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Admission Officers Reveal the Most Important Factors Driving Decisions

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Replies to: Admission Officers Reveal the Most Important Factors Driving Decisions

  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,834 Senior Member
    I agree that it would be flipped at the most selective schools - once the student reaches a threshold with the academic requirements. Once they consider you "qualified" they then consider everything else that helps them build a class. I view it as somewhat like Olin does - they select the students they're most interested in, based on the applications and stats, and invite them all to campus where they evaluate them as individuals, and their "fit" with the school. From what I understand, once you get invited to the prospective student weekend, they no longer look at your stats - so that 3.5/1450 student the piques someone's interest is on equal ground with the 4.0/1600.

    The stats get you in the door, but don't close the deal - there are plenty of "perfect" students who are rejected every year, in favor of "less perfect" students.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,213 Senior Member
    I’m surprised that counselor recommendation would be up there. My kid’s counselor had a caseload of 500 students to deal with, so around 125 letters to write. I can’t imagine there would be much insight into what she would be writing.

    That is probably one of the big advantages of elite prep schools with respect to elite college admissions. The counseling staff are familiar with each student, and trusted by the colleges that they have privileged connections with, so if the counselor is willing to recommend the student to the college, that carries weight to the college.

    However, your public high school counselor probably is not writing that many recommendations. Some of the 125 are not going to college. Many of those who are, at least in California, are only looking at in state publics, which do not generally use recommendations.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,988 Senior Member
    It's not an absolute list. A rack and stack will have different values than a top holistic. Just cuz the studied this snd released a report means little in real life, your record. your targets, and more.
  • snarlatronsnarlatron Registered User Posts: 1,630 Senior Member
    That hooks are not mentioned as criteria makes the list suspect. And what do the selective schools do when most of their applicants have perfect grades and board scores? They are not going to fractions of a percent; they are looking closely at LORs and needs of school.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,268 Senior Member
    Re HS student attended - I think it absolutely matters as in do they have a track record with kids from that school? In our situation, S attended a charter school that was great in terms of educating the kids, but had never sent a kid to a highly selective school (only 10 yrs old- primarily poor kids who are likely to be first in their family to attend. had 100% college placement - amazing - but a lot of that was to CC or local colleges). When we attended the road shows for the HYP, Vandy, Dukes of the world they were generally held at certain high schools in our area (mostly private). One in particular seemed to be a pipeline to these schools as they sent kids every yr. So the school reps never learned anything about the charter school and I imagine it would be a difficult sell for them to take a chance when they have a track record of success down the road. I'm not complaining. If I were them, I would do that too.
  • ekdad212ekdad212 Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    Each school has its own set of priorities and those are captured in their own Common Data Set, section C7. Students should look there for a better idea of what any particular school views as most important.
  • InTranslationInTranslation Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    I would add that it varies widely among disciplines as well. I read applications to an arts program and while I wouldn't say grades are irrelevant, so long as an applicant meets the requirements, I would only look at grades to help distinguish between two students with equally strong portfolios. If I were evaluating students for med school I would care much, much more about grades and maybe not care so much about whether the student can produce a strong, clear thesis statement. Also, I have been seeing a lot more letters of rec from counselors lately and they're uniformly terrible. The counselors seem to know nothing I can't tell from reading the rest of the application. I wind up wondering whether students are really unable to secure two letters from people who actually know them as individuals.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,988 Senior Member
    @ekdad212 the CDS is not policed. A college can weigh its answers as it sees fit. That doesn't mean it's absolute. And though, eg, C7 says the essay is important, it doesn't tell you there what makes a good essay.

    Relying on the CDS is incomplete. You need to read the rest of what else the college says and shows about what it looks for and likes.
  • Busybee01Busybee01 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    My son's counselor was at letter #75 by the end of September (when we had a meeting with her). Her share of seniors is around 180-200; a pretty good HS in Michigan, with about 6-7 perfect SAT scorers a year (average class size 800) and an Ivy feeder around here.
  • karen88karen88 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Do admissions officers across colleges talk to each other? My high school counsellor told me that they might, or that the AOs at each college, looking at your profile, will know that another college will more than likely offer you, and that you would more than likely accept that college, and so they either WL you, or turn you down because they know you will have other compelling offers that you would more than likely accept. Is that true?
  • TheBigChefTheBigChef Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    "Do admissions officers across colleges talk to each other? My high school counsellor told me that they might, or that the AOs at each college, looking at your profile, will know that another college will more than likely offer you, and that you would more than likely accept that college, and so they either WL you, or turn you down because they know you will have other compelling offers that you would more than likely accept. Is that true?"

    Some schools are very conscience of yield and will WL or reject overqualified applicants, especially those who have not demonstrated interest by interviewing or visiting the campus. American is a good example of this. Supposedly Tufts as well (although it's hard to be overqualified for Tufts these days). For this reason, we made sure that my son demonstrated plenty of interest with his safety schools.
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