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Disregard Affirmative Action, Accepted with 1840 SAT/Asian

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Replies to: Disregard Affirmative Action, Accepted with 1840 SAT/Asian

  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    hotjava, those are good observations, and I don't think anyone was suggesting that the OP's Questbridge status was the only determinative factor in his acceptance. However, Stanford, like most of its peer schools, does practice socioeconomic affirmative action to some extent. Re: need-blind admissions, while Stanford is indeed need-blind (for domestic applicants), if a student puts his Questbridge finalist status on his application the adcoms will obviously know two things about him: (1) that he comes from a relatively disadvantaged socioeconomic circumstance; and (2) that he is a promising student by several measures. Questbridge is apparently a very competitive program, and finalist status can serve as a hook.
  • mvazqu40mvazqu40 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    It seems as if the majority of people place a lot of emphasis on grades, the SAT and the other tests you can take but in all honesty though they are important you don't need a 4.0 or be a valedictorian or have any "remarkable" awards like copyxmkii is implying

    I scored a 1970 on the SAT
    a 20 on the ACT

    writing 700
    math 620
    reading 650

    not your typical stanford scores right?

    There was also no AP or IB classes or any honor classes at my school
    I wasn't a Questbridge kid and most certainly not any national merit scholar

    I was not valedictorian either I was 4/117 and my school was a joke

    my GPA was not a 4.0

    I showed my personality and genuine desire to go to this school and even though the people on this discussion might tell me my case was an "exceptional" one I think there are a lot of kids who were in the same situation I was. Grades are important, no doubt but they don't want a bunch of number crunching math wizzes here, they want well rounded people, trust me I think I know

    Stanford 2013
  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    ^Definitely not your typical Stanford scores, as is apparent from the Common Data Set. Those scores are very, very low. You must have had something that Stanford wanted, though, whether it was URM, low income (you wouldn't have made Questbridge with those scores, but you mentioned your school was terrible and offered no AP or even honors classes), geographical representation, or some other institutional priority. I'm not trying to denigrate anyone, but we should help other people be realistic about their prospects. There just aren't "lots" of kids with those scores gaining admission without significant hooks.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    even though the people on this discussion might tell me my case was an "exceptional" one

    I would have to be one of those people; your stats are simply well below Stanford's averages, and so calling your situation exceptional is fully warranted.
  • mvazqu40mvazqu40 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Though my situation may be exceptional it goes to show that there is obviously something that is weighted more heavily than grades when looking to form a class at any university and especially one like Stanford which looks for more than grades. I agree we must be realistic when providing advice to individuals but I also think that telling kids they need to have scores of 2200 and a ridiculous amount of awards is also not very helpful since Stanford sees thousands of kids with those credentials every year. I just simply do not agree with what you seem to refer to as Stanford's averages. Though the majority of students at the university were able to receive some of the best test scores in the nation when it comes down to it they were chosen for something besides grades and thus I am inclined to believe from what I have discussed with my fellow peers at Stanford that people are chosen here for what they do outside the classroom and the influence and characteristics they bring while the grades serve as a way of knowing they at least have the raw intellect to succeed.

    I'm just curious as to what your credentials are to be able to speak about college admissions to prospective Stanford students?
  • justadream92justadream92 Registered User Posts: 617 Member
    I agree with mvazqu40. I scored an 1880 and a 2190 SAT 2 but I had a 4.0/4.8, was salutatorian and a national AP scholar my junior year. Even though I thought my ECs were spectacular, I'm URM, low income and my essays were phenomenal, Stanford wouldn't have admitted me if they knew that I lacked potential and couldn't handle the academics that I'd be provided.
  • dsnylnd55dsnylnd55 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    affirmative action is illegal in california, prop 209 makes it illegal so don't attribute some peoples success to AA, and as some people have stated race does play a small part. in fact it doesn't play a part at all in admissions. i realize that there are still colleges who would like to put certain races into their schools to boost their rates on US news and world report ranking. but legally it is not allowed. :)
  • Omega SanctionOmega Sanction Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    affirmative action is illegal in california, prop 209 makes it illegal so don't attribute some peoples success to AA, and as some people have stated race does play a small part. in fact it doesn't play a part at all in admissions. i realize that there are still colleges who would like to put certain races into their schools to boost their rates on US news and world report ranking. but legally it is not allowed.

