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Why Did I get Rejected from Princeton EA? (High Stats + ECS?)

xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
edited July 10 in Princeton University
Hi there,

I just finished up with my RD applications and honestly, have been feeling pretty terrible.

I am an international citizen at a US "feeder" boarding school, and applied Princeton EA with a 4.0, 1550 SAT, 800 on my subject tests, multiple international competition awards, national awards, student council leadership, community work, was involved with the United Nations for a technology innovation competition on sustainable data infrastructure and presented at an official UN Event on sustainable uses of programming, and a well-developed passion for ceramic art. I started writing my essays since last year, which were edited and proof-read by multiple peers / teachers who said they were very strong as writing is a passion of mine. My teacher LORs were by teachers who have coached me in extracurriculars and taught me personally and we have great relationships.

Numerous other people from my school were accepted and deferred, and the EA rejection rate for Princeton is very low. It has been my dream school for years, but the problem is not inherently this rejection (it is obviously just one school): I am worried my chances were sabotaged by my Guidance Counsellor who is really not my fan for very problematic reasons because that is the only potential "red flag" I can think of (also rejections with high stats / ECs are usually due to a red flag is the consensus I gathered.) Is there any other reason I could have been rejected from EA besides the GC LOR? that is the only factor I have no knowledge about.

Really really worried because if she ruined one application, the same letter was probably sent to every other school as well... which means this "red flag" could dash my dreams even at my "safety" schools.

Thanks,
Adrian


edited July 10
67 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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Replies to: Why Did I get Rejected from Princeton EA? (High Stats + ECS?)

  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    (My intended major was international relations, and my ECS matched this major.)
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3448 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited January 4
    A whole lot of high-stats, high-performing kids get deferred, rejected, or waitlisted at Princeton (and a whole lot more high-stats, high performing international students, who really do have less than a 1% chance at T10 institutions). Many of them are feeling equally shocked or surprised as you are. It goes hand-in-hand with a school with a 5% acceptance rate. I truly wish you better luck in the ED round.

    Without all the details, I can't also jump to the conclusion that your GC sabotaged you. If you feel you have a legitimate and (hopefully) documented problem with your GC, you might talk to the head of the guidance department or a vice-principal, though. While you aren't entitled to see your LOR, perhaps one of them will review it for you. Most of it will be checked boxes anyway, and it ought to be easy for them to determine whether you have, in fact, taken the "most rigorous" courseloads, etc.
    edited January 4
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  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Groundwork2022 Thanks for the quick response. I will follow up with my school, I was just surprised cause my international friends at my boarding school got in with much less rigorous courseloads and less prominent ECs, and also because EA round deferral is almost always the case for Princeton. I took all honours and many AP courses :( Hopefully I can move on with my RD.
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I am sorry to hear about the outcome of your application at Princeton. Among all the Princeton applicants from your school who did not receive an acceptance or deferral, were you the only international?
    College admission for international students to these top schools is incredibly competitive indeed; however, I do believe that our system is fair and that your strong qualifications will be recognized and rewarded in RD.
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  • Muad_dibMuad_dib 943 replies28 threads Member
    [T]he EA rejection rate for Princeton is very low.

    Huh? According to who?
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  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1093 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    What is the issue with your GC? You can't expect anyone on here to give you an answer without the full picture.
    Without knowing that, I'd say the most likely reason is because (no offense) applicants with those stats and similar ECs are a dime a dozen at places like Princeton. Maybe your peers got in with lower stats, but stats aren't everything. Maybe they showed a passion for Princeton and had something special in their essays.
    Also, where did you here the EA rejection rate is low? Princeton hasn't put those numbers out in their official reports ever, and I can't find anything that says so. If its hearsay, it's most likely not true.
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  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1093 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    ^^^ @Muad_dib According to ivycoach, the admit rate for Princeton EA is 18%. I highly doubt that OP is right.
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  • par271828ntpar271828nt 49 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Dear @xsi103920,

    I read your post a couple of times, and understand your disappointment and worries. However, at this point, since all is done and submitted, I suggest your try to move on and hope for the best.

    (It is just too hard to speculate without seeing the GC's letter, your application, your peers' applications, and others' early applications to WWS.)

    I will only assume your GC is professional and hope you'll find another college you will enjoy for the next 4 years!

    Stay positive for a few more months.

    Let us know when you get some offers!



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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1641 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Were any of the other students who got accepted or deferred international students? Maybe your country is super competitive with a ton of applicants in the Princeton SCEA applicant pool.

    Did you write "edgy" essays that might have backfired? Perhaps they were too polished or the writing style was too dissimilar between essays such that the AO's questioned whether you wrote them. If you "puffed" your EC's beyond a reasonable limit, it may have put your integrity in question if the AO's ran a check.

    But yes, see if another school administrator can look at your GC report to see if there are any unfair red flags.
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  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited January 4
    thank you everyone for the replies!!
    @Muad_dib @izrk02
    "Early applicants to Harvard, Princeton and Yale were significantly more likely to be deferred than rejected, with deferral rates of 68.1 percent, 78.9 percent, and 57.6 percent respectively." - 2014, Yale Daily News (obviously it could have changed in exact numbers since then, but our school is very close with the Ivy Admissions offices and they have said deferrals are the common practice when students are in the range for ECs / Stats. Also, this is the first REA rejection anyone in our school has gotten in the past 4 years- nobody else in my school received an REA rejection this year for a single school, even with international passports, and significantly low stats or minimal ECs, etc.)

