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Admission Stats 2010--Read 'Em But Don't Weep

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 4,088 Senior Member
edited April 2010 in College Admissions
"Applications to Selective Colleges Rise as Admission Rates Fall" proclaims tonight's headline in Jacques Steinberg's New York Times admission blog, "The Choice."

This news was, at least for me, a whole lot easier to predict than this month's Final Four. (Well, okay, I did have Duke.)

While many parents and students will find it disheartening to read the admission stats at some of the most sought-after universities, I hope that those of you who didn't get the news you'd hoped for from a top-choice college will realize what excellent company you're in.

(See Applications to Selective Colleges Rise as Admission Rates Fall - The Choice Blog - NYTimes.com)

Instead of reminding you how frustrating and seemingly capricious this process can be, these numbers, instead, show how many amazing applicants are in the same boat. Surely many of the 93.08% turned away by Harvard or the 92.82% denied at Stanford will go on to be celebrated world leaders, renowned writers, inspiring artists, international business tycoons, or happy and successful in dozens of other ways.

And for those of you who want to see how these numbers play out in the weeks ahead, "The Choice" will continue to keep track as enrollment data becomes available. (Go to 2010 Admissions Tally - The Choice Blog - NYTimes.com )

Personally, the only numbers I'll be watching will be on the Blue Devils side of the scoreboard ... my one chance to stay alive in the family pool. ;)
Post edited by Sally_Rubenstone on

Replies to: Admission Stats 2010--Read 'Em But Don't Weep

  • Idiosyncra3yIdiosyncra3y Registered User Posts: 1,004 Member
    Yeah, agreed. Another point though that I think we all should note is that many of these admissions stats will seem more selective than they really are. Because students are applying to so many schools, many people who are in the applicant pool are not really competing with you, either because for them the school is a huge reach, or a safety and they will not attend. A final possibility is that after being accepted they will go to a peer school.

    Simply, some in the pool are applying out of blind hope, others are overqualified and will not attend, and finally many others will go to somewhere else very similar. Thus, these statistics will make colleges seem far more selective than they actually are.
  • roderickroderick Registered User Posts: 1,488 Senior Member
    What is a good criterion or touchstone to determine whether a college is a selective school?

    Is there a pctage of app accepted? One that rejects your application :) ?
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Registered User Posts: 1,761 Senior Member
    Actually, just by applying to a place like Harvard or Stanford, you're already in elite company. You are hundreds of times more fortunate than most others of your age currently alive. There are some 1.1 billion people aged between 15-25 in the world. Let's say there are a half a billion people college-aged. At any time, (let's assume about 10,000 undergrads at your average university and let's take the top 30 American schools) there are about 300,000 students at these most highly-ranked universities. If you attend one of these institutions, you are in fact part of a lucky .06% of college-aged students in the world attending world class institutions. Even if we take into consideration great schools all over the world, I doubt that we're looking at more than 1-2%. Be grateful, and celebrate when that acceptance letter arrives. If you get a few rejections in between, take a moment and consider how lucky you already are.

    [Stats people...feel free to correct my 2 minute calculations...I may be way off...but I hope my general point stands.]

    Also, I hope I don't come off as moralizing; I'm simply trying to give jittery high school seniors a bit of perspective. :)
  • MeSsIaH.MeSsIaH. Registered User Posts: 646 Member
    I agree with idiosyncra3y, the acceptance rate really doesn't mean much. It probably isn't much harder to get into top schools than it was say 10 years ago, just that the "just apply, if you don't apply your chance is 0%" mentality has propogated (app fees, yay)
  • pwoodspwoods Registered User Posts: 1,096 Senior Member
    It's certainly true that one reason for the increasing selectivity is that more students apply to schools despite being woefully underqualified, but look at the statistics of the students who are rejected. It may not be much tougher to get into a certain school today than it was a few years ago, but it's probably slightly harder than it was 10 years ago, and much, much harder than 20 years ago!
  • hotinpursuithotinpursuit Registered User Posts: 719 Member
    Even if we take into consideration great schools all over the world, I doubt that we're looking at more than 1-2%. Be grateful, and celebrate when that acceptance letter arrives. If you get a few rejections in between, take a moment and consider how lucky you already are.
    Great post, WindCloudUltra.
  • junglebootsjungleboots Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    they forgot Princeton and Brown: 19% and 20% rise in applications respectively. :)
  • EricLGEricLG Registered User Posts: 645 Member
    Ivy league appls are a pain. Why are students applying in greater numbers ?
  • Beretta9mmBeretta9mm Registered User Posts: 599 Member
    ^So that they can tell people they applied to Ivy. Too many students who think that they need to justify their ego by doing this.
  • wexs883198215wexs883198215 Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Way too many kids fool themselves into thinking they are Ivy material, and no one has the guts to tell them that they have no shot.
  • bsmdncechick23bsmdncechick23 Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    I agree, WindCloudUltra....I'm expecting a few rejections today, but just knowing I'm lucky enough to go to college (not one of the millions impoverished teens or child soldiers, etc. around the world) will make them all the easier to bear. There are much more important things in life. :)
  • Old College TryOld College Try Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    "Ivy league appls are a pain. Why are students applying in greater numbers?"

    We discussed this with our AP Psy teacher, who is like 70 years old. He told us that our generation received way too much postive reinforcement. From the time we were kids, we've been told that we're special and all that when in fact most of us are, by definition, average. All of us received trophies in soccer, ribbons in art, etc. According to him, our parents' primary parenting goal was to instill confidence in us so they lied to us about our personal worth. So that's why so many of us think we're Ivy worthy when we're not.

    In my opinion, he's in need of therapy himself, so whatever.
  • porkpersonporkperson Registered User Posts: 2,071 Senior Member
    Wow, your teacher has a horrible outlook.
  • motion12345motion12345 Registered User Posts: 1,584 Senior Member
    Seeing as half of the applicant pool to these schools has above a 2100 SAT score, I doubt that many of these kids are not "Ivy worthy" and are "average" seeing as an average SAT score is 1500...
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    I think that Old College Try's teacher has a point. I don't agree that parents necessarily lie to their children, but their is definitely a sense of entitlement now.
This discussion has been closed.