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Early Decision apps to Northwestern Class of 2017 reach all-time high

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Replies to: Early Decision apps to Northwestern Class of 2017 reach all-time high

  • wildcatalumwildcatalum 318 replies31 threads Member
    You're right...if the projected RD rate is too low, fewer applicants might apply. With a 50% ED acceptance rate though and assuming steady application numbers (32000 like last year), Northwestern will rival Penn and Duke in selectivity or even surpass them with a 10.5% overall (ED and RD combined) acceptance rate as soon as this cycle. Again, I highly doubt Northwestern will actually go from accepting 33% of ED applicants to 50% in one year. But if it wants to be aggressive, it can.
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  • AxelrodAxelrod 660 replies3 threads Member
    With a relatively new president who has pledged to make Northwestern a top ten (I believe) school, a 50% ED acceptance rate is a possibility. Anyone familiar with how Williams College handled ED (if it offered ED) during his years there ?
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  • Sam LeeSam Lee 9273 replies176 threads Senior Member
    I don't recall Schapiro making such pledge and if you are talking about top ten in terms of USN college ranking, NU actually had been there three times before. While we would like to be there consistently, it isn't some lofty goal we haven't achieved before.

    Manipulating the ED rate without any major upgrade in marketing such as mass mailing and hiring more admission staff for correspondance (to have the prospective HS students the warm and fuzzy feeling) seems like a half-hearted effort when our neighbor in the South Side has already proven those strategies work. That tells me the President isn't really aggressive in having NU climb the rankings through admission practice, at least not right now.

    That said, Schapiro did say he likes having more students that had NU as their first choice. Trying to build a stronger sense of community seems to be one of his toop priorities. The disccusion of a new student center, the addition of central campus green space, and the plan for a new athletic complex seem to indicate to me the President is focused on the student life, community, and academics, not the external college ranking. For some reason, I just get the impression that USN college ranking is rather low on Schapiro's list.
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  • AxelrodAxelrod 660 replies3 threads Member
    Sam: He made it during his first year. And, wow, are you mistaken regarding President Shapiro's focus & concern on USNews' ranking of NU.
    With that one remark, your credibility re:Northwestern is on shaky ground despite your obvious devotion to NU. Maybe his priorities have changed in the last year, but I doubt it especially when considering his term at Williams College.
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  • ugotserved834ugotserved834 258 replies20 threads Junior Member
    So in other words, this is pure speculation....
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  • Sam LeeSam Lee 9273 replies176 threads Senior Member
    He made it during his first year
    Do you have a source?
    Maybe his priorities have changed in the last year, but I doubt it especially when considering his term at Williams College.
    Williams College :: News & Events - Press Releases mentioned nothing about rankings. But Williams was already in the top-3 consistently before he went there in 2000. So you are not making any sense when you said "considering his term".

    I do see some parallels between what he did at Williams and what he has been doing at Northwestern: building projects and expansion of access and afffordbility (e.g. Good Neighbor program).
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  • AxelrodAxelrod 660 replies3 threads Member
    Sam: It may have been published in the campus newspaper, but Shapiro definitely stated that one of his main goals was to get NU ranked in the top 10.

    I know that you've been a reliable source over several years on CC, but this is one that you may have missed.

    P.S. A great source would be Pres. Shapiro. Because you seem so involved, you might have an opportunity to ask him. But, I assure you, that it was published.
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  • ugotserved834ugotserved834 258 replies20 threads Junior Member
    @Axelrod--You changed your view from "I believe" to "definitely" in the span of less than a day.
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  • AxelrodAxelrod 660 replies3 threads Member
    No need to be a jerk about this.
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  • ugotserved834ugotserved834 258 replies20 threads Junior Member
    I am not being a jerk, I just want to know the truth, so I would like to know where you received your info. It would be great for me of the ED rate was 50%, but that just seems so unlikely that I would like to know the sources of such claims.
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  • AxelrodAxelrod 660 replies3 threads Member
    @ugotserved: I read some of your earlier posts & noticed that you're either a high school senior or a college freshman, so I shouldn't have been so sharp with you. I have noticed, however, that your posts in this thread are a bit off color. I've already shared what I recall. Feel free to contact Pres. Shapiro's office & ask.

    P.S. Sam is excellent at researching, he'll find it. Also, I noticed that in post #16 in this thread you misread my earlier post.
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  • ugotserved834ugotserved834 258 replies20 threads Junior Member
    What have I said that's off color? and yeah I am applying ED this year. I'm simply asking you to try and remember where you heard this info.
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  • Sam LeeSam Lee 9273 replies176 threads Senior Member
    Well, I did not find it. Even if it were his priority as you believed, ED would have nothing to do with it. If anything, ED is more likely to hurt than to help college ranking.

