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How will test-optional policy and termination of standardized testing impact on college rankings?

CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
I guess USNews and alikes will have hard time to figure out an "objective" measure in the "Student Selectivity" category.

Any thoughts on that?
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Replies to: How will test-optional policy and termination of standardized testing impact on college rankings?

  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Most likely the top 10 lists remain the same with few shifts...we'll see!
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    As for the coming years of TO practice, applicants with "good" test scores will most likely to submit ==> sample space of applicant scores is expected to be higher than pre-TO years for each school. And I guess "Acceptance Rate" will thus become the primary indicator (the other one is GPA) for "Student Selectivity."
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2433 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Test Optional doesn’t mean schools won’t have the average SAT scores for admitted students that are used for that category.
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @RichinPitt: You're right. As I mentioned in Post #2 yesterday, "as for the coming years of TO practice, applicants with "good" test scores will most likely to submit ==> sample space of applicant scores is expected to be higher than pre-TO years for each school. " Again, that's during the TO phase.

    And as all the standardized testings (i.e., SAT/ACT) to phase out, GPA and "acceptance rate" will be the primary indicators for "student selectiviy" category. I guess the acceptance rate will be even lower at elite private colleges and selective flagship universities since students would just go ahead to apply without hesitation.

    Just my two cents.


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  • Data10Data10 3372 replies11 threads Senior Member
    edited July 9
    I guess USNews and alikes will have hard time to figure out an "objective" measure in the "Student Selectivity" category.

    Any thoughts on that?
    Hundreds of colleges have been test optional long before COVID-19, including many ones ranked well in USNWR such as Chicago (#6), Bowdoin (#6), and Middlebury (#7). In past years, they applied a small reduction in estimated average SAT/ACT when a large portion of the class does not submit scores.
    SAT/ACT also only makes up a very small portion of the overall weighting. Test optional is not a new problem.

    The new problem is how to how to handle the large increase in test blind colleges, including some that do well in existing rankings, such as Caltech. In previous years, USNWR did not rank test blind colleges, such that if a college is test blind, it cannot do well in the USNWR rankings. However, if Caltech didn't appear towards the top of the rankings, people would question the validity of the USNWR rankings.

    I doubt that it's a coincidence that shortly after Caltech made their test blind announcement, USNWR announced that they would start ranking test blind colleges. At the time of the announcement USNWR did not specify how they are going to rank test blind colleges. I doubt that it makes much difference. I expect whatever methodology they choose will end up with a very similar list of top colleges.
    edited July 9
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    [/quote]
    ...
    The new problem is how to how to handle the large increase in test blind colleges, including some that do well in existing rankings, such as Caltech. In previous years, USNWR did not rank test blind colleges, such that if a college is test blind, it cannot do well in the USNWR rankings. However, if Caltech didn't appear towards the top of the rankings, people would question the validity of the USNWR rankings.

    I doubt that it's a coincidence that shortly after Caltech made their test blind announcement, USNWR announced that they would start ranking test blind colleges. At the time of the announcement USNWR did not specify how they are going to rank test blind colleges. I doubt that it makes much difference. I expect whatever methodology they choose will end up with a very similar list of top colleges. [/quote]

    Exactly!!!
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    What is actually the point of these rankings?

    The point is to earn fame and make a lot of $$! :wink:
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  • JustinbecauseJustinbecause 10 replies0 threads New Member
    What is actually the point of these rankings? In many ways the rankings are a scourge on the college admissions process. Colleges respond by gaming the ranking system. The focus on selectivity/low admission rate fosters exclusivity and artificial scarcity, which, in turn, drive up tuition, student debt, and inequality. The rankings are corrupting the system.

    Exactly. These rankings are almost useless. If you want to go to a law school, then having a degree from a more prestigious undergraduate university will help a little. Other than that, rankings mean absolutely nothing. Go to the university that feels right for you. Don't go to Harvard just because it's Harvard. Go to whichever university makes you the happiest.
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  • 3kids2dogs3kids2dogs 462 replies25 threads Member
  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @3kids2dogs: Thanks for the informative link.

