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Admission Officers Reveal the Most Important Factors Driving Decisions

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 113 Editor
A new NACAC study reveals what admission officers see as the most important factors they consider when evaluating applications. https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/admission-officers-reveal-the-most-important-factors-driving-decisions/
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Replies to: Admission Officers Reveal the Most Important Factors Driving Decisions

  • chercheurchercheur Registered User Posts: 1,119 Senior Member
    I would switch #6 with #10. Most counselors really don't know the students that well, and ECs are where students show their ability to work with a team and leadership skills. I guess when students ask about the ECs on this forum, we now know how to answer!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,162 Senior Member
    No surprise that the first four (all grades, college prep course grades, SAT/ACT, strength of curriculum) are the academic-related credentials.
  • 2manycollegequestions4me2manycollegequestions4me Registered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    Surprised at the high school the student attended as being such an important factor. Interesting...
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 2,347 Senior Member
    I don't know. At info sessions I have asked admissions reps about whether they look at the core subjects or all the subjects such at arts and health etc and they have all said they focus on the 5 core subjects. I also do not believe the high school you went to carries more weight than race and the ability to pay. Just my opinion.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,971 Senior Member
    It's not the recipe for the secret sauce. It doesn't tell you what they look for in an essay or any other category. It doesn't name the colleges, etc. The body of the report includes comments like, "Colleges Accept Nearly Two-Thirds of First-Time Freshmen, on Average." That hints this is all over the map, so to say.

    When you read it, most colleges said "high school attended" was limited (36.7%) or no influence (41.6%.) And so on.
  • PossePopsPossePops Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    Interesting but not surprising. As @lookingforward says “it’s all over the map.” It’s kin to looking at the mean or average. Sometimes the individual points are most telling and in this case what you really want to but can’t see. A few thoughts...Some high schools are feeder schools for some universities and have been for decades. A student’s high school and/or zip code is an indication of socioeconomic status and race. Heck your name is an indication of race and religion. And an “indication” is not absolute...usually.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,971 Senior Member
    Well, zip code is over-rated.
    We don't know how the responders interpreted the questions. (Same issue with the Common Data Set questions.) I don't think this is about feeder schools. Rather the context. 78% said hs was limited or no factor. The rest may be referring to the actual rigor, the number of rigorous classes, etc. Val at one sort of hs is different than val at another. Some elite hs arrange internship opps, while in others, the kid is on his own. The individual applicant is still looked at, for his/her record, but the light can change.
  • PossePopsPossePops Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    edited November 16
    Agreed. One thing is clear...grades and test scores first and always have been. The rest is subjective.
  • hzhao2004hzhao2004 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    The survey covers over 1000 schools, presumably including both Harvard and Podunk U. I am sure their admission criteria are vastly different. I won't be surprised if EC has a higher weight at Harvard than at Podunk.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,240 Senior Member
    And by the way--are the really going to tell the truth? Polling is notoriously fraught with issues.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,971 Senior Member
    For a ll I know, no Harvard, just schools with time on their hands. Or some low level newbie told to respond as he/she thinks. There are few absolutes in this. Holistic isn't about individual points, in isolation.
  • PossePopsPossePops Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    edited November 16
    That podunk comment makes me think of my favorite Ivy League U in the Podunks. It is 'gorges' though 😂.
  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    I think the trends charts are interesting - things like the weight "GPA in college prep courses" has been going down while "Overall GPA" has been going up in importance. The SAT2 people are going to hate this - it's close to the least important factor out there.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    I think #1-4 are universally significant across just about all college admissions evaluation. The rest can be all over depending on the college, particularly if it's holistic. Note that no "hook" is listed, yet at holistic schools, it can very well be #5 or higher in weight.
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