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Difference between a "tip" and a "hook?"

4gsmom4gsmom 868 replies29 threads Member
In another thread, someone says being first gen is a "hook" and someone else says it's a "tip." What is the difference between the two? And is legacy a tip or hook? I keep telling a friend whose father is a famous alumni (has spoken at graduation, on cover of alumni magazine etc...) of a T20 school that it's a "hook" for her child who is applying (and her son has the grades and test scores to get in - doesn't need a bump) but now I think I have no idea what I'm actually talking about, lol.
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Replies to: Difference between a "tip" and a "hook?"

  • skieuropeskieurope 41108 replies7749 threads Super Moderator
    It's splitting hairs. A tip carries less weight in general than a hook, but evey college is free, where not prohibited by law, to decide what is a hook/tip and to decide what additional weight, if any, each brings. In general the major hooks are:

    - Recruited athlete
    - Underepresented minority
    - Child of alum (some may consider grandparents; some may limit to alum of the undergrad school)
    - Child of major donor

    Some others that may be hooks (or tips) to some colleges

    - Child of a world leader/celebrity
    - Celebrity in own right
    - First generation in family to attend college
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35422 replies399 threads Senior Member
    When the stats and rigor (and the right presentation in the whole app) aren't there, it can be a soft tip, not a hook. Or no tip at all, no bump, nothing to make the school want that kid, over others who are more qualified.

    There's a lot of confusion, some think a hook is an automatic, a guarantee- really, that's only for an athletic recruit, when the coach is seriously pulling. The rest are still mere mortals. Even the kids of famous alums or big donors still need to qualify. The difference is they have a link to the colleges, to conversations and some assessment before applying.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 41108 replies7749 threads Super Moderator
    There's a lot of confusion, some think a hook is an automatic, a guarantee- really, that's only for an athletic recruit, when the coach is seriously pulling. The rest are still mere mortals. Even the kids of famous alums or big donors still need to qualify. The difference is they have a link to the colleges, to conversations and some assessment before applying.
    And for many colleges, particularly at the top tier in D1, an athletic recruit is also not automatic; they still have to have a GPA and ACT/SAT that are in the range of accepted applicants. For athletic recruits to schools outside of D1, being a recruit may be more of a tip than a hook, and perhaps not even a tip at some colleges.

    But @lookingforward makes a valid point. In general,and certainly at the more selective colleges, a hook is no guarantee. It helps in those hypothetical "all else being equal" cases.

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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30511 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Some other tips are geographic like being from South Dakota, gender at schools trying to keep ratio, undersubscribed major, a talent like multi lingual.

    These days, being legacy, unless parent is very prominent alum is just a tip at most selective school admissions.
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