    I see a weight of 7.75% for MATH AND EVIDENCE-BASED READING AND WRITING PORTIONS OF THE SAT AND THE COMPOSITE ACT SCORES...

    And 5% for AVERAGE ALUMNI GIVING RATE!!! ==> That would definitely put most public institutions an unfavorable position compared to private elite ones.

    Side note: I believe most public universities (except UMich & UVA) have no "legacy" programs.
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    For every person who may publicly say the rankings are useless and believe it, there are many more who say they are useless BUT who privately care *a lot* if the college they have chosen (or their child has chosen) is a high prestige college with a commensurately high ranking. What people say and their actions differ. That's why the rankings are money makers.

    I believe most parents and students have their own list of "favored" schools and not necessarily in rank, just similar to CC's top national universities in alphabetically order.

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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    But I believe the rankings for graduate schools/professional programs will continue...
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83795 replies743 threads Senior Member
    Side note: I believe most public universities (except UMich & UVA) have no "legacy" programs.

    About 30% of public colleges said in their CDS that they considered legacy in admissions. For private non-profit colleges, 58% of them said that they considered legacy. This was last year.

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/2131779-what-colleges-use-in-admissions-according-to-cds-listings.html
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6936 replies171 threads Senior Member
    edited July 9
    There are many rankings. Usnwr added the strength of school related to Pell grants and graduation rates. That’s important in the big picture but does not really speak to level of excellence in academics or selectivity. I think they should have a social and diversity ranking for that part and other measures. You saw a lot of the lesser known ucs and some flagships punch way above their weight imho.

    The other silly usnwr thing is the subjective rankings provided by guidance counselors and school officials. It creates an echo chamber. It’s based on hard wired reputation beliefs from 20 and 30 years ago. Not real time.

    I think of the Forbes list which combines all schools and all sizes as my go to ranking for a quick review. The top 100 being the top 3 percent of schools in the country. That’s my random elite divider followed by 100 excellent, the next 100 super solid and the next 500 or so are very competent and will be student dependent. The rest fill an important need and are certainly very capable.
    edited July 9
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus: Thanks for the link.

    So my next question is if there's a correlation between schools conduct legacy programs and the average alumni donation rates?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83795 replies743 threads Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus: Thanks for the link.

    So my next question is if there's a correlation between schools conduct legacy programs and the average alumni donation rates?

    https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/production.tcf.org/app/uploads/2016/03/08201915/2010-09-15-chapter_5.pdf claims not per se after adjusting for wealth, although legacy preferences do select students from wealthier families who are likely to have more to donate.
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 195 replies4 threads Junior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote: »

    https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/production.tcf.org/app/uploads/2016/03/08201915/2010-09-15-chapter_5.pdf claims not per se after adjusting for wealth, although legacy preferences do select students from wealthier families who are likely to have more to donate.

    Off the topic: So can I say it's actually the offspring of rich and famous (not necessarily the legacy applicant) has a higher chance of getting into elite institutions since they "are likely to have more to donate?"

    Interesting story about daughters of B. Gates and S. Jobs studying at the "farm."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/eve-jobs-jennifer-gates-equestrian-rivals-2018-1
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  • RealityCheck13RealityCheck13 61 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited July 10
    Even pre-COVID, I understand the arguments for and against standardized testing; but I have always wondered how highly-ranked schools like the University of Chicago determine who gets accepted without an objective measure like an ACT or SAT score. It seems like there would literally be thousands more applicants with great GPAs and impressive EC's who would normally not apply, nor be competitive for admission, if ACT/SAT scores were a requirement.

    I know very little about admission standards for elite colleges........is it only high school course load, letters of recommendation, and essays that are the distinguishing factors???

    edited July 10
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