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Applying undecided to Ivy schools

giantoctopusgiantoctopus 100 replies54 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Is this suicide? Do they need to see you focus and deep interest in a subject? What if you are thinking about Computer Science and it may hurt your chances?
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Replies to: Applying undecided to Ivy schools

  • coolguy40coolguy40 2168 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Chances of getting into these schools are about 3-4% at best, so seriously...it's nothing to stress over. If you get turned down, I promise it won't be because of that. I would suggest going for a scholarship anyway because they're a far better deal. Bachelors degree accreditation is identical across all universities.
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  • giantoctopusgiantoctopus 100 replies54 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    That's not really an answer to my question but thank you for responding.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39205 replies6993 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Ivy colleges do not admit by major. Some admit by school, e.g. Cornell, Columbia, Penn. You can put down what you are thinking of a a potential major, but you are not held to it, and your choice will not impact your admissions decision.
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  • giantoctopusgiantoctopus 100 replies54 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    so you don't think applying undecided is harmful?
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  • CottonTalesCottonTales 1260 replies21 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 12
    Sheesh, nevermind.
    edited September 12
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39205 replies6993 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    so you don't think applying undecided is harmful?

    Correct.
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  • happy1happy1 22846 replies2248 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    I've heard admissions officers say it is no issue. They understand that students are free to change majors once they get to the college. One admission officer said that about 50% of students apply undecided and of those who apply with a major about half switch their major while they are a student there.

    It is a different story for a school that accepts by majors, but for Ivy schools you are fine as undecided.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7245 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    While it doesn't matter for the Ivies and schools that don't admit by major, be sure to look at your match and safeties to be sure how they admit. At lots of flagships CS is an impacted major and it may be very difficult to transfer in if you don't start there.
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1887 replies70 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    While it doesn't hurt to apply undecided, it will hurt to apply to any Ivy without being clear as to why you're applying to that particular school.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34087 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The reality is they need to be able to envision you there, rate your prep against what you say your goals are.

    It's possible to look at an "undecided" app and "see" a kid is likely, say, stem. But it's a guess and they still want an idea *from you* of where your interests lie. After all, you are applying.

    No problem giving them an idea. Unless you're applying to a specific program or sub college that holds you to it, fine.

    But yes, even if they do not hold you to, say, a College of Engineering or business program direct admit, of course they look at what you put as a possible major.

    When you see the number of freshmen who said Undecided, it does NOT mean they got admitted as generalists, total question marks. Something has to suggest your directions. May as well come from you.

    But for heaven's sake, try to match yourself, first. Tippy tops like kids who think this through, can articulate.
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  • monydadmonydad 7830 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 13
    FWIW, technical comment re #3: "Ivy colleges do not admit by major."

    AFAIK:
    - Cornell's College of Agriculture admits by major;
    - Cornell's College of Architecture Art and Planning admits by major;
    - Cornell's College of Human Ecology probably admits by major

    The following colleges probably admit by major in the sense that they only offer one major:
    - Cornell's College of Industrial and Labor Relations
    - Cornell's College of Hotel Administration
    - Penn's School of Nursing

    BTW if all of the above is correct that means only two of Cornell's seven undergraduate colleges do not admit by major.
    edited September 13
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39205 replies6993 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited September 13
    monydad wrote: »
    FWIW, technical comment re #3: "Ivy colleges do not admit by major."

    AFAIK:
    - Cornell's College of Agriculture admits by major;
    - Cornell's College of Architecture Art and Planning admits by major;
    - Cornell's College of Human Ecology probably admits by major

    The following colleges probably admit by major in the sense that they only offer one major:
    - Cornell's College of Industrial and Labor Relations
    - Cornell's College of Hotel Administration
    - Penn's School of Nursing

    BTW if all of the above is correct that means only two of Cornell's seven undergraduate colleges do not admit by major.

    I did say that some universities, and gave Cornell and Penn as examples, make decisions by school. I will take your word for it that some of Cornell's smaller, and less discussed, colleges, none of which apply to the OP, admit by major, and will be careful to qualify my statements in the future.
    edited September 13
    Post edited by skieurope on
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  • monydadmonydad 7830 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 13
    re #12, While the other listed colleges are indeed "smaller", Cornell's College of Agriculture's undergraduate enrollment is only trivially different than that of its College of Engineering. I think Ag used to be bigger actually, but perhaps the recent strip-out of the business school is affecting the way they are reporting the numbers now.
    FWIW.
    edited September 13
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