right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Upcoming changes to the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

Admission Officers Name the Most Important Application Factors

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey 31 replies306 threads Editor
The latest NACAC survey indicates where admission officers place the most weight when reviewing applications. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/admissions-officers-reveal-importance
56 replies
· Reply · Share
«13

Replies to: Admission Officers Name the Most Important Application Factors

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1259 replies17 threads Senior Member

    It’s always good to get updated/current data and there’s a decent bit of info in the report in addition to the admission factors

    That data looks consistent with previous analyses done on CDS data. That analysis, posted here, broke it down by school type, Ivy/T20, etc. a little more clearly than Appendix B does.
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3628 replies70 threads Senior Member
    One inconsistency is how high demonstrated interest is valued (above recommendations and EC's), most CDS data shows that demonstrated interest is not considered, or considered at the lowest level which does not reconcile with the list above.
    · Reply · Share
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1990 replies72 threads Senior Member
    edited November 14
    CU123 wrote: »
    One inconsistency is how high demonstrated interest is valued (above recommendations and EC's), most CDS data shows that demonstrated interest is not considered, or considered at the lowest level which does not reconcile with the list above.

    I don't necessarily see the inconsistency. It may be that "most CDS data" you've seen are more selective colleges, which tend not to care as much about demonstrated interest as less selective colleges?
    edited November 14
    · Reply · Share
  • oaksinfogoaksinfog 10 replies0 threads New Member
    The list of top admissions factors in the article are presented as if an actual ranking of what they found was most to least important. It may, however, be solely based on the "Considerable Importance" category.

    Examining the actual table of data (Fall 2017) presents a somewhat different picture if the first two "positive" categories are compared with the last two "negative" categories.

    Doing so with the data presented below demonstrates that Counselor Recommendations outweigh Student’s Demonstrated Interest:

    Demonstrated Interest(N=218) -- Comparing the first two categories with the last two results in 40% vs. 60% split in favor of limited/not important.

    Considerable Importance = 16.1%
    Moderate Importance = 23.9%
    Limited Importance = 28.0%
    No Importance = 32.1%


    Counselor Recommendations (N=218) -- Comparing the first two categories with the last two results in 55.5% vs. 44.5% split in favor of considerable/moderate importance.

    Considerable Importance = 15.1%
    Moderate Importance = 40.4%
    Limited Importance = 26.6%
    No Importance = 17.9%

    Thoughts?
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34789 replies392 threads Senior Member
    edited November 14
    The very real problem sith a survey like this is that it includes a range of colleges. You won't see a tippy top adcom reviewing a measly 461 apps.

    And for the higher tiers, never assume demonstrated interest is not a considerable factor. It's more than visiting and getting on an email list.

    You can't take holistic and fit it into a neat little quantitative ranking. The higher the tier, the more any part can slam your chances. Miss the interview? Counselor is in a trance and writes a pro forma half para for all kids?

    I'd discourage anyone from trying to view this as some true indicator of what gets you into your targets- or not. Resist.
    edited November 14
    · Reply · Share
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1990 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I don't know of what value such survey study has when everyone on CC pretty much knows of their general importance. Depending on schools, you can rank the list of importance, for example, Demonstrated Interest or Extracurricular Activities, but it's not a eureka moment of brilliance of light to realize that GPA, test scores and curriculum rigor are important. For Harvard, David Hogg's extracurricular was more important than his GPA and test scores, for example. Even each school's ranking list shifts with each individual.
    · Reply · Share
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3360 replies77 threads Senior Member
    Yes I think you're correct @privatebanker. Maybe for the T20-T45 schools, that's very important. They want to know that you're not "just applying" but that you're consciously applying TO THEM and the essay can help with that.
    · Reply · Share
  • c3memedc3memed 26 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Very Helpful
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79010 replies701 threads Senior Member
    No big surprise, since it lines up with what is generally assumed and what colleges report in their common data sets: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/2131779-what-colleges-use-in-admissions-according-to-cds-listings.html . Of course, individual colleges can and do vary from general averages and trends.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34789 replies392 threads Senior Member
    All top colleges, including top 20. But it shows in most of the app, what sorts of ECs, how you answer supp questions, including any Why Us, etc. "Demonstrated" interest, not just a claim of interest, has to do with showing your match. "Show, not just tell."

    The CDS doesn't tell you what match is. You need to figure that out.
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 3107 replies10 threads Senior Member
    TiggerDad wrote: »
    CU123 wrote: »
    One inconsistency is how high demonstrated interest is valued (above recommendations and EC's), most CDS data shows that demonstrated interest is not considered, or considered at the lowest level which does not reconcile with the list above.

    I don't necessarily see the inconsistency. It may be that "most CDS data" you've seen are more selective colleges, which tend not to care as much about demonstrated interest as less selective colleges?
    Yes I think you're correct @privatebanker. Maybe for the T20-T45 schools, that's very important. They want to know that you're not "just applying" but that you're consciously applying TO THEM and the essay can help with that.
    The very real problem sith a survey like this is that it includes a range of colleges. You won't see a tippy top adcom reviewing a measly 461 apps..

