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How much do admissions counselors compare college apps with those of peers from same school/region?

scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 141 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
Here is a question/fear that I have for my D20. When D20 applies to colleges in VA (in-state for us) and we are from NOVA, at a hyper-competitive/overachieving high school where majority peer groups are in Honors/AP classes. How will admissions counselors look at D20's application where there are no Honors/APs but it is clear that D20 has an LD and Dyscalculia (which we plan to disclose as it explains her poor math stats).

Even though her stats are in line with acceptance criteria at College A, I have this fear that they will compare her application with peers from her school. How much do admissions counselors compare college apps with those of peers from same school/region? D20 already has disadvantage of not playing any sports (either in HS or rec league) and does not play any musical instruments. Her only EC is Girl Scouts (although she has earned all 3 Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards) and variety of volunteer work.
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Replies to: How much do admissions counselors compare college apps with those of peers from same school/region?

  • scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 141 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    @skieurope - thanks. That is my fear...comparing her to those taking all Honors/APs. That is why I see so many great regular class kids ending up going OOS. Seems like applying to OOS schools where less likelihood of peer comparison occurs increases odds of admission and of course schools like OOS tuition.
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  • GreymeerGreymeer 718 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 727 Member
    They compare same school and same region.
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  • scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 141 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    edited April 5
    @greymeer -- and this is why I've heard the old rumor of your basically screwed if you're average/above average stat kid from NOVA. Compared to the 4.5 GPA kids taking all Honors/APs, many of the great above average kids are forced to go OOS. I know so many of them. I suppose I already knew the answer to my question. Still a bit disheartening though.
    edited April 5
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1228 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,244 Senior Member
    Do you have Naviance? It normally works really well for in state public’s. It is quite likely that your AO will really know your school. If it is a really competitive HS, they will know and adjust. At my DS’s HS about 2/3 apply to the state flagship. 80%+ get accepted. The overall acceptance rate is <50%.
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  • scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 141 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    @Eeyore123 - I know about Naviance...is this something we can sign up for as a parent?
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  • mathmommathmom 32005 replies158 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,163 Senior Member
    Schools generally give access to Naviance to kids and/or parents spring junior year. I agree it's probably your best bet to see how your child will stack against those in her school. There are lots of good schools for strong B students, or A students not taking all the AP classes. I don't know how selective college A is. It may be that they'll accept lots of students who use it as a safety school, most of whom won't attend, and they also accept less stellar students who actually are thrilled about the acceptance. The scattergram function is great, especially if you have a weighted GPA scattergram that will reflect the rigor of her curriculum vs an all honors/AP curriculum.
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  • milee30milee30 1973 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,986 Senior Member
    That is why I see so many great regular class kids ending up going OOS. Seems like applying to OOS schools where less likelihood of peer comparison occurs increases odds of admission and of course schools like OOS tuition.

    It's a good strategy - applying to schools where her school peers are unlikely to apply. Avoids both the direct comparison of her to peers but also might give her a small boost if the college is seeking geographic diversity.
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  • bopperbopper 13913 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 14,011 Forum Champion
    Put this under Things you cannot control.

    She should apply where she wants to apply...including Matches, Reaches and Safeties.
    Her safetly should be somewhere she would be delighted to attend.
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  • QBeeMomQBeeMom 10 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Another NOVA family here. I found Naviance to be very helpful and surprisingly accurate when going thru this with my daughter a couple of years ago. She was a B student, with some honors and one AP, a solid SAT and good variety of ECs. I wanted to build a realistic list and the data in Naviance allows you to compare your student’s stats to the college based on your high school as well as the greater population of applicants. Scattergrams are great. Just ask your guidance counselor for a parent login. Also, we are fortunate that even the less competitive state schools in Virginia may still be good choices. Don’t be afraid to look at those as well as small in-state privates. Our experience (based on our list built with Naviance) is that some privates were generous with merit for a B student, bringing the cost close to in-state tuition.
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  • mathmommathmom 32005 replies158 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,163 Senior Member
    Naviance actually provided a pleasant surprise for my younger son who had a lot of B's and B+'s but had quite a demanding schedule compared to his peers. The weighted GPA, and relatively high SAT scores (higher than his friends who were A students) meant that we could see his chances were better than I had assumed. It was still hard to judge what would happen (top 25% verbal score, bottom 25% math score at all of his reaches), but the end results were better than expected. We're in NY not Virginia, but there were certainly plenty of possibilities both in and out of state.
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  • scoutmom2002scoutmom2002 141 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    @Hanna we are unfortunately in an area where many parents would rather send their kids to an OOS school than a (and I hate to use this term) lower tier school in VA. I misspoke when using the word "forced" to go OOS. I should have said many great above average kids (and their parents) would rather go OOS than to a lower ranked in-state school or community college.

    That being said - I'm not one of those parents, although it's been a struggle being surrounded by them. I'm a firm believer in the "it's not where you start but where you finish, bur more importantly what you do with your degree". Over Spring Break we will be touring Radford, Roanoke, Longwood, Richard Bland College of W&M (for guaranteed admission option) and VCU.

    @QBeeMom - thanks will request Naviance Parent Login today!



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  • waverlywizzardwaverlywizzard 106 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    She will be competing with her current peers for slots. Thats just the way it is.
    Try to think outside the box and think of schools her current school peers would be less inclined to pursue.
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  • Puzzeled101Puzzeled101 93 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Admissions counselors compare the kids from a single batch that comes from a particular schools. There are different admissions officers who are representative of different regions, and they are most familiar with the schools from their assigned region. When making decisions in choosing prospective candidates, they won't really focus on comparing the physical application with their peers (that to a lesser extent). The application will be compared to the entire applicant pool, but certain aspects of the application- that are of utmost important (subjective criteria, i.e. grades) will compared with peers. For example the transcript of a student at Stuyvesant HS, the classes that he/she students took, the rigor of the transcript, and the physical grades will compared with other applicants from Stuyvesant. That is, in order to find the top students from each particular school.
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