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Maybe Smith should follow Colgate’s new policy.

13

Replies to: Maybe Smith should follow Colgate’s new policy.

  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    The real SATs medians for Middlebury's enrolled class is: 1230 to 1400.

    The fake number they report to USNEWS is: 1380 to 1500.

    So, you are right, it does make a 100+ point difference to lie on the Common Data Set filing. (Does this mean I own $5 to Smith?)

    Actually, in my daughter's case, the deception kept her from considering Middlebury. My impression dating back decades was that Middlebury was a step down in selectivity from Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore. So, that might have been interesting to my daughter, who tried to build her list mostly from matches. But, when I looked up numbers in USNEWS and saw that the fake numbers were comparable to Williams, there was no point in considering Middlebury. The last thing she wanted to do was add more reaches. Based on their real numbers, Middlebury would have been a nice solid match, but we had no way of knowing based on the USNEWS data.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    Naa, Just my mistakes. You're exempt

    {{My impression dating back decades was that Middlebury was a step down in selectivity from Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore}}

    It was and still is. I know how Midd thinks. They're chasing Amherst, Bowdoin etc. Midd has an identify crises. No one has heard of the college. It's in the middle of nowhere, sort of. I loved the town when I was there even though it's small.
    The reason the enrolled scores are so much lower is becaue Midd has a number of students, who, as I mentioned, were rejected at other colleges. Midd is not the a 1st choice for many students except the ED kids and for those it's a reach.
    My daughters friend had a 1440 SAT and that was extrememly high for Midd this yr but mid-range for Amherst and Williams. He didn't have any special ECs and I'm sure he was accepted b/c they wanted his SAT score included in thier enrolled stats. Don't get me wrong, he's a very bright kid and would have done well anywhere he went.


    Many Midd kids were rejected from Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin Darmouth, et al colleges. A friend of my daughter's ended up there b'c he was rejected at Amherst and Williams. I told him he'd love all the outdoor activities--skiing, sailing etc, so he chose it over Bowdoin. Midd is a great college. The new science center is incredible. TD dislikes like Midd b/c the Black student poulation isn't as high as he would like, but there are very good reasons for that.
    Another thread. :)

    Where did your daughter apply?
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    RLT, correction, I don't dislike Midd because of its low count of black students. At least not per se. It's just that I like a little more cosmopolitan environment overall and Midd seems pretty white preppy. Personally, I would never consider, nor recommend for my D, either Midd or Williams...to middle of nowhere. NoHo was about as remote as she'd go.

    D spent some time with the Smith orchestra at Wellesley Friday. She said it was a bit like looking at an alternate world where she could have gone to school. Some of her original impressions were strengthened. But one new thing she noticed is that despite being closer to Boston, the college itself has a more rural feel.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Her two reaches were Swarthmore ED (where I correctly surmised she had a good shot due to high class rank, a tightly focused application with a particularly good EC fit, and a serious admissions effort including two campus visits, meeting professors, etc.) and Williams (where she had a double legacy).

    We were actively hunting match schools, because I don't see much point in just throwing darts at reaches without a specific, identifiable reason for an admission above and beyond stats. We would have recommended she consider Middlebury. But, silly me, I took the USNEWS numbers at face value. I figured that, if it were virtually as selective as Williams and Swarthmore, there would be little point in adding it to her list.

    The bulk of her matches (e.g. Emory, Davidson, Vasser, etc.) were all in same range as Middlebury's real SAT numbers. However, we didn't have Middlebury's real numbers to consider in the initial stages of assembling a list because their USNEWS numbers are misleading.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    {{The real SATs medians for Middlebury's enrolled class is: 1230 to 1400.}

    Something didn’t seem right.
    Your numbers aren’t for the enrolled class but for *ALL* the SATs submitted.
    Go to the webpage and you’ll see they printed all in bold letters to avoid any confusion.

    Note: Mid-50% Range: Half the class scored in this range; 25% scored higher, 25% scored lower. SAT 1's were not required for the Class of 2009 and ranges include all submitted tests, even if a different test type was used for evaluation e.g SAT II's, AP's, IB's or ACT
    http://www.middlebury.edu/admissions/applying/classprofile/


    {{{but only count the top ones "considered for admissions" in the USNEWs report}}

    Where did you get that info?