    I am fully aware that my stats and ECs can be "commonplace" at a place like Princeton which is why the purpose of this post was to try to make sense of a rejection that I expected not to turn out as an acceptance, but as a deferral, because of my school's history. I know several peers that literally started their Princeton essay drafts in our school's cafe the day of, had minimal passions for their ECs / very undeveloped ECs, and are honestly very rude people and still got deferred because of, according to administration, likely our school's relationship and history with Ivy League applications. Obviously people are more than their stats and I totally recognize that !! But on that note I am also more than my stats, and I do not go on here very often. I only came because my own teachers and administrators were super shocked by my rejection, as were my friends, because of my high rank at my school and my reputation as being the most successful with his ECs.

    I am in no way trying to say I auto-deserved a place at Princeton. Princeton is a reach for anyone. I am just trying to make sense of a confusing and scary situation where nobody in my school has received an REA Rejection in four years.

    edited January 4
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  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @BKSquared @tgl2023 No, I was not the only international student (two of my friends who got in had the same passport as in, and two other friends who were deferred did as well; a lot of other deferred and accepted students for other REA Programs also had this passport :)

    Nope, they were not "edgy" or over-polished because I avoided both of these things as my siblings have had extensive experience with college admissions and advised me against these! I also did not "puff" my ECs because again, I know from family experience that is a terrible idea, plus my ECs I believe are very strong enough to stand on their own and I am proud of them without having to exaggerate or violate integrity. Just a student who put their heart into things and went through a lot of trauma and was hoping for a little bit of happiness.

    I know it will come in other ways, I just need to have faith things will work out, but I was hoping for once it could work out the easy way. my school also told me my application was exceptional because I overcame much deeper challenges than anybody else in my grade / extraordinarily painful extenuating circumstances and managed a high, challenging course load, ECs, and a social life regardless. So maybe it will work out and at least I have come out a stronger and better person with goals and interests.

    Perhaps I was just extraordinarily unlucky. Who knows! Hoping for the best in the next round :)) @par271828nt @TiggerDad thank you! I will update a thread with my future results, and try to be hopeful even if I have question marks in my head.
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  • par271828ntpar271828nt 49 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Dear @xsi103920,

    Once again, I feel for you, and understand what you are saying.
    And once again, I feel you need to stay positive. The main reason is, I believe you are a high achiever (in terms of abilities, expectation of yourself and from others, and accomplishments), and these unexpected things happen in life. Make this a learning experience for the future--very easy for me to say, I admit.

    I feel it is unproductive to dwell over this, *however*, if I were you, I would also like to find out why. Wouldn't we (and you, your friends and teachers want to know)?

    If you feel you are seriously affected by this, I suggest you find a teacher you could trust, someone you feel like talking to or sharing, and talk to him/her.

    This is probably not a good time (to contact admissions office), and I honestly don't know how these things work, but may be a few months from now, someone from your school could chat with admissions and ask, "Hey, we have this great student ....... What happened? We want to know so we could coach future students better."

    For the time being, focus on other things in life, things you enjoy, spend time with your friends and people you trust.

    I purposely did not comment on your application, because the possibilities are unlimited. It just drags you deeper into this, putting you on the defense. And it is not helpful. All that you need to know is you have tried your best in the past few years. Step back. And move on. Set your sight on something else, perhaps much bigger. You sound like you have great potentials. I wish you all the best.

    Just my 2 cents, sincerely.



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  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1093 replies53 threads Forum Champion
    I wouldn't be surprised if those who got deferred get rejected. They probably just chose some people randomly to defer to keep up a good relationship with your school. Don't focus too much on others at your school, it honestly might just be because of the major they chose or a hook. Also I was looking and you can't major in IR at Princeton. What did you apply for? If you applied for the WWS you'd be majoring in Public Policy, not IR.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10205 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Princeton is a huge reach for all applicants. As noted, those that were deferred will most likely get rejected.

    Don't take the rejection personally and don't compare yourself with classmates. Even if you think you know their stats, you don't know everything about them or how they packaged their application.

    It would be highly unlikely that a GC would sabotage an application.

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  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool 1403 replies31 threads Senior Member
    With all the applicants from your school, they probably just chose to Defer and Reject some, especially with the international bucket being so competitive....and you were the unlucky one. If any were legacy, those usually get auto-deferred, if their stats are in line with Princeton stats. Hopefully it was just bad luck and no red flag that would affect other applications.
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  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @izrk02 Yep I applied for the WWS so Public Policy! Just said IR because that's the official major I'm using for all my RD schools (or at least most, some like Columbia don't have IR) and forgot the exact terms. I also applied for Comparative Literature.

    The rejection hurts, but honestly I was more concerned that it was a red flag instead of bad luck. If it's bad luck, then that's fine, cause it's unlikely I have bad luck for every school I apply to considering I also applied to schools I am above the range for. :)
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  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @sunnyschool that is what I am hoping for too! It is one school and while it was my dream school, I am applying to 10 other schools too. If it's not a red flag, it's unlikely I'll be *so* unlucky to get rejected everywhere considering I'm applying fo a mix of safeties, targets, and reaches.
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  • xsi103920xsi103920 27 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @par271828nt that makes sense. I will try to be positive!! Life goes on, and maybe I'll end up doing better somewhere else than at Princeton. Thanks for the comment :)
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited January 4
    Having read your latest replies, I think now that you were unlucky in the grand scheme of admission interaction between your school and colleges. You are a very articulate young man with great potential, and I am quite certain that better news will await you in RD.

    @Par271828nt said it very well in post #13:
    "All that you need to know is you have tried your best in the past few years. Step back. And move on."
    edited January 4
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