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College admission unpredictable

lemondropplemondropp 0 replies3 threads New Member
I see videos on YouTube where one would get accepted into a top notch school, for example, Harvard. But, then they’d get rejected from a lower, non Ivy school? How does this work? And also, do some colleges reject you if they think you’re “too good” for them (bc you exceeded better grades and scores than what they normally admit in)?
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Replies to: College admission unpredictable

  • Data10Data10 3048 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    I wouldn't call admission upredictable, but different colleges emphasize different admission criteria and characteristics, which often vary between different programs. There area also different admission materials for specific colleges. Many also have special hook-type preferences at specific colleges, but not all colleges. If you listed more information about the specific student and colleges applied to, I could give a more specific answer.

    Using one example, San Jose State eligibility index for CS is 4675 (see http://www.sjsu.edu/admissions/impaction/impactionresultsfreshmen/index.html ). A 4675 represents a 3.9 GPA + 1560 GPA. So a kid with a 3.9 GPA + 1550 SAT might have too low stats to be admitted to San Jose State CS, even though some highly selective colleges regularly admit prospective CS majors with similar or lower stats than above. The latter admissions may be be largely influenced by criteria other than stats.
    edited October 20
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  • RiversiderRiversider 867 replies103 threads Member
    edited October 20
    Sometimes you are what’s missing from Harvard’s class so you get in, Amherst may already have enough applicants with similar offerings so they reject you.

    Colleges also try to maintain their yield, they may preemptively reject students who are unlikely to attend.

    There are several other reasons, for example being a National Merit Scholar at USC, they rather take next student who is almost equally good but didn’t qualify for National Merit so comes as full pay, school doesn’t have to cough up scholarship money they’ll have to give a NMS.
    edited October 20
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  • racereerracereer 222 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Data10 wrote: »
    Using one example, San Jose State eligibility index for CS is 4675 (see http://www.sjsu.edu/admissions/impaction/impactionresultsfreshmen/index.html ). A 4675 represents a 3.9 GPA + 1560 GPA. So a kid with a 3.9 GPA + 1550 SAT might have too low stats to be admitted to San Jose State CS, even though some highly selective colleges regularly admit prospective CS majors with similar or lower stats than above. The latter admissions may be be largely influenced by criteria other than stats.

    The problem with your SJSU example is that the gpa that they use for their index is weighted. So for an Ivy, that same gpa would actually be lower since they would use the unweighted gpa and then consider rigor. So the chance of that student getting into and Ivy or other top CS school is much less with an unweighted gpa under 3.9.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34514 replies383 threads Senior Member
    Don't watch youtube for admissions insights, unless it comes from the college itself. Even then, you need to filter.

    I think the most reasonable explanation is (ready, Riversider?,) "Sometimes you are what’s missing from Harvard’s class so you get in, Amherst may already have enough applicants with similar offerings so they reject you." Or, mayhave toomany applicants from your area.

    And that applies to schools much further down the list, too. Sometimes, it can be a subtle issue- you're all eager for some field of study they're limited in. Or it slips that you prefer city (or are most active in a city environment) and they're rural. All sorts of things.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    Re: the SJSU example

    The way GPA is recalculated is by using 10th-11th grade academic courses with up to 8 semesters of +1 honors points. So a 3.9 recalculated GPA would be typical for a 3.6 unweighted GPA in 10th-11th with lots of honors courses.
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  • Data10Data10 3048 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    racereer wrote: »
    The problem with your SJSU example is that the gpa that they use for their index is weighted. So for an Ivy, that same gpa would actually be lower since they would use the unweighted gpa and then consider rigor. So the chance of that student getting into and Ivy or other top CS school is much less with an unweighted gpa under 3.9.
    For out of state, "UC will grant honors weight for AP or IB courses only, but not for school-designated honors courses." (https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/out-of-state-students.html) .

    A good portion of Ivy and other highly selective college admits take classes that do not fall in the UC approved honors courses, including those attending private HS that prefer their own more rigorous classes to AP. Yes, it's not the typical admit. However, this thread is not about the typical admit It's about the minority who are "accepted into a top notch school, for example, Harvard. But, then they’d get rejected from a lower, non Ivy school".
    edited October 20
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    Data10 wrote: »
    This includes cases such as private schools who believe their classes are above AP level.

    But those private schools are unlikely to have that many students applying to SJSU (or public universities in general).
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  • Data10Data10 3048 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    Data10 wrote: »
    This includes cases such as private schools who believe their classes are above AP level.

    But those private schools are unlikely to have that many students applying to SJSU (or public universities in general).
    They also are unlikely to have that many students who get the admission result that is the focus of this thread. It was an example of how the uncommon thread scenario could occur, not a representation of the typical outcome.
    edited October 20
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1527 replies30 threads Senior Member
    The reality is that most of the 3,000+ colleges in the U.S. are very predictable in admissions. As long as you have x gpa and x test scores you are highly likely to gain admission. Where the big uncertainty exists are the highly selective colleges that could fill their entire class many times over with top stat applicants but have certain institutional needs and holistic review that create the impression that the process is random and unpredictable.

    In addition many of the elite private colleges don’t give you all of the admissions stats (e.g. vague and general data) so we have to make some assumptions which may or may not be correct.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4149 replies89 threads Senior Member
    the main thing to get out of the admissions process is that there's might be some hierarchical type of admittance (i.e. getting into Stanford and a bunch of "lower" schools), but as many others have alluded to, you might not get into a "lower" school for any number of reasons 1) yield protection - if the school doesn't think you're coming, no admit (I supposed you could call this "too good for them") 2) each school has their own holistic ways of determining admittance which goes beyond stats 3) other uncontrollable factors such as race or money/lack thereof may come into play.

    For the University of California system, one might think the UC system is hierarchical, since UCLA and UC-Berkeley are the top dogs. So you would think that if you get into one of those 2, you would get into the "lower" ones. Very very very very often, this is not the case. My example - my kid got into Berkeley, but got waitlisted at UCSD and UCI.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6845 replies60 threads Senior Member
    Money is also a real factor- only a few places are need blind. At most (especially those who promise to meet need) your relative financial need is considered as part of the admission decision.

    Almost every student I know who has been accepted to a tippy top over the last 7 years (regular round) was also rejected by other a different tippy top- & usually someplace that is considered “lower”. It is more useful to think of schools in bands instead of numerical rankings. The college ranked #5 is not functionally different for admissions than #10.
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  • racereerracereer 222 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Data10 wrote: »
    For out of state, "UC will grant honors weight for AP or IB courses only, but not for school-designated honors courses." (https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/out-of-state-students.html) .

    A good portion of Ivy and other highly selective college admits take classes that do not fall in the UC approved honors courses, including those attending private HS that prefer their own more rigorous classes to AP. Yes, it's not the typical admit. However, this thread is not about the typical admit It's about the minority who are "accepted into a top notch school, for example, Harvard. But, then they’d get rejected from a lower, non Ivy school".

    You have described an extremely specialized case that I guess is technically possible, but not sure if it has ever happened. There were a few cases on CC last year of kids getting rejected for "lesser" competitive schools and getting accepted to top or higher schools but when you took a closer look most of them were rejected as OSS to competitive programs such as CS or Engineering to schools like UofM, GT, or UT. There was one kid that claimed to have been waitlisted at VT but accepted to MIT. I remember there were some questioning his validity.

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  • foobar1foobar1 219 replies2 threads Junior Member
    At the tippy-top colleges, non-academic factors (legacy, talent, personal qualities, ability to pay) may weigh as important or even more important than academic factors. (GPA, test scores, class rank). It may not seem predictable to the student because some of the top colleges are not always clear on the weight they give to non-academic standards in their admissions decisions.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2342 replies3 threads Senior Member
    It depends on what you mean by "lesser schools." If you get into Harvard and get rejected by Duke, it means you applied to two hyper-selective schools and you got lucky with one of them. I wouldn't draw conclusions. If you got into Harvard and got rejected by Rutgers, then you probably REALLY messed up your application.

    Schools don't reject applicants for being "too good." That's absurd. In fact, schools hand out scholarships to attract top students.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34514 replies383 threads Senior Member
    Some kids spend less effort on apps to "lower" schools. They get sloppy or give generic/stock answers.

    So many blame yield protection as if the kid was stellar and it's got to be the college's "fault."

    Think again. Each wants what it wants.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1527 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Just want to point out that yield protection is real for some “lesser” ranked colleges, University of Michigan and Tulane come to mind. They waitlist lots of top stat students who they think are using them as a safety.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1449 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Yield protection is much more widespread than most students and their families realize. Some colleges, even when their CDS's indicate they don't consider "demonstrated interest", still practice it to some degree.
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  • Data10Data10 3048 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited October 21
    racereer wrote: »
    You have described an extremely specialized case that I guess is technically possible, but not sure if it has ever happened. There were a few cases on CC last year of kids getting rejected for "lesser" competitive schools and getting accepted to top or higher schools but when you took a closer look most of them were rejected as OSS to competitive programs such as CS or Engineering to schools like UofM, GT, or UT. There was one kid that claimed to have been waitlisted at VT but accepted to MIT. I remember there were some questioning his validity.
    The point was to show that major selection can make colleges that are often thought of as less selective become highly selective. It was an extreme example to show that extremes are possible, not that they are likely.

    If you want a more common, less extreme example, then replace it with a Black, not low-SES, prospective CS major is accepted to Stanford, but rejected at Berkeley and UCLA. Admission to the UC system is more dependent on major selection selection than Stanford, and the UC system is legally forbidden from considering race in admission. Both factors can contribute to Stanford admits being rejected by UC system schools, even though Stanford is generally more selective than the UC system.

    There are also countless other factors in admission that different schools treat differently, beyond just major and race; which can result in admission decisions not following general selectivity well.
    edited October 21
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