Academic threshold?

<p>Is it true that past a certain point, grades and scores no longer matter?</p>

<p>I.E. is a 3.8 top 1% with a 2300 the same as a 4.0 Valedictorian with a 2400? I've heard this, but it just makes no sense.</p>

<p>Many people believe they are the same. A 2300 can be off from a 2400 by only 3 questions on a Saturday morning. A 3.8 would be 2 Bs over 4 years.</p>

<p>^
Yeah, I'm confused now... What I heard contradicts everything I heard here... Apparently, once you're at a certain point, stats don't matter.</p>

<p>Go to the EA/ED results threads of highly selective colleges and you be the judge.</p>

<p>Colleges tend to group 2360-2390 and 2400 together as the same thing, but I don't know if this applies to 2300.</p>

<p>^^
There are people ranked 50/500 with 2100s and no hooks getting into HYPS. Posters on CC represent a small fraction of those actually accepted... How do we know that grades/scores are causal, and not simply correlative with more interesting people?</p>

<p>As with any selection process we'll encounter in the future (job interviews, scholarships, awards, perhaps some Nobel Prizes...), there comes a point where numbers and quantitative statistics are not enough to make you stand out. There are millions of valedictorians, high-acheivers, and book-smart folks out there who get perfect SATs and study for 6 hours a day.</p>

<p>The true determinant of intelligence is not your statistics - grades and SAT/ACT scores are just a minimum "requirement," of sorts. The true indicator of intellectual ability and genuine IQ is your personality: how you verbally express yourself, your enthusiasm and drive for learning, your compassion and determination to get outside of the "high school high-acheiver" box. </p>

<p>Anyone can get a 99 average and be the president of the National Honor Society. Just look at the MIT acceptance forum: nearly all deferred and rejected folks got at least a 2250 SAT score, at least a 750 on their math/science SAT IIs, and are in the top 1% of their class. </p>

<p>Perhaps the mystery questions in the college process isn't "what are your grades? What's your SAT score?" but rather "are you a truly interesting individual? Do you stand out?"</p>

<p>Thank goodness for academic thresholds, as without them, we'd just have colleges full of study-obsessed drones and a world without any innovative change.</p>

<p>^
So is it correlation and not causation? Stats show that 25% of people with 2300+ get into Princeton, while that number drops to 6% for applicants between 2200-2300.</p>

<p>Similar trend for GPAs.</p>

<p>REALLY confusing.</p>

<p>I think of it this way: getting a 2300+ on your SAT (or in ACT terms which I'm more familiar with, a 34+) and a high GPA act as a "union card," or the minimum standard for consideration. Academic potential is the leveling ground to put all numerically qualified applicants on the same playing field. </p>

<p>From that quantitatively equal playing field, the "intangible" assets are holistically reviewed (to quote the Ivy League article on CC), and voila. Class of [insert year here] is chosen.</p>

<p>Of course, all this is based on the often untrue assumption that academic acheivement precedes or correlates with personal acheivement. But in the end, college admissions are a risk assessment like any other. Colleges are looking for the right applicant not only to enrich the student body with their unique "awesomeness," but to succeed later in life to contibute a hefty endowment. And there are rarely outliers like Einstein or Bill Gates who, despite cruddy grades, go on to great heights on the basis of uncanny wisdom and personal determination.</p>

<p>^
That's exactly what I thought after the conversation I had with an insider...</p>

<p>But if you look at GPAs, 22% of 4.0s get in, while only 6% of 3.8s get in. Just makes no sense that there's a threshold and past that makes no difference.</p>

<p>Why wouldn't that make sense? There are always going to be those one-off students who are accepted without meeting the threshold, but those would be special cases: alumni who gives a bundle, athlete, development admit. The majority do meet the threshold. In the case of Ivies the threshold is very high.</p>

<p>Simply, no, it's not true.</p>

<p>^^
Because of the HUGE drop-off in acceptances below 2300... Unless there is a hard threshold at 2300? </p>

<p>And it also doesn't make sense for them not to want an academic superstar over someone who is merely competent.</p>

<p>Waverly, are you saying a 2400/4.0 has a distinct advantage over a 2330/3.9?</p>

<p>Honestly, I think that highly selective colleges, among other things of course, like to increase their averages as much as possible, which in turn makes them look even more selective. Pure speculation of course.</p>

<p>^
I highly doubt that.</p>

<p>OP, this blog post from MIT probably answers your question about the correlation between academic stats and admission. The</a> Difficulty With Data | MIT Admissions</p>

<p>tl;dr, the reason a lot of 2300+/vale's get in is that the applicants with the kind of desirable traits admission officers are looking for tend to be 2300+/vale. It's the same correlation does not imply correlation axiom. It's possible that colleges aren't looking for 2300's, but applicants with certain characteristics, who tend to score 2300's.</p>

<p>^
That was the explanation I got from the insider. It was apparently that THAT wasn't the threshold, but those types of students happened to have excellent ECs and personalities much more than students who merely met the threshold. </p>

<p>It's just hard to believe that a top 5% with a 2200 and a Val with a 2400 are in the same boat academically.</p>