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Take Aways From This Year's Admissions

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Replies to: Take Aways From This Year's Admissions

  • runswimyogarunswimyoga Registered User Posts: 908 Member
    I heard on a talk radio program today an admissions director talking about trends in private college admissions - some of which I thought were interesting and kind of illustrated some of what this discussion has said.

    She spoke about her school's admissions trend towards moving away from seeking well rounded students to moving more towards seeking well rounded classes. In order to do that she said they put more emphasis in early action and early decision acceptances and she expects that trend to continue.

  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    edited May 19
    But the ED zone is really more like 7-20 (roughly Duke through Emory).
    @northwesty So EDing those at 1-6 won't help? Then why do some of the 6 keep EDs?

    When RD acceptance rate drops to <2% for the ED schools, those who EA the 1-6 EA schools are real risk taking top students and thus are attractive to the ED schools in the RD round. (The whole thing is crazy and something will happen in the next few years).
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 14,985 Senior Member
    In my opinion it is another way to tighten up what has morphed into what amounts to an almost year long process for kids.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,943 Senior Member
    @bluebayou:
    "Disagree. ED is a big plus factor, even for the unhooked. And those top ~10 colleges (however defined) tend to have the most generous fin aid. ED could be the ticket to a top 10 school at a big discount. "

    There aren't that many top 10 ED schools to begin with. If you go by USNews, only Columbia, Duke, Penn, JHU, and now UChicago.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,943 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    @londondad: My understanding is that NU just doesn't give much of a bump for legacies, period. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was nonexistent in RD.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,943 Senior Member
    @suzyQ7: "ED is a plus factor, but not that big. Remember, those ED admit rates include athletes and legacies. For unhooked applicants, ED gives an edge - but I would call it a 'big' plus factor."

    This really depends on the school. Like legacy preference, ED edge could vary a lot even among elite peers. Also note that there are top schools where recruited athletes won't be taking up a big chunk of the ED admit pool simply because those schools don't value athletic ability that much. At DivIII UChicago, WashU, Emory, Tufts, mostly DivIII JHU (and maybe DivIII CMU though I have heard that they do give their athletes a bump), there would be plenty of space for non-athletes. Caltech doesn't value athletic prowess at all and they and MIT don't give any bump to legacy, but they are EA.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,943 Senior Member
    @TTG: "Say a very competitive Top 20 LAC with a 56% female student body receives an ED app from a male from Nebraska who has something a little unique that the school thinks would benefit and enhance the school community, but scores/grades put that student at a very marginal level. They might very well accept that student and know they will have that unique something in the community"

    I doubt they would take a marginal candidate even in that case; most marginal accepts are hooked in some way, but if that candidate had solid stats within the 75/25 range but nothing else to recommend him other than being a guy from a small far-away state, applying ED instead of RD could be the difference between acceptance and rejection.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,274 Senior Member
    @momofthreeboys , While I agree that ED is a solid business strategy and can see why schools want to use it, ED disadvantages students that need to compare financial aid and/or merit scholarships and advantages the wealthy. I have no problem with EA or SCEA and very much like the Questbridge-type match system wherein students rank their choices, or I can get behind making kids show their interest in some other way, but I deeply resent the one-sidedness of the ED "advantage."
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 487 Member
    edited May 19
    @PurpleTitan, I just posited that the guy was from Nebraska to make him seem more exotic!

    To be more specific, say that exotic Nebraska guy applies to Bowdoin. His grades/test scores are very good but maybe not quite 25% in either case for Bowdoin, but almost. However, the school can see that he is an extraordinarily talented singer/songwriter/guitarist, who performs a lot around his region. Not just good, but amazing. He applies ED. Well, Bowdoin wants to be a great community with people like this guy who make it more fun and entertaining in Maine, in February, and he's a good student, maybe just not strong enough to get in strictly on grades/scores. Well, why not use one of the school's few hundred ED spots on him because it wants him around.

    Now say he applies RD. Bowdoin can tell he and his family are pretty savvy about the process. Well, maybe he's applied to 14 schools (who did that in 1982?). He's a good student and talented so he'll probably get in a bunch of places. Unless Bowdoin is willing to accept him and give him generous aid, probably he goes elsewhere. Maybe it decides it doesn't want to reject a higher-stat kid for a maybe. Or maybe they offer him $30k, and he goes to Amherst because it offers $40k. Now Bowdoin doesn't have someone like him. Some singer/songwriter/guitarists, but no one like this guy. They wanted him but could not shape their class like they desired.

    It just seems like it would be much harder for schools to predict today. I'm not crying for them, just looking at it from their perspective. Why not take the bird in the hand when it's much harder to get the bird in the bush. I know one student who applied to 20 schools and was accepted to 18. So that's 17 schools who got a no thank you from one student.

    I think the current environment can be a little harder on students/families and also a challenge for schools.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 487 Member
    @LoveTheBard, I agree and think the squeeze is on the middle class and lower-income families. Hard to pay tuition/other costs that have increased much faster than incomes but too much income to merit special consideration or qualify for extraordinary aid. For lower-income families, it puts great pressure on kids to be incredibly special or choices are very limited.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,371 Senior Member
    I would say that about quite a number of posts on this thread but not the one you quoted.

    For your view of the post I quoted to be valid, you must believe certain other posters here are liars. Seems unlikely to me you have enough info to know that. As such, its being implied (in the face of evidence to the contrary). Which is why I made the statement about intellectual laziness/dishonesty.

    Now in terms of the discussion here, none of it really matters as no one here is making policy in terms of college admissions.

    Where I think it is relevant in a more important sense (though beyond the scope of this thread or board) is general policy discussions. Its becoming more common to see people impute invalid motives to criticism of a policy they favor. No doubt sour grapes isn't a valid reason to criticize a given policy. And criticizing a given policy based on the race, gender, religion or political affiliation of its proponent isn't valid either. If you prove one of those are the reason behind the criticism, you can avoid addressing the criticism itself. But today its too often the case that the invalid motive is assumed (without evidence) to avoid any discussion about the criticism itself. As a result, the level of discourse on many issues pretty much sucks.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,943 Senior Member
    @TTG: I don't think a 25th percentile kid is getting in to Bowdoin just because he's from a small state and is a guy who applied ED and plays guitar.

    He would need something more. And there wouldn't be a lot of competition to get him from Bowdoin's peers, either.

    Again, at that level, anyone at 25th percentile or below has a strong hook.

    Now, drop down the rankings 30 spots or so and your example becomes more realistic.
This discussion has been closed.