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How much does town matter?

maggien1548maggien1548 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited July 2018 in College Admissions
I want to get into this one school. Someone else in my grade does too. The thing is, I am a very competitive applicant for this school if my application is looked at individually. However, when admissions officers see my application next to the other person from my town, the other person has slightly better credentials. Basically, if both of us deserve to get in, will the college take both of us even though we are from the same HS, or will they only take my classmate? Do colleges set a "quota" for each town's high school? For context, it is an ivy league school, so very competitive.
Post edited by skieurope on

Replies to: How much does town matter?

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,326 Senior Member
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,962 Forum Champion
    There is no quota by HS. You will be evaluated against a much larger pool than that.
  • me29034me29034 Registered User Posts: 1,691 Senior Member
    It is extremely difficult to be accepted to an Ivy League school, even for competitive applicants. If you are not accepted, it won’t be because of another student from your high school.
  • JohnGaltIIIJohnGaltIII Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
    Town alone will probably not matter but it could. Top schools want kids from every state and it can be feast or famine in any specific year for your state depending on the number of kids from your state applying to a specific school. This is going to matter a lot more the smaller the state.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,326 Senior Member
    @JohnGaltIII No it will not matter regardless of the size of the state.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,097 Super Moderator
    Do colleges set a "quota" for each town's high school?
    No highly selective college has a min/max/quota.

    That said, if an average of one student per year from your HS is accepted to Harvard, it's unlikely that the number will spike to 5 in the next admissions cycle.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 2,091 Senior Member
    "Do colleges set a "quota" for each town's high school?"

    I know you used it in quotes but quota is a loaded word around here and people will not say that colleges use it, as it would cause severe cognitive dissonance if they thought colleges did. That being said, while colleges use soft quotas on race and other factors, I don't think they use it on the town level, high school yes, but not town.
  • Kadel1023Kadel1023 Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    I am at the minority at this.

    The whole "holistic approach" just an excuse for certain rejections. Sure they want the best candidates, but they also stress diversity, and that doesnt just mean racial background.

    No I dont mean directly they would shut you off, but unless there are other drastic differences with your profile, same town with similar credentials might give them incentives to put you into the "maybe" pile from "yes" pile.

    Not much you can do at this point, but good luck.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,475 Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    One of my kids got into schools another applicant from her HS didn’t get into, even though that applicant had some components of their app that were stronger than my kid’s. It can happen. But it sounds like this is a reach school with very low acceptance rates. Put together the best app you can, but focus hard on matches & safeties you like and can afford. Your odds are far higher that you will be attending one of those, so don’t lose sight of that. If you get into the reach school, gravy. If not, you should set yourself up with other good options.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Do not be surprised when someone with lower stats /profile gets in and you do not. No one really knows what the secret sauce is. If we did we would all be selling it.....

    Think of the college admission process as a game. Don't get to high or low on any one school. Have many of safety options. The brightest students are being completely shut out of the Ivies. I know many.
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 Registered User Posts: 1,259 Senior Member
    No quota, but some schools do read all applications by high school in a group, so there is definitely comparison happening between classmates. Again, not all schools read this way, but quite a few selective schools do and it's completely appropriate to ask your regional AO how their school reads apps. Agree with the above points that holistic admissions lead to decisions that aren't always predictable or explainable.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,271 Forum Champion
    And I have read stories on CC where someone thought they had a better record than someone else, and the other person got in. You never know what activities that other person has done (perhaps outside of school), or that they want to major in History and you in English and they want more English majors.

    All you can do is present yourself in the best light, and have good safety schools.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,680 Senior Member
    Odds are, neither one of you will get in - because 95% applicants won't.
    Perhaps you will and she won't, perhaps you won't and she will, but it won't be related to the other one - remember that odds are that both you will be denied and focus on finding two affordable safeties that share some characteristics with your favorite Colleges.
    Good luck!
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