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How Did I Get Waitlisted By My Safety School?

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Replies to: How Did I Get Waitlisted By My Safety School?

  • EnthusiasmEnthusiasm 34 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Like other people are saying, although your SAT and GPA are high, they want to make sure that you aren't, as you are saying using them as a Safety school. Colleges and Universities can only let in a certain amount of people and they don't want to reserve a spot for you unless they know you will most likely go there when they could reserve a spot for a very likely going to enroll student.
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  • pmmywestpmmywest 315 replies43 threads Member
    @TomSrOfBoston @Oregongirl14 How do colleges know if you've opened their emails or just deleted them? I ha no idea email senders had this capability, and this is all sounding very NSA-y.
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  • MomannoyedMomannoyed 272 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited March 2014
    The (Daily Beast) article mentions two different admissions officers who got food poisoning in Buffalo and thereafter rejected applicants from Buffalo. That sounds like an urban legend going the rounds.
    edited March 2014
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78671 replies698 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    Another way colleges check on "showing interest" is through the emails they send. They can monitor if you open the email or simply delete it without opening it. The more deletes, the less interest, the less likely an admit decision.

    This is presumably done by embedding URL images (which are not necessarily visible-to-human images) in HTML email, so if you open the email in a plain text email reader or one which does not open embedded URLs (typically for security purposes), the opening of the email will not be noticed.

    So this means, after reading the email from the college in an email reader that does not open embedded URLs, do so with opening of embedded URLs once you have verified that it is legitimate, so that the "has read the email" counter gets triggered.

    Of course, if there is a link to the college's web site that you are supposed to explicitly click to, it would be a good idea to go there and browse, since that may be a more explicit way of tracking interest from the email.
    edited March 2014
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  • Oregongirl14Oregongirl14 120 replies7 threads Junior Member
    A pretty common software it just tells them if the person opened the email how soon and if it was forwarded. I no some college sports coaches and they've shown me the program. They said they use it to see how serious prospects are but that admissions uses them too.

    You act like its spying. They send an email and see what happens to it. Do you think it's spying that you can see that a text message was delivered/opened? It's not even like its a secret lots of people know about it. I mean some schools (Yale ^) even let people know if they don't use those soft wares.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78671 replies698 threads Senior Member
    Point is (see post above), depending on your email reader and its security settings, reading the email may not trigger the action that causes the software to know that you read the email, so you may have to take specific action to ensure that you "show interest" by "showing that you read the email".
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  • Bartleby007Bartleby007 493 replies1 threads Member
    Specialized email software. Schmoozing of regional admissions officers. The keeping of "demonstrated interest" files on prospective applicants.

    If this really is the current game in college admissions, I'm surprised so many kids/parents choose to play.

    The energy an applicant spends feigning interest (to check the "I'm-interested" box) would be better spent on any number of other pursuits.

    Don't even get me started on the games that sleazy college coaches play during the athletic recruitment process. I've heard so many stories from scholar-athletes over the years...
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78671 replies698 threads Senior Member
    If this really is the current game in college admissions, I'm surprised so many kids/parents choose to play.

    Use of "level of applicant's interest" as a frosh admissions criterion is gaining in popularity, particularly among private schools that see themselves being used as "safeties" but do not want to be used as "safeties" by students who are unlikely to matriculate.
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  • denali21denali21 26 replies0 threads Junior Member
    similar to @terminatorp 's experience: ~4-5 years ago, a family friend wanting to major in mech. engineering was accepted by Stanford and Rice (his reach schools) and was rejected by UT-Austin (one of his two safety schools). We have no idea why. (The possible explanations given by Ms. Rubenstone do not seem to apply.)
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  • Oregongirl14Oregongirl14 120 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited March 2014
    @bartleby007
    What are people supposed to do not get the education required for most good jobs? Also, watch what you say about college coaches. You're generalizing. I was being recruited as were most of my teammates. Some coaches are great people. I know people who have had bad experiences in this, but both of those were high school administrators or high school coaches/club coaches at fault. Don't talk about things you don't know about or haven't heard straight from someone. Remember the coach is only a small part of the equation.
    edited March 2014
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78671 replies698 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    Re: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/17041155/#Comment_17041155

    UT Austin is a safety for some (those eligible for automatic admission by being in the top 7% or whatever class rank threshold in a Texas high school), but probably a reach for all others, since all others (including out-of-state students, international students, just-missed-the-top-7% students, and students at non-ranking schools) must compete for only a quarter of the admission slots. Note that UT Austin's engineering and business divisions are said to be more popular and more selective than its other divisions.