    According to the admission officer I talked to the numbers in USNews are for matriculated students. He could be wrong if you discovered they’re doing as you say.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    {{It's just that I like a little more cosmopolitan}}

    I’m going for a visit and I have a suspicion I’ll feel the same way after a day or two

    {{Midd seems pretty white preppy.}}

    In all honesty, your assessment is fairly accurate. Midd /is trying/ to recruit minorities, but it’s difficult to get kids used to city (cosmopolitan) life to come to rural--and very remote, in their view-- VT to live during the coldest months of the year.
    Hell, no adult wants to live in VT. They’ll visit for a few days at a B&B, to ski or go leaf-peeping- but live? No way. There are more residents in a small California town than there are in the entire state of VT. What does that tell ya? :)
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    {{The real SATs medians for Middlebury's enrolled class is: 1230 to 1400.
    {{{Your numbers aren’t for the enrolled class but for *ALL* the SATs submitted.}}

    It just occurred to me why they did so. If Midd published the matriculated students high SAT numbers on its webpage they would dissuade, as in your daughter’s case, many students from applying. A decline in apps would affect the admission percentage and yield. Midd is playing a nasty game; high stats for the rankings; low stats, albeit legitimate, on the webpage to encourage as many students as possible to apply.

    I will say, however, /some/students are accepted with low SATs and I’d hate to see a kid who might have been admitted never get the chance because he was scared away b/c of the high SAT numbers of matriculated students, especially considering SATs are optional and many students may not realize the SATs for enrolled students are artificially high.. e.g Bates.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    For a small California town, I recommend Cambria, on the Central Coast, about 40 minutes north of San Luis Obispo. Data dump upon request. Population about 4,000.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Road:

    I interpret the numbers on Midd's website to be for their enrolled class of 2009. That page is clearly labeled as the class profile for the group of students who enrolled in the fall of 2005.

    Here's what they mean when they say the numbers include "all" of the SATs. Middlebury has a policy where each student can designate which test scores to use for admissions consideration: The SATs, the ACT, or a group of SATIIs.

    Based on their USNEWS numbers, only 50% of the class chooses to have the SATIs considered (compared to 99% at Swarthmore and similarly high numbers at most NE LACs).

    But, of course, Middlebury does actually receive the SAT scores as part of the SATII score reports, even for those students who don't designate the SATIs as their test of record.
  • stacystacy Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    of course current students care about rankings! we're paying a ton of money for our education, we want a good return on it, and while we realize that we're gaining a bunch of amazing skills and experiences from our education, we also need to eat after we graduate. if employers and grad schools are going to judge alums based on college rankings (and I'm sure they will to a certain extent, at least until we build up a work history), then it would be good to have the highest ranking possible.

    of course, most smithies don't want the college to sacrifice what they perceive to be the good things about smith just for higher rankings, and that's where it gets sticky. would it be better to close another dining hall and reroute the money to merit aid? i think so, but most of my friends don't. would it be better to focus on attracting students with high SAT scores even if it sacrificed diversity? some students have said yes, but i disagree. some professors have suggested capping classes at 19 to improve our "percentage of classes under 20 students" rating, but others have worried about the number of students who might get shut out of popular classes.

    There are a million little things that can change the rankings and while it might be nice to one day say "I graduated from a top-10" college, I think really what most students want is for us to just stop declining.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    {{{{I interpret the numbers on Midd's website to be for their enrolled class of 2009. That page is clearly labeled as the class profile for the group of students who enrolled in the fall of 2005.}}}

    That was exactly how I interpreted it until I saw the *all* proclamation, which is why I called Midd and asked for an explanation. It was the admission officer who told me the US News numbers were correct and the webpage published numbers of every applicant

    {{{Based on their USNEWS numbers, only 50% of the class chooses to have the SATIs considered }}

    I wasn’t aware of the fact only 50% submitted SATs.
    Was that published in the USnews ranking? I don't have a copy handy, as I read it in an airport mag store instead of buying it :)
    According to the Collegeboard 78% submitted scores. The stats published this past Aug are for the class of 08 when SATs were required. Making SATs optional only started this year for the class of 09, and those stats will show up in the rankings next Aug.



    {{but only count the top ones "considered for admissions" in the US News report}}

    I still don’t understand where you got that idea? Are you saying only the SATs of students who were offered admission were included in the stats and not those that actually matriculated? If that is your proposition, how you did learn that fact? I’m not questioning your integrity; I’m simply curious how you find out this stuff.
    A good friend of mine is a sr. admission officer at a top LAC and he didn’t know Midd was doing as you suggest.


