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College admissions are a "crapshoot"?


Replies to: College admissions are a "crapshoot"?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,635 Senior Member
    @Ynotgo: Thanks. I thought she was taking her A Levels last year. My bad.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,892 Senior Member
    How much of a boost would a URM get? How would the odds be between a black male compared to a Hispanic female? I am just trying to quantify the advantages"

    You can't quantify, except theoretically. In theory, does a NA, living among a larger community of NAs, with the issues in education and economics, etc, but with a 3.9, rigor, and good ECs (from an adcom's perspective,) have some advantage? And with a solid app and supp, the writing evidences all the right attributes, etc? Of course. In some cases, that's a personal triumph.

    But to just say, oh, any NA will get in anywhere is to miss the point quite deeply. It's also based on some assumptions that challenged kids can't do well, don't have inspirations in their lives and solid guidance, and don't put forth the right efforts. And that privilege automatically makes a kid worthy. It doesn't.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,732 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    My OPINION (from reading these sites and others over the years and personal experience) is that African American males, from middle class or low socio-economic class, with top stats (35 or higher ACT, 3.9 UW GPA, decent ECs) have the best boost and are most sought after. Girls are over represented in college (in general, regardless of race).
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,892 Senior Member
    "Those who understand what specific colleges look for will comprehend why it is certainly not a crapshoot."
    So many kids really don't know enough about their targets. What they know is what worked in their hs environments or among family and friends. Eg, they have good stats and standing in their hs, impress people around them by saying things like, "I want to go to a top college."

    It takes more savvy and drive to look at what the colleges say (or show) they want to see in applicants. You can't impress a highly selective college by saying, "I want a top college." And, if OP's name reflects WUSTL, most certainly not.

    It's also too simple to say girls are over-represented. The top schools are also looking at potential major (and other factors, like geo diversity,) and not all fields are over-pack with females.
  • NosyCaliparentNosyCaliparent Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    I really like that top colleges don't just pick the kids with the best test scores and gpa's. It makes you think that everyone(within reason) has a shot.
  • LadyMeowMeowLadyMeowMeow Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    @ThankYouforHelp "There are 35,000 high schools, which means 35,000 valedictorians." Au contraire! There are a lot more valedictorians than that:

  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,764 Senior Member
    It is a crap shoot at top schools in the sense that applicants will not know whether you will get in.

    It is not a crap shoot in the sense that all applicants have the same chance of getting in. Applicants are not selected at random. If that were true, then grades and test scores would not matter at all.
  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 3,204 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    It is absolutely a crapshoot for students who cannot know 4 years in advance what each school that they want to attend (which decided to apply to 0.5 year in advance), the colleges' desired composition of their classes in future years, what talents and capabilities the students develop, and what opportunities present themselves to each student. If an individual knew all that, they wouldn't need college at all, they'd be an oracle.

    As @ThankYouforHelp says, it works out pretty well for most of them. They might have been miserable at one of those dream schools anyway. I know plenty who were.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,892 Senior Member
    4 years in advance? Don't we discourage 8th graders from getting too worried? A visit to several sorts, is one thing, most don't even take std tests until junior year. And we aren't talking abut memorizing the course handbook. Or maybe you meant, the wrong kind of crapshoot, the one where kids apply blind and ask CC Why this college or that, at nearly the last minute.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,842 Senior Member
    I think adcoms at the most selective schools will tell you that for every kid who's accepted, there are at least [2 or more?] who are equally strong candidates who were not. In that sense, yes, it is a bit of a crapshoot. And if you know anyone who works in admissions, they'll tell you that committee work involves a certain amount of compromise and trading and occasionally dysfunction, so maybe you were just reviewed on the wrong day. Or you may have been one of 12 kids that year who was first chair in his/her state orchestra. Most schools (and directors of admissions) do their best on this front, but they are human, and at a highly selective school, they are unlikely to be criticized for the class they create because it'll still be awesome even without a few of people who ended up in the WL or reject pile.

    I think, though, that very strong candidates are likely to be admitted to at least one very good school, even if it's not their dream school, and they will probably be very successful there.
  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 2,038 Senior Member
    Another factor leading to some of the anecdotes about amazing applicants getting rejected is that a lot if top applicants apply with stated intentions of majoring in the same small array of majors. Almost all of the 36 ACT, 4.0, and/or valedictorian applicants you read about on CC say they are going into business, engineering, econ, or biology (pre-med). Even if colleges say they don't take proposed majors into account, common sense is that they must, at least a little. Seems pretty rare that u hear of a top-quality applicant intending to study languages, philosophy, theology, sociology, nursing, education, etc., and it's even more rare to hear they got rejected.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,495 Senior Member
    ^My guess is the applications of those not desiring the popular, conventional majors read a little more interesting and refreshing as well. Looking at high stat students with similar backgrounds all day every day, I'm sure they blend together a little and those that are different stand out.

    I would also imagine some essays aren't as great as applicants think they are. Everyone on CC seems to think their essays are great.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,701 Senior Member
    Re #42

    Actually, nursing is a major that tends to be highly competitive at most schools.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,892 Senior Member
    Any kid can submit a disappointing app, no matter the stats. One of the very few things you can control for is the quality of your hs record, your other choices (activities,) and then your app/supps. (And any interview.)

    If someone really only knows HYPMSabc are top schools (and thinks they guarantee some hot future,) how do they form the right presentation? They're going to see results as random, when they may have missed the chance to present themselves more effectively.
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