    The NACAC report is meant to describe college admissions trends in the United States -- not just for T20-T45 or "tippy tops" -- college admission trends at thousands of colleges, which impacts millions of persons in the united states and other countries. As part of this report, they received inputs from admissions at 447 colleges and inputs from 2345 HS GCs. They discuss how closely this sample reflects their goal of all US colleges in the appendix.

    Of those surveyed hundreds of surveyed colleges, 16% said demonstrated interest was of "considerable importance" in admissions decisions. 16% is only a very small minority. Most colleges instead said demonstrated interest had either "no influence" or "limited importance." We can some clues about which colleges compose that small minority that say demonstrated interest is important by looking at other years, which had more detail about the categories, such as http://www.lkeducationalconsulting.com/images/soca2013.pdf .

    The earlier survey shows a strong correlation between demonstrated interest and yield. 64% of colleges with a yield of >60% said that demonstrated interest was "considerable importance", the clear majority. A large portion of colleges with yields 45-60% also said demonstrated interest was important in decisions. However few colleges with low yield said demonstrated interest was important. Note that yield is not the same thing as selectivity. I expect most of these demonstrated interest colleges are not what forum members would consider to be selective.
    · Reply · Share
  • RiversiderRiversider 886 replies105 threads Member
    edited November 15
    If demonstrated interest was such a big factor, they wouldn’t waitlist or reject top Asian-American applicants applying early from suburban public schools. No other step shows as much interest as EA. Most important factor is a hook, it can be race, geography, legacy, sport, fame, connection, bribe, poverty, adversity, donation etc.
    edited November 15
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34789 replies392 threads Senior Member
    Right, let's not get mired in that again.

    Data10, imo, it's what this survey tells kids/families about their chances and the factors at *their* targets. "Most" or average doesn't go that far.
    · Reply · Share
  • Jon234Jon234 353 replies9 threads Member
    @privatebanker Ref Bowdoin, are you talking about students who applied regular or early decision?

    Short of visiting, I'm curious to know how you are expected to show interest in colleges that only require the common app if applying regular decision. Anyone can sign up for emails, anyone can explore a college website.
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2550 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Jon234 wrote: »
    Short of visiting, I'm curious to know how you are expected to show interest in colleges that only require the common app if applying regular decision. Anyone can sign up for emails, anyone can explore a college website.

    ‘Only requiring the common app’ can be misleading. Bowdoin requires 3 supplementary essays (at least thru last cycle)and they aren’t easy. One is a reaction/response/interpretation of Bowdoin’s ‘Offer of the College’.
    There is also an optional video response to a random question.

    My sense is that students who have researched Bowdoin (and there are many ways to do that beyond visiting) write better essays....ones that demonstrate what that student will bring to the campus in the context of their understanding of what Bowdoin is seeking (showing a good fit), as compared to those who haven’t done as much research and reflecting. ED vs RD is probably less relevant at a school like Bowdoin than the essay/video responses, IMO.
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3628 replies70 threads Senior Member
    @Data10
    The NACAC report is meant to describe college admissions trends in the United States -- not just for T20-T45 or "tippy tops" -- college admission trends at thousands of colleges, which impacts millions of persons in the united states and other countries

    So what your really saying is that this is a worthless survey as all students are applying to specific universities/colleges which use their own particular set of guidelines for accepting students. :wink:
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 3107 replies10 threads Senior Member
    edited November 15
    Right, let's not get mired in that again.

    Data10, imo, it's what this survey tells kids/families about their chances and the factors at *their* targets. "Most" or average doesn't go that far.
    The NACAC State of College Admission report is not intended to tell an individual student their chances at random college X or what admissions factors random college X uses. They are quite clear about that point. Instead it's intended to show trends in college admissions, and what portion of colleges/students/GCs have various characteristics.

    For example, focusing on the admission factors (there are many other things in the report beyond admission factors), we can see that among the surveyed colleges, the most important admission criteria appear to be grades and strength of curriculum. These were the only 2 factors that the majority of colleges said were "considerable importance." We can also see that the majority of colleges said the following were at least "moderate importance" -- SAT/ACT, essays, GC rec, and LORs (ECs just missed cutoff at 49.3%). This doesn't mean random college X considers these things, or random college X does not think other things are important. It's more, the majority of 4-year bachelor's degree granting colleges in the US say they emphasize these 6 criteria. This is a very different list from what is common in certain other countries.

    We can also review trends in how consideration of these factors has changed over time. For example, the trends show the portion of colleges that say class rank is important has been dropping over time. Several years ago, the vast majority of colleges said class rank was at least "moderate importance." Now most colleges say no influence or limited importance. However, this doesn't mean random college X won't care about rank. We can clearly see from the survey that some colleges think rank is important when submitted, and random college X might be among those college.
    edited November 15
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3628 replies70 threads Senior Member
    So what is the point? Why does anyone care about trends in college admissions if they can't use that information for anything useful? Its like asking what the trend in the weather is for Fall, yep its getting colder but does that help my decide when to go on a hike. Nope. This is the kind of useless information that proliferates in the information age.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity