges

  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,401 Forum Champion
    Although post #1 provides an important caveat by making it sound as though we might be talking about a study that was rather limited in its scope and may not be representative of most colleges...

    This article does provide a glimmer of hope. I logged plenty of hours on the road during the past year visiting colleges with my son. I would have brought him for visits even without a supposed admissions advantage, just because the visits will help him decide among colleges and pick a "home" for four years. But hoorah for demonstrated interest!

    It is worth mentioning, however, that a few colleges specifically do not offer on-campus interviews because they feel they would provide an unfair advantage to the local and/or wealthy students who can take advantage of them. They state this right on their websites. This camp includes Amherst and Middlebury among others.

    And there is a growing trend among top colleges to pay for academic superstars from less wealthy families to come visit them. These programs, however, are very competitive; the statistics posted on College Confidential on threads about these programs reveal that successful applicants for the fly-in programs are among our nation's strongest college applicants in terms of GPA and SAT/ ACT scores.
  • bzss7xbzss7x Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus Thanks for pointing out that info on Princeton's CDS. I find interesting that their web site says "The University does not track visitor information and/or a campus visit for the purpose of evaluating an applicant."

    Who knows what to believe. Interesting.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 68,571 Senior Member
    Princeton may use other ways of tracking level of applicant's interest.

    Older discussion on level of applicant's interest (not Princeton specific):
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,501 Senior Member
    My kids visited many college campuses when considering colleges. The final list for each kid was only 1/3 of the colleges we visited.

    I haven't found the study. How do they correct for the influence of the applicants dropping colleges where they didn't sense "fit?"
  • CaliDad2020CaliDad2020 Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
    Maybe need to add a "did you visit/demonstrate strong interest" line-item on the CC decision threads. I'm not sure a single-institution study is all that compelling.

    (I bet someone could write a great data-mining program to consolidate all the info provided on those CC threads over the years. Has anyone tried that?)

    Fwiw, off hand, for my kid, there were acceptances where interest was not overly strongly demonstrated (UMich, McGill, UWash-Seattle), rejections despite a 2400 mile trip, tour and interview (JHU) and acceptance and significant merit aid where they really wanted to go and the interest was repeatedly demonstrated and probably palpable. (USC)

  • whatisyourquestwhatisyourquest Registered User Posts: 700 Member
    Lots of people inexplicably take what's declared in the CDS as gospel. We already know that some universities game the system, or say things to kids/parents that are demonstrably false. Why is it then implausible that some universities check the CDS box that demonstrated interest is NOT a factor in admissions, but then actually DO consider demonstrated interest in admission decisions, behind closed doors? How would you know the truth?

    If you want to weed out applicants that are coming to campus just to gain an admission advantage, and thereby identify the subset of kids that are truly committed to attending if admitted, wouldn't the practice of formally declaring that demonstrated interest is NOT a factor achieve that goal?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,940 Senior Member
    Needs to be ^ that devious?? Again, blaming colleges?

    If a kid is truly interested, he'll pause to learn why and how he matches, (if he does match.) Then show it. For competitive colleges, it's a lot more than my grades fit and you have my major. Or you're my dreammmm school.
  • whatisyourquestwhatisyourquest Registered User Posts: 700 Member
    @lookingforward , you wrote this upthread:

    "Folks, no one polices the CDS and different schools can use it to mean what they wish."

    I agree with that statement.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,940 Senior Member
    Yes, I saw that. But the colleges don't need to intentionally mislead. Kids have enough trouble demonstrating interest via knowing what matters to that college. Or for that possible major.
  • whatisyourquestwhatisyourquest Registered User Posts: 700 Member
    edited August 2017
    Hmm, seems like semantics. "Use it to mean what they wish," sounds like acknowledgment that colleges can employ the CDS to "intentionally mislead" because it is not "policed." But, whatever.
  • CaliDad2020CaliDad2020 Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
    But there is no margin for a school to "trick" students. Why go to the trouble? The only places "demonstrated interest" are likely to be interesting are, as noted, yield, financial ability and perhaps also family commitment to education (you could probably assume that a family that will travel 1500 to visit a specific school and who's kid is dying to go there might have a higher prospect of being a legacy donor/supporter/booster.)

    Schools know how much they care about yield. Some care more, some less. Many have ED/REA which is best indicator of interest/guaranteed yield anyway.

    Some schools are very upfront with wanting to know if you will attend. Some have others ways of gauging interest and some are not that concerned with yield (Competitive State schools in particular.)

    Really, if USNews didn't use yield in it's calculations, aside from cost savings and efficiency (why spend time and moeny admitting and chasing kids who won't attend) schools would hardly care much less about it anyway.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,940 Senior Member
    C'mon, if a kid can't answer a Why Us, the visit is meaningless. Even if there isn't a specific WU, how a kid answers or organizes other sections shows whether he gets it. Obviously, I mean highly or most competitive.

    I think CC assumes a level playing field among top performers. And, Oh Boy, if I just do X (apply early, visit, plead my love, whatever,) I get "extra points. " That's so Not.

    If you are absolutely set, will definitely yield, apply Early. There's your commitment to yield.

    I think many also underestimate how SES diversity works.

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,940 Senior Member
    WIYQ, what I mean about using categories as they wish is that it's subjective in nature. *As they see it.* Not deceipt. Eg, some on CC say Very Important trumps Important or Considered. But it all matters, in highly competitive holistic.

    Eg, Yale's CDS says the interview is Considered. That doesn't mean it's less important. In fact, in other places, they admit it's evaluative. Don't blow the interview. Don't go making killer mistakes cuz you think you've nailed other parts.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    Of the seven "highly selective" schools that my son was admitted to, the only "demonstrated interest" he had evidenced was through his essays. We hadn't visited a single one prior to receiving admissions. In my opinion, writing essays that demonstrate why that particular school, especially a certain program or programs at the school, is crucial in fulfilling the applicant's aspirations, is the most effective "demonstratedo interest" than anything else.
  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee Registered User Posts: 556 Member
    ^^^ Did he get rejected by any? Maybe a visit would have made the difference.

    It's not about one student. The facts support that generally, schools prioritize those who make the effort to visit.

    I think the Ivies are the exception because their application numbers are so large, and the statistical qualities so high, that they don't have an interest in A) administering the process of tracking visits, and B) dealing with all of the visitors on campus if it ever gets out they matter.

    Highly selective LAC's (I believe) use it a great deal.
This discussion has been closed.