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Columbia or Swarthmore Early Decision (very hard to decide)

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Replies to: Columbia or Swarthmore Early Decision (very hard to decide)

  • thebeefthebeef 520 replies31 threadsRegistered User Member
    k how bout 50%. but my estimate means nothing. seriously. chance threads.. don't worry so much. if you're 95% sure you're doing ED just give it your all. you have the stats, just like 1000s of applicants, but will you be the right kind of person for here? that's the question.
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  • monstor344monstor344 2464 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    APPLY EARLY TO SWARTHMORE! You are a shoe in there
    Swarthmore Test Scores:
    SAT Critical Reading: 680 - 760
    SAT Math: 670 - 760
    SAT Writing: 660 - 760
    ACT Composite: 28 - 33

    Columbia Test Scores:
    SAT Critical Reading: 680 - 770
    SAT Math: 680 - 780
    SAT Writing: 690 - 770
    ACT Composite: 29 - 34

    The two are almost the same selectivity-wise.
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  • pbrpbr 1004 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^I don't disagree with your data from an "apples-to-apples" standpoint, although I have no idea where you got it; I assume you took the data from the same source, for the same year. According to the Columbia website, however, one should note that the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-34; according to the email to parents describing the class, the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-35. It helps when citing data to attribute the source.
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  • golfer3golfer3 407 replies231 threadsRegistered User Member
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. So the consensus I have been getting from people I know is that I am one of those candidates that is close but just not quite there for Early Decision acceptance and this is most likely due to my lack of strong awards, and somewhat low test scores. So my question is, I am taking Math 2 next week and if I was to score near 800 on that test, and later in November take the SAT and score 2200+ could I get in Regular Decision (this is assuming I will be deferred). How much of a chance do deferred students have. I am also doing a bunch of aca. competitions in february.
    thanks!
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  • monstor344monstor344 2464 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^I don't disagree with your data from an "apples-to-apples" standpoint, although I have no idea where you got it; I assume you took the data from the same source, for the same year. According to the Columbia website, however, one should note that the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-34; according to the email to parents describing the class, the middle 50% for the ACT this year was 31-35. It helps when citing data to attribute the source.
    I quoted each from collegeboard's website.
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  • pbrpbr 1004 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^That data must be a couple of years old. Last year's ACT data for the middle 50% of admitted students at Columbia (class of 2012) was 31-35.
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  • golfer3golfer3 407 replies231 threadsRegistered User Member
    I don't know if this will make a difference but I have not taken any honors or AP Foreign language. I took 4 years, but they were all regular classes. Everything has else been mainly honors/AP.
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  • Smart GuySmart Guy 151 replies16 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    kwu wrote:
    Columbia practices affirmative action flagrantly, and the "Why Columbia?" carries less substantial weight if written fairly convincingly.

    Where are you getting this from? Personal experience...
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  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek 1645 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    kwu presumes that because columbia desires to be the most diverse it must be most willing to accept students of color regardless of their qualifications.

    i know that isn't true, but to spin it a bit - perhaps this means that more talented minority students apply to columbia than their peers because it has that reputation of supporting students from diverse backgrounds. and further - in 20-30 years when the country is minority majority country, i imagine a school like columbia might have a lot of its alumni in leadership positions as we begin to actually and not limitedly diversify our leadership in every respect.
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  • kwukwu 4743 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are fewer minorities who have both an exceptional academic record and high standardized testing scores, relative to the upper middle class white population, say.

    If every top university wants its class to be at least 10 percent African-American, 10 percent Hispanic, schools further down the ladder will have to settle.

    It is convenient that the OP is a Mexican-American with both stellar grades and strong test scores.

    I'm not making the claim that he will certainly be admitted, but his chances are higher than those of a vast majority of applicants to Columbia.

    And, since he likes Columbia so much, and he's damned intent on applying Early Decision to a school, why keep asking questions?
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  • monstor344monstor344 2464 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    kwu presumes that because columbia desires to be the most diverse it must be most willing to accept students of color regardless of their qualifications.
    That's not at all what he is implying. He IS implying that Columbia will lower its expectations for URMs, but to extrapolate and say that he's saying Columbia will disregard qualifications is silly.

    What is interesting though is that of any top school, Columbia has by far the highest percentage of African-American students. I would think that kwu's claim therefore makes sense.
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  • Smart GuySmart Guy 151 replies16 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    monster344 wrote:
    What is interesting though is that of any top school, Columbia has by far the highest percentage of African-American students. I would think that kwu's claim therefore makes sense.
    I think Columbia will be the destination of choice for top African Americans (although Harvard is always attractive) due to a number of factors: (1) new African American dean; (2) new African American Provost; (3) prominent alumni who are the firsts in the history of the Country (Obama, President, Holder, Attorney General, and Paterson, Governor)--quite impressive! Being next door to Harlem also helps.

    I thought Kwu was suggesting that other elite schools don't practice some form of affirmative action, which we all know is untrue. Whether you call it athletic admits or legacies, they are all the same.
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  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll 2480 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yeah, Columbia might have to lower its standards less than other schools simply by virtue of it's applicant pool and location. The class of 2013 is 12-13% African American, and 16% Latino, these are higher than the US averages for those ethnic groups, but significantly lower than the proportion present in New York City. Given that the applicant pool is [inter]national but also heavier weighted locally, Columbia would easily receive more minority applicants than peer schools. Columbia has also historically had some of the highest proportions of minorities in the ivy league. Plus factors like Obama, Holder, Patterson, and location near Harlem come into play.

    If they are receiving more minority applicants they don't need to try as hard to fill a certain percentage of the class. The current class of 2013 make up is something like:

    23% Asian
    12-13% African American
    15% Latino
    30% Jewish
    25% White, non-Jewish

    (I'm guessing there's some overlap between white and latino, Jewish and latino and white and asian)

    All things considered though, being Black or Hispanic definitely helps, the acceptance rate even within these groups will still be brutally low (my guess is like 15% instead of the 10% average)
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  • glassesarechicglassesarechic 5471 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You're a URM (1/4 counts) with decent test scores. If you get your scores even higher, your chances go up even more (imagine that). If you apply ED to either school, your chances of admission go up (imagine that), especially for Swarthmore, which I think accepts a higher percentage of its class from ED than Columbia. However, I honestly can't fathom what your magical reason for having to apply ED is. If you like the schools equally or almost equally, ED probably isn't a good idea. But since you keep pushing for specifics, I'd say your chances are higher at Swarthmore because a)LACs tend to be really big on demonstrated interest, so ED plus beastly essays and campus visits could be enough to push you over the edge, and b)LACs also tend to be whiter than their Ivy counterparts, for whatever reason, so a minority might be more attractive.

    However, and I know you keep hearing this, but ED is for those who have made up their mind, not for the wishy washy trying to boost their chances of admission. Your chances RD are decent; you don't need ED. Take the extra time to think more carefully about which school you like best, then see if they like you back.
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  • golfer3golfer3 407 replies231 threadsRegistered User Member
    I have decided on Columbia ED. I have thought long and hard about it and clearly love Columbia more. If I do well on the November SAT and the subject test (Saturday). I think I will have a decent shot. Thanks for the help everyone.
    -Hopefully a future Columbia student!!
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  • monstor344monstor344 2464 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Best of luck.
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