Applying to multiple ivies


<p>I was wondering if anybody has an idea about this issue.
Harvard is definitely my first choice, but I realize that almost nobody can assume acceptance, and so i am wondering how they will look upon me applying to PYS as well....</p>

<p>Would it be better if I just applied to Harvard, or should i apply to all of them and then call Harvard and tell them that they are my first choice?</p>


<p>I think that it's okay for you to apply to multiple ivies even when harvard is your first choice. I don't think the ivies cross-communicate about whom they accept/reject/etc, so they shouldn't look at you negatively for applying to other schools... actually, if you are trying to get into an ivy school, you should apply to at least two ivies (or preferably more) just so that you are maximizing your chances. You can also check out the admittance rate at each one of these schools you're considering. hope that helps</p>

<p>Here's the FAQ: </p>


<p>Wrong extreme idea 1: </p>

<p>Some students "reason" that if an applicant applies to all eight Ivy League colleges, his chance of admission at any one of them is the same as the average base admission rate for all of them (which is wrong assumption a). Then the students "reason" that because the eight admission committees don't all meet in the same room, that they select students "independently" in the STATISTICAL sense (which is wrong assumption b). The students then misapply a formula learned in high school that only applies to differing situations, to calculate that the chance of getting into some Ivy League college is almost a sure thing. </p>

<p>What's wrong with wrong assumption a is that a weak applicant for admission at the least selective Ivy League college is a weak applicant at all the other colleges in the league, and that means that applicant's chance of admission anywhere is well below the base rate of admission for any Ivy League college. </p>

<p>What's wrong with assumption b is that usually colleges don't have to actively collude to end up choosing similar kinds of applicants. ALL colleges prefer stronger applicants to weaker applicants. A teacher of statistics explained to me what "independence" means in the sense used by statisticians: "What is independence? It means that when you learn about the outcome of one event, it has no influence on your guess about the probability of success in another event. However, in this case, if a student gets rejected from 8 schools, that DOES influence my guess about how likely he is to get rejected from the 9th school. I'd say someone who gets rejected from 8 schools is more likely to get rejected from the 9th than someone who didn't get rejected from 8 schools." In other words, even if colleges act independently in the layman's sense of the term, you can't use the multiplicative rule of probability to figure out the joint probability of being admitted to one out of the eight Ivy League colleges. Plenty of students get rejected by all eight. </p>

<p>Other threads from time to time bring up </p>

<p>Wrong extreme idea 2: </p>

<p>Ivy League admission officers are thin-skinned and personally offended if you apply to their "competitors," and will reject you if you apply to all eight Ivy League colleges. </p>

<p>Well, that's just ridiculous. There are plenty of students each year who are admitted to more than one Ivy League college (of course, those are rather extraordinary students) and there are at least a few each year who apply to all eight and are admitted to all eight. Ivy League colleges do NOT collude in this manner when making admission decisions. They admit the students who they think will fit well into the next entering class and contribute to the campus community. The bottom-tier Ivy League colleges admit a lot of students who don't enroll (that is, those colleges have rather low "yield,") because they admit some students who prefer to enroll at one of the OTHER Ivy college colleges that admitted them. Each college has its own tricks, in five cases including binding early decision programs, to identify students who genuinely prefer that college, but in the regular action round, every college admits some students who are also admitted by some of the other Ivy League colleges, perhaps all of the Ivy League colleges. </p>

<p>Bottom line: don't worry about either wrong, extreme idea. Apply well to all of the colleges that interest you. There is little point in applying to a college you wouldn't possibly attend if admitted, but there is every reason to apply to a college you like, because you can't get in if you don't apply. </p>

<p>Good luck in your applications. Don't use calculations that apply (well, maybe they do) to coin flips or dice tosses to guess what will happen to college applications.</p>

<p>Good advice from tokenadult. I only applied to the Ivies I would be comfortable attending if admitted, based on what I knew then and what I was told. I did a lot of research on all the schools before applying, so that I wouldn't waste any time or money. In the end, I applied to three Ivies that seemed to best match my character and academic interests.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot for your helpful comments; I have a better idea now...</p>