    California Proposition 209 only prohibits public institutions from considering race, sex and ethnicity. Stanford is not affected by this, though the University of California system is.
  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    ^That's correct. All of the top private universities (Stanford, Ivies, MIT, among others) openly engage in affirmative action, and are legally free to do so. (Caltech is the notorious exception, and they have a correspondingly less socioeconomically and racially diverse student body.) This is the reality, despite people's differing opinions on the merits of the policy, so it's important to be aware of it if you're going to be offering advice to prospective applicants on this site or elsewhere.
  • hotjava64hotjava64 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    zenkoan, i appreciate your comments as well, you seem to be one of the more level-headed persons on this site. I'm definitely not into giving people false hope, but I also don't think it's good to discourage people who truly want to go to the school. I just wanted to emphasize once again how important essays can be.

    SAT: 2320 (800CR 780M 740W)
    SAT II: 780 Bio M, 730 Lit, 720 Math Level 2
    ACT: 32
    AP: Bio 5, US history 4, Calc AB 4
    GPA: 4.200

    Typical Stanford scores, right? If I were to tell people my numbers and nothing else and say that I'd gotten in, I don't think anyone would've batted an eye. Add that to the fact that I'm a URM, and you've got a sure thing. A juggernaut application.

    Well, I got waitlisted and eventually rejected at Harvard, rejected at Yale, rejected at UCLA, and rejected at UC San Diego. The truth is, the other stuff really does matter, even if you have a numerical slam dunk + a hook. My ECs were not outstanding. my recommendations were strong, I believe, but not exceptional. I am of the opinion that once your scores are at a certain level, adcoms then seek to evaluate you as a person. My common app essay was, again, strong, but not exceptional. Yes, there were supplement essays for Harvard and Yale, but I don't think I got quite the opportunity to express myself the way I wanted. I really think that my Stanford essays, especially the 3rd "Why Stanford?" essay really made a difference. If I recall correctly, both my admissions officer and Karen Ransom, who welcomed me to the Black community, both referenced this essay in their comments to me, and it seemed clear that I really came across the way i wanted to. I spent the least amount of time on this essay compared to the rest of them because all I had to do was tell the truth. Once I knew how to properly phrase it, the rest was easy.

    It is true that if your numbers are not up to snuff, you won't really get a look. But I think that this cutoff is lower than most people anticipate. Once you've garnered attention, the essays and other additional information are really what set you apart. This is what sticks in an adcom's mind - their judgement of you based on what you have done and written.
  • zenkoanzenkoan Registered User Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    hotjava64, I entirely agree that the essays, recommendations, etc. matter a lot. I haven't suggested that people with great stats, even with a hook, are sure to be admitted to any top college. I just think that when admitted students post stats in the lower quartiles of a top college's pool, it would be more effective guidance if they provided more personal context with those stats. Prospective applicants should realize that, if their academics are in the lower quartiles, they'll need to bring something else of importance to the college to have a reasonable shot at admission. This something else is in addition to well-written essays and good recommendations. It could be URM or socioeconomic disadvantage, or it could be outstanding athleticism or artistry, or it could be "developmental" pro$pect$, or maybe something else entirely.
  • spiritual1spiritual1 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Hey Emnm, since you go to Stanford, do you know where on the website that I can find the certain classes they are looking for in students there? Like what courses they want students to take for biology majors? Also, I would like to know a general idea about what you wrote about. Can you at least tell me what you talked about? Did you compare anything or did you write about yourself and your passions?
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