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WSJ Article: High Schools sending most kids to top schools


Replies to: WSJ Article: High Schools sending most kids to top schools

  • curious14curious14 Registered User Posts: 1,058 Senior Member

    Yes, colleges can impute ranks and probably do, but they do not include them in the statistics unless they are presented to them, in one way or another, by the HS. This is good for the colleges reported data and good for the private HS's that have worked out this elaborate dance with the colleges. I remember the conversation with the adcom from last summer. What he/she said, that was surprising to me, was that they include the data when it is provided informally by a HS counselor or in a recommendation. Of course that data isn't provided unless the rank is high. The data on the percentage of students who rank in the top 10% is very misleading, if taken at face value, and unduly discouraging to students from highly competitive HS's.
  • ctParent2006ctParent2006 Registered User Posts: 376 Member
    I agree that there a small number of High Schools, public and private, that have very high admissions standards. For those schools those 10% or better figures may not apply but for most they are a very good guide.

    I don't think that students at restricted admissions High Schools and some very very few other schools will be at any disadvantage as the most colleges will be very well aware of the strengths of the student body at those schools.

    Certainly I would agree that students at such High Schools should not be discouraged by those figures.
  • ramblinramblin Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    The WSJ has revised the list, adding 20 schools they missed before due to shoddy methodology:

  • light10491light10491 Registered User Posts: 1,174 Senior Member
    I attend Boston Latin School. Last year we had: 28 Harvard admits, 3 Columbia admits, 1 Cornell admit, 6 Brown admits, 4 Dartmouth admits, 3 UPenn admits, 4 Princeton admits, 3 Amherst admits, 7 MIT admits, 12 McGill admits, 1 Middlebury admit, 24 NYU admits, 1 Northwestern admit, 25 Tufts admits, 3 Yale admits, 1 Caltech admit, 4 Johns Hopkins admits.

    We dont fare well with Stanford at all.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,005 Senior Member
    Good to see they made the correction, I see our high school there now.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471 Senior Member
    It's still a joke methodology because of the colleges they choose as destination colleges.
  • MommaJMommaJ Registered User Posts: 5,756 Senior Member
    What is the purpose of this survey, and why does anyone care enough about the results to dissect them? Is it any surprise that high schools whose students are the academic elite or the spawn of the rich and powerful send those students to colleges that seek the academic elite and the spawn of the rich and powerful? I'd be interested to learn about an inner city school that consistently sends a few kids to top colleges, or any institution that performs some sort of alchemy on its students, but this data tells me nothing of note. It's not as if these schools have discovered some special technique for nurturing young minds. They just house a variety of superstars for four years.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,005 Senior Member
    I'd be interested to learn about an inner city school that consistently sends a few kids to top colleges, or any institution that performs some sort of alchemy on its students, but this data tells me nothing of note.

    You should be looking somewhere else for that data because it's not how this data is used for. But it doesn't mean this data doesn't serve its purpose. For parents that are paying north of 30,000/year for private school, this data is important. For colleges that want to know profile of various high schools, this information is of interest.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    I'd really like to see if there was a way you could correct for the high percent of legacies of elite schools likely to be found in this cohort. As well as the likely high percent of big-time donors or potential donors. I think the bigger question is, for a smart kid who is NOT otherwise hooked (legacy / donations), how much of an advantage does he get from going to one of those schools versus a good decent public high school.
  • momof3sonsmomof3sons Registered User Posts: 5,116 Senior Member
    tokenadult, I guess you could term it a "joke methodology" although they are choosing "elite" schools. I can substitute 3 schools which are "ranked" higher than three that WSJ uses, and can then bump the high school I am most familiar with from the bottom area of the list to the top.
  • foolishpleasurefoolishpleasure Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    Pizzagirl - - a lot of the admits are legacy admits, but that can be true among the "lesser" day/prep schools and at public schools as well (every suburban public school kid I know is applying to his/her parents' name-brand alma mater).

    I think the general rule is that the very top of the class does well regardless, but

    - there's no gaurantee a student will end up at the top of the class (and "top" is defined more strictly for public schools)

    - the entire class - - especially the mid third and bottom third - - does much better at private schools

    Check out the Brearley, SPS, St. Ann's, Trinity and Deerfield college matriculation lists - - in a "bad" year, the bottom 20% (could be as few as 10 students at Brearley/Trinity) enroll at Conn College and College of Wooster. Even more impressive are the admit rates, since maticulaiton can be influenced by finances (ie: student admitted to an Ivy, but opting to for non-Ivy that offered merit money).

    But I think the real story is the fact that the entire graduating class at even the "lesser" day/prep schools does shockingly well (check out the Calhoun matriculation list).
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 7,387 Senior Member
    One other thing to keep in mind is a lot of the preppies admitted to top colleges are athletes. If the top colleges dropped their squash, hockey,fencing, water polo,sailing, golf, field hockey, and equestrian teams, the # of students admitted from the boarding/prep schools would plummet.

    Before I get flamed, yes, I do know that there are some public schools that offer these sports and some public/parochial school students who play outside school. However, the rosters of the teams in these sports are heavily weighted towards top private schools, especially boarding schools. If your child is not athletic, you don't have to just discount the legacy factor, you have to discount the athletic factor.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,674 Senior Member
    It's still a joke methodology because of the colleges they choose as destination colleges.

    Careful, TA. This is similar methodology that WSJ used for its 'feeder' school survey, which is highly commended here on cc. :rolleyes:
  • hikidshikids Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    I agree with the folks commenting on Lower Merion, hard to believe it is ahead of The Haverford School, The Baldwin School, and several others which have relatively small graduating classes (but above 50). For exampe Baldwin sent 4 to Princeton alone last year out of a class of 55 and a number of other girls went to other top schools including the 8. So I think the method is suspect like others do.
  • monstor344monstor344 Registered User Posts: 2,502 Senior Member
    Woohoo, my school made the list and the list doesn't even include the top schools my HS feeds most to (Yale, Columbia, Cornell)
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