    Overall frosh class stats and admission rates at UT Austin can therefore be very misleading if one is trying to make a reach/match/safety assessment based on them.
    edited March 2014
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  • Daddio3Daddio3 603 replies22 threads Member
    I was told by an interviewer that one of my son's reach schools was tired of being used as a safety for HYPS students, so they wouldn't accept anyone RD from his high school. My son had to email admissions for an unrelated reason, so I told him to include that it was his top school and he was still excited to attend (it genuinely was at the time, but I'm not sure if it still is). We will see soon enough whether that worked or not.

    The root problem in the college admissions process is that yield is taken into account in ranking schools. Honestly, unless you are HYPS, there is always a bigger fish, and someone is going to use you as a safety.
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  • fractalmstrfractalmstr 2269 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    Not to play devils advocate here, but it does make sense to me why some schools would waitlist students with much higher stats. And I think the reasoning is completely justified too.

    Schools can only admit so many students, since admittance guarantees the option to enroll. If you have, say, 10 kids applying, 7 of whom are serious about going (since they have few other options due to GPA/scores), and 3 who completely surpass the typical applicant in terms of GPA/scores, it makes sense to guarantee admittance to the students you know who are serious about attending.

    In the end, it's just a numbers game... schools see overly qualified students as less likely to attend.
    edited March 2014
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14830 replies999 threads Senior Member
    The root problem in the college admissions process is that yield is taken into account in ranking schools
    I do not believe that yield figures into the USNews rankings.

    Some schools may be hesitant to admit a student with superior stats who may not get admitted to his drean schools. Such a student may try to "transfer up". thus hurting the retention and graduation rates which are factored in by USNews.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78671 replies698 threads Senior Member
    In the end, it's just a numbers game... schools see overly qualified students as less likely to attend.

    However, they can account for yield at different stat ranges. For example, they may know from recent past experience that admitting 2 students for whom the school is a reach will yield 1 matriculant, while admitting 4 match students will yield 1 matriculant, and admitting 10 reach students will yield 1 matriculant. I.e. each reach admit gives 0.5 matriculants, while each match admit gives 0.25 matriculants, while each safety admit gives 0.1 matriculants.

    So rejecting or waitlisting the safety applicants only makes sense if the school wants to raise its yield rate, or is concerned about such students transferring out later.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78671 replies698 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    Sue22 wrote:
    They're trying to craft a community, and the higher the yield the easier this is to do.

    They may say that, but how many of them actually are trying to "craft a community", as opposed to other, more basic, institutional goals (e.g. filling the frosh class (sometimes by division or major, based on the capacity of such) with the "best" students they can get to attend without blowing out the scholarship budget). Probably only the super-selective colleges have the luxury of trying to "craft a community" by choosing from an overabundance of applicants with top end academic qualifications.
    Sue22 wrote:
    A kid who has displayed a low level of interest is less likely to attend, not just because it may be his backup school, but because a student who hasn't done much research on a school is unlikely to be able to assess whether the school is a good fit.

    This statement may be anathema to many here, but many students will find an acceptable or better fit at many schools. I.e. they are not super picky to the point that only a small number of schools will be acceptable -- they may find most schools that are affordable and offer the academic programs and majors that they are interested in to be acceptable or better. Indeed, the super picky students are the ones who are likely to end up being fixated on "dream schools" (a big let-down if they are unaffordable) or be unable to find safeties that they like (risking a shut-out). The students who are not super picky may not go through the motions of showing a high "level of applicant's interest", but if they end up at the given college, they may be perfectly satisfied students.
    edited March 2014
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