    In Midds defense, the admission officer said he really wished the rankings didn’t exist because they don’t tell the true story regarding any college. He had a point, but I’d love to see how he felt should Midd become # 4 or 5 again--lol

    I named my daughter after a former Dean of Women. She would be furious with what is going on with all this cr**, if she were alive today.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    I wasn’t aware of the fact only 50% submitted SATs. Was that published in the USnews ranking?

    Yep. Here's the exact line cut 'n pasted from the USNEWS rankings:

    "First-year students submitting SAT scores: 50%"

    Note the word "submitting". That is the word Middlebury is playing games with. In their careful parsing, receiving SATs for a student from the College Board is not the same as a student "submitting" (or designating) them for consideration in admissions.

    Here is Middlebury's precise language on "submitting" test scores with an application:

    "Candidates must submit standardized tests in at least three areas of study. The requirement may be met by submitting either the ACT; or the SAT I administered on or after March 12, 2005; or three exams in different areas of study which may be selected, mixed and matched from either the SAT IIs, APs or International Baccalaureate exams."
    I still don’t understand where you got that idea? Are you saying only the SATs of students who were offered admission were included in the stats and not those that actually matriculated?

    I'm saying that the stats in USNEWS and the different stats in the Class Profile on the website are both for freshmen students who actually matriculated.

    The lower stats from the Class Profile include all of the SATs scores Middlebury actually has on file for those students. The higher USNEWS stats are from the half of the matriculating class that chose to officially "submit" their SATs for consideration rather than their AP scores, IB scores, or whatever.

    Not to mince words, but the numbers submitted to USNEWS are bogus on their face. The 25th percentile Middlebury supplies to USNEWS (1380) is the highest for a liberal arts college in the country.

    The same as Harvey Mudd.
    10 points higher than Pomona
    20 points higher than Amherst
    30 points higher than Swarthmore
    50 points higher than Williams

    And for good measure:

    10 points higher than Princeton
    10 points higher than Stanford
    20 points higher than Dartmouth
    50 points higher than Columbia, Duke, Penn, and Rice

    I simply do not believe Middlebury's USNEWS numbers. They are not credible. All of the these other schools report SAT scores for essentially all of their matriculating students (95% or more).

    BTW, SAT-optional Bowdoin reported a range of 1290 - 1460, based on 74% of their freshman submitting SAT scores. I don't believe that Bowdoin's 25% percentile is 90 points lower than Midd's. At the top end, Midd claims that 64% of their students had a math SAT above 700 compared to 46% at Bowdoin and virtually the same as Swarthmore's 66%. I don't buy it.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    {{would it be better to close another dining hall and reroute the money to merit aid?}}

    If you could buy your way to the top every college would be doing it. There's a reason the top LACs don't offer merit aid. One, they don't need to. Second, buying students actually hurts the ranking.

    {{There are a million little things that can change the rankings}}

    Ask every alumna to give a dollar. USNews doesn’t look at how much each alum gives, only what percent. If the alum giving percentage increased drastically it would help with the ranking.

    {{some professors have suggested capping classes at 19 to improve our "percentage of classes under 20 }}

    It's nice to see someone admit even the professors are concerned about the rankings.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    {{I simply do not believe Middlebury's USNEWS numbers. They are not credible.}}

    With the info you supplied, I agree. I wish USNews would get a bit more serious about how they report the stats. In the back of my mind I had a feeling you were correct. I've lurked for a long time and read many of your posts. You're not prone to mistakes. :) Sorry I couldn't get a grasp on this earlier. I read sophisticated business plans of start-up companies looking to raise private equity, but I get confused over the frggin inept reporting and the statistically dishonest figures of a magazine.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Oh, I make my share of mistakes! But, there is a degree of common sense in these admissions numbers. They have to pass the sniff test.

    I think there is probably quite a bit of gamesmanship in reporting SAT scores to USNEWS, with selective non-reporting for small groups of "non-representative" students. For the most part, I think the schools at the top of the rankings are pretty honest.

    I don't blame USNEWS. The Common Datat Set is very clear that ALL available SAT scores for ALL matriculating first year students should be included.
This discussion has been closed.