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The mess that is elite college admissions, explained by a former dean

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Replies to: The mess that is elite college admissions, explained by a former dean

  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 3,254 Senior Member
    edited May 9
    Here's another interesting quote from the article:
    I hated early decision. Most students we accepted were not exceptional in the context of the regular pool, and they got in at a much higher rate. Early decision applicants tend to have savvy private high school counselors who understand this. These students also tend to be from wealthier families who got a head start on the college search: They could afford campus visits the previous summer; financial aid isn’t an issue, so they don’t have to wait for offers of assistance.

    Many here still deny these facts.

    @1NJParent Well because we had a different experience, my DD applied ED, went to a public high school, needed FA, and compared favorably to the average admit.....so there ya go.
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,570 Senior Member
    I'm going by "some other LAC's." For example, Williams two years ago had a 7% legacy admit rate. Amherst also has a 7% admissions rate for legacies, I think. Generally, I go by history of my students admitted. I'm not obsessive about stats.

    Have a nice day.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,438 Senior Member
    I think the prior posters were confused and meant to say that Amherst and Williams classes were composed of 7 percent legacy students, not that there was a 7 percent legacy admit rate. It seems highly unlikely that legacies were tremendously under admitted compared to the general admit rate of close to 15% for Williams, for example
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,570 Senior Member
    I think the prior posters were confused and meant to say that Amherst and Williams classes were composed of 7 percent legacy students, not that there was a 7 percent legacy admit rate. It seems highly unlikely that legacies were tremendously under admitted compared to the general admit rate of close to 15% for Williams, for example
    Indeed. Thank you for the correction, which I realized right after I posted. *Just a second'' can't be accurate."

    In any case, the history of my students admitted is that Wesleyan has been slightly more interested in legacies than some similar small universities and LAC's. (It is technically Wesleyan University, for those who might have called it an LAC.) I think we often think of it as an LAC.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,948 Senior Member
    edited May 9
    @MWolf. Thanks for clearing that up. All very good points. My son went to Northside College prep which before like last year was the number one public high school in Illinois for like 15 years. I never understood how we can send so many kids to Northwestern and UChicago and a few here and there to the Ivys. Everyone (like 88%) was accepted to UIUC. Our stats were better then most with an avg act of 31. What your saying makes a lot of sense . Kids at Northside didn't have the means of many even at Payton due to the location and family mix.
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,570 Senior Member
    @roycroftmom (and others)
    I also think the legacy admit rate will be changing...We'll see some drop-offs as the institutions come under scrutiny and as many have been targets of internal activism regarding this issue. Some colleges/unis have rarely/never regarded legacy in itself as a stand-alone benefit, but rather combined with donations and other kinds of participation.
  • goodjobgoodjob Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Just curious....seems interesting that public schools can have tests to get accepted. Isn't that a little unfair based on income etc
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,570 Senior Member
    @goodjob Are you speaking of entrance tests or other qualifications/standards for being accepted to a pubic high school? If so, it happens in my region quite a bit, due to the smaller number of quality publics compared to the large percentage of underperforming and poorly funded schools. After families move to neighborhoods near those schools, they are told that they still have to compete for a space at the school. In those cases, one finds that some of the more desirable publics have already overreached their maximum contracted student body and class size. Some of the competitions for such schools are literally lotteries and nothing else.

    This is just one reason of many that we chose to avoid the entire public system.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,065 Senior Member
    In any case, the history of my students admitted is that Wesleyan has been slightly more interested in legacies than some similar small universities and LAC's. (It is technically Wesleyan University, for those who might have called it an LAC.) I think we often think of it as an LAC.
    Just for the record, and to avoid confusion, Wesleyan is officially a liberal arts college, despite the fact that it has around 200 grad students. Williams and Trinity College also have a small number of graduate students.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 2,438 Senior Member
    It is certainly possible, epiphany. At some colleges, and I expect Williams is one, legacy kids have higher test scores and grades than the average for admitted students. Not really surprising, given family background, educational emphasis and resources. More of a hook for the already high performing, to distinguish from other high performing affluent kids.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 3,254 Senior Member
    So kids at private high schools want to attend private universities.....hmmmm…...quite an epiphany here.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    @Knowsstuff Northside prep is an amazing magnet school, one of the best high schools in the USA.

    Yep, even though Chicagoland has an inordinate number of the best high schools in the country, like IMSA, Young, Payton, Northside. Adelai Stevenson (non magnet), to name a few, because they are not part of the Ivy Pipeline, acceptance rates from the to Ivies are very low, especially when you compare them to acceptance rates to places like Chicago, NU, etc.

    @CU123 Since almost every thing said about private colleges is challenged as being an exaggeration or inaccurate, I try to present factual support for my claims, even if those claims seem to some to be fairly obvious.
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,570 Senior Member
    Just for the record, and to avoid confusion, Wesleyan is officially a liberal arts college, despite the fact that it has around 200 grad students. Williams and Trinity College also have a small number of graduate students.
    Yet I think one of the attractions of Wesleyan over some institutions with "college" in their titles is that Wesleyan has some facilities that appeal to those seeking research. Not all LAC's are as attractive to STEM students, for example. (Not arguing, just explaining a distinction that is sometimes helpful. Thanks for the technical correction.)

    Wesleyan is as committed to the sciences as to the humanities, and has been from the start.

    Yes, I am indeed aware that LAC's enroll some grad students.
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