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Cornell is now what you can call a “Public Ivy”?

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Replies to: Cornell is now what you can call a “Public Ivy”?

  • GoodPointGoodPoint 10 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10 New Member
    The pervasive but superficial focus on acceptance rates as an indicator of a school's quality makes me crazy, and, unfortunately, at times seems to warp some admissions-offices' behavior. Don't place too much stock in such numbers -- they are easy to manipulate, if that's a school's goal (which, unfortunately, it sometimes rationally might be, because potential applicants and ranking groups do look at those numbers).

    Imagine, for example, a school with (just to keep the math simple) 20,000 applicants (including 2,000 early-decision applicants), seeking to fill a freshman class of 2,000, and a 50% yield rate (meaning 50% of those accepted choose to enroll). To fill those 2,000 spots the school could admit 4,000 of the 20,000 applicants, which generates an acceptance rate of 20%. Or it could admit 1,000 ED to fill 1,000 spots and fill the remaining 1,000 spots by admitting 2,000 RD. In that scenario they admitted 3,000 / 20,000, or 15%. But it's not necessarily a better class or better school. Now let's say they really want to juice the numbers. They could admit 1,200 ED, fill 600 more slots by admitting 1,200 RD, and then waitlist a bunch of kids, from which they can pull 200 more kids at essentially a 100% yield rate. In that version the school made 2,600 offers, for an admit rate of 13% - but again, there's no reason to think either the school or the class is "better" than the scenario in which the school has a 20% admit rate.

    Add into the mix the tendency of some strong but not elite schools to reject great applicants because they assume they'll end up going to more prestigious schools and thereby decrease yield (sometimes called "Tufts Syndrome" or "Yield Protection") and you have today's somewhat messed-up admissions system, in which more and more spots go to ED applicants, tons of people get waitlisted, and amazing candidates don't get in to schools they once viewed as targets. (Just as examples, take a look at Rice and WashU St. Louis in recent years.)

    I suppose some of the blame belongs to US News & World Report, who almost accidentally got this whole thing rolling. In any event, it would be great if applicants and schools stopped treating acceptance rates -- and, in particular, small differences in acceptance rates -- as evidence of anything meaningful about a college. I'm not holding my breath, though!
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  • intparentintparent 36272 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,916 Senior Member
    Well... it is private, but it is a NY land grant university, and it operates some of its colleges as public colleges (contract colleges). Those contract colleges have to accept a certain % of New York State students.
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  • merc81merc81 9914 replies144 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,058 Senior Member
    edited March 31
    GoodPoint wrote:
    The pervasive but superficial focus on acceptance rates as an indicator of a school's quality makes me crazy . . .

    Yes, this focus appears to connect with a competitive personality trait among some that probably, for reasons I'll leave to others' sense of reasoning, undermines meaningful academics at some of the colleges that have reached ultra-low acceptance levels.
    edited March 31
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  • sherpasherpa 4724 replies93 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,817 Senior Member
    Cornell is a great school and its athletic teams compete in the Ivy League.
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  • cupugucupugu 50 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    @CupCakeMuffins Applications to Cornell were down slightly this year after increasing by 10,000 applications over the prior 3 years from 41,000 in 2015 to 51,000 in 2018. So perhaps just a pause in the climb after three years of huge increases. Meanwhile Cornell's yield rate has increased from 51% to 61% over those same three years so perhaps more ED admits and more RD admitted kids choosing Cornell over other options.
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 894 Member
    edited April 5
    @cupugu With more public school programs, aid and easier acceptance, yield is bound to increase. That’s a no brainer, not like applicants are picking it over HYPSM etc
    edited April 5
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 894 Member
    @GoodPoint , If not for rankings and acceptance rates as indicators of desirability and excellence of schools, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 5892 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,921 Senior Member
    not like applicants are picking it over HYPSM

    They sure are for certain majors! Hotel, ILR, Engineering......

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  • cupugucupugu 50 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    With more public school programs, aid and easier acceptance, yield is bound to increase. That’s a no brainer,

    @CupCakeMuffins I'm not sure I follow you. What do you mean by "more public school programs"? Is Cornell giving more financial aid than other comparable schools? And how does a lower acceptance rate at Cornell cause or contribute to Cornell's yield increasing?
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 485 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 492 Member
    @Riversider "This term literally defines today’s Cornell "

    From their website - "Cornell University is a private research university"

    It literally does not.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32219 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,555 Senior Member
    SMH. It's an Ivy. None of the other Ivies are suddenly rumbling about dropping C from the group. The rest is moot.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7381 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,457 Senior Member
    Regardless of the admissions rate & number of students, Cornell still has the best agriculture school in the entire Ivy League.
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  • rphcfbrphcfb 227 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    Cornell is often ranked top 3 in the country for its agricultural program.

    Not sure what the point of calling Cornell a public ivy. Some colleges at Cornell are contracted, others are endowed. Whatever you call it does not make it easier to get in for most students. Try applying to College of Arts and Science, Engineering or Dyson School, you’ll find out.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7381 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,457 Senior Member
    Cornell University resembles a Big 10 school more so than it does an Ivy. But, don't take my word for this, google Cornell University Presidents & read the articles & speeches accompanying their selection & appointments.

    Spoiler alert: Cornell gets its presidents from the ranks of Big 10 universities. And Cornell trustees explain why Cornell gets its presidents from Big 10 universities.

    P.S. I love Cornell & I love the Big 10.
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