    In the USN college ranking, admit rate accounts for only 10% of the selectivity. The other 90% go to class rank and test scores.

    Many people on CC seem to overrate the impact ED has on the overall admit rate. In reality, it's a lot smaller than they think. Take NU class of 2016 data for example: if we were to increase ED admit rate to 50% from 33%, the overall admit rate would drop by only 3 percentage points, from 15% to 12%. So all that drastic change in the policy would only get you little change in admit rate, which accounts for almost nothing for selectivity in the USN. Only dummy would do that.

    ED admits tend to have lower stats than RD admits; so by admitting more EDs, it could actually hurt the selectivity rank in USN. So when Schapiro wants to increase ED, he's not thinking about college ranking. He does it because, as he said before, he wants the campus to have more students that had NU as their first choice.

    We've been sitting at #12 for a while and it's only 2 spots from #10. Honestly, a change in 2 spot isn't really that much of an achievement; I am pretty sure Schaprio has loftier goals than just moving us up by couple spots in a silly college ranking.
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  • vonlostvonlost 19264 replies15808 threads Super Moderator
    "Honestly, a change in 2 spot isn't really that much of an achievement"

    Maybe there's a generic applicant out there who agrees with magazine editors' opinion on what makes a good school.
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  • arbiter213arbiter213 3501 replies71 threads Senior Member
    Re: Morty's stance on US News:

    He has not "pledged" to make NU a top 10 university, but I saw him say that was a goal in person on several occasions while I was at NU.
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  • wildcatalumwildcatalum 318 replies31 threads Member
    Even though the acceptance rate by itself won't count for much in U.S. News, it can increase Northwestern's allure in the eyes of high schoolers and drive more highly qualified applicants to apply in the future.

    However, Northwestern should not do this at the expense of the SAT ranges and top 10% statistic. I do think there are enough applicants out there with a 32+ applying ED whose schools don't rank that these figures won't be compromised much.

    The real question is whether qualitative aspects would be compromised, but then again, the process of judging these factors is subjective anyway. A student who's a serial joiner of ECs might not stand out in the RD round but who's to say they won't be actively involved and enliven the campus if they get in?
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  • wildcatalumwildcatalum 318 replies31 threads Member
    On Pres. Schapiro, he is on record about wanting to move the med school to top 10. Check the State of the University address either this fall or last spring. Not aware of his intent to move the undergrad to top 10, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're actively working on it. I mean only a few points separate Northwestern from #10. The issue is when other higher-ranked schools also raise their points, making the gap difficult to close. From what I remember from 2 years ago or last year, if then-ranked #10 didn't improve their raw score, Northwestern would have tied them or even surpassed them the following year with its new score. However, they did, so the gap remains. The competition is fierce at the top...there's no room to be complacent.
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  • Sam LeeSam Lee 9273 replies176 threads Senior Member
    ^It's not just that acceptance rate doesn't count for much; using the class of 2016 data, a 17 percentage point increase would only yield about 3 percentage point (actually 2.6 to be more exact) drop in overall admit rate. I am very sure a 50% admit rate would drag down the quality of the student body which would not increase NU's allure. What we saw last year was a 4 percentage point increase in ED admit rate; it had virtually no impact on our overall admit rate. That's why I believe ranking was never the motive behind that. Increasing ED, as I said already, is just too messy and inefficient. OTOH, increasing the mass mailing effort (ours is nothing compared to some others) and having the admission become more stats driven would be the most efficient ways to do it if climbing the college ranking by couple spots is really that important when comparing against other priorities and issues and in the whole scheme of running the university. That's not to say I don't think they don't do anything. The makeover of the admission page indicates they've been doing something, at least to keep up with the competitors. They just haven't seemed to be among the most aggressive out there.
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  • AxelrodAxelrod 660 replies3 threads Member
    He made the statement with respect to the undergraduate school during his first year at Northwestern. It was probably printed in the student newspaper as I used to be a subscriber. Best source, if Sam cannot find it in print, then would be Morty himself.
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  • Sam LeeSam Lee 9273 replies176 threads Senior Member
    ^Based on what arbiter said, he does seem to have that as one of his goals. But I also believe he wants to achieve it the right way, without compromising his values or other goals (such as making the school socio-economically more accessible and diverse) or diverting too many resources for other priorities. Regardless, changing ED rate would not be his way of achieving it (see posts #34/39).
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