<p>one more question: how does having a sibling at harvard affect my chances, or does it?</p>

<p>Officially, they say "legacy" is only having parents attend Harvard College. But I've seen a number of siblings of dd's friends can't hurt as long as your sibling is doing decently.</p>

<p>Tokenadult, I agree with Wrong extreme idea 1, but only to the extent that it applies to a weak applicant. If the applicant is strong, it can be a crap shoot whether the applicant gets into Harvard, Yale, etc. At that point, the more bets you make, the higher your chances that at least one of them pays off.</p>

<p>However, it doesn't do any good to apply to a school that you won't attend. But, if you only get into one Ivy, I'm guessing you would go to it over your safety school.</p>

<p>^ Agreed with tokenadult and Mustafah. My sister applied to all of the Ivies except Dartmouth, got into 3 of them, and then realized that two of them were schools she really would never go to if they were not Ivies. Waste of time and money, and taking spots from people who really wanted them. Pick the ones that you really like, and apply there.</p>

<p>Apply only if you really want to go.</p>

<p>Thenextbig, How can you know if you REALLY want to go? I didn't, when I was applying. I liked all of them. And I applied to most of them. Best decision in my life. Don't let people tell you not to apply to "too many" schools. Do you what you feel is right. If you know you would NEVER go there, obviously don't apply. If you're unsure? Definitely go for it, especially if it's a reach school.</p>

<p>I agree with OperaDad's post#7. You have to decide if you are competitive for the highly selective schools. If the answer is yes, then you should apply to as many of them as you can find the time/energy/money to apply to. </p>

<p>Of course, don't apply to any college- whether safety, match or reach- that you would not like to attend.</p>

<p>^ On the one hand, you say that highly competitive applicants should apply to all the highly competitive schools their resources will allow; on the other hand, you say they shouldn't apply to schools they would not like to attend.</p>

<p>So which one is it? Should the best applicants apply to top schools until they fully expend their resources? Or should they apply only to those schools they would seriously consider attending if admitted? Or, better yet, do you assume these two choices amount to the same thing?</p>

<p>And to those students who've applied to all the Ivies and claim to "like" all of them, I say either you did not do enough research before applying or you are unsure about what you want in a school. The latter reason is understandable, but it's not a good basis for general advice.</p>



<p>Of course not. </p>

<p>The point is, if you are competitive, and truly like 5 highly selective schools, and you have the resources to apply to all 5, you will improve your chances by applying to all 5 rather than choosing only 2 or 3 of them. </p>

<p>And of course, everyone needs to apply to a true safety school (defined as a school they would like to attend, will definitely get into, and can definitely afford).</p>

<p>Okay, thanks for the clarification. I was just a bit confused.</p>

<p>Do it if you are willing to put in ample time and effort for each application (essays, etc).</p>

<p>I know multiple people who were accepted to all eight, and I was accepted by 6/7 of the ivies I applied to (WLed by the seventh one).</p>

<p>There is absolutely no collusion among the eight.</p>

<p>I think that to apply to all 8 Ivies just because they are Ivies is misguided. They all are very different schools in very different locations. Apply to schools that offer what you want and are in an environment that you will thrive in. Do you like cities, would you prefer something quieter, what do you want to major in which school has the best program for that etc. If you "just want to go to an Ivy" for the prestige you think it offers you may find yourself really unhappy up in Cornell or Dartmouth when what you really wanted was a urban enviorment or vice versa.</p>

<p>I specifically asked the sibling question last year and the answer was that "Yes they will consider the fact that you have a sibling at Harvard, it can't hurt" It worked for my son this year although his stats were actually higher than the daughter already in Harvard so he did get in on his own merit, if anything it may have just been the extra nudge.</p>

<p>I have friends who applied to all of the ivies and who made their ultimate college decision based on the prestige of the schools they got into. Needless to say, they regretted their choice :(.</p>

<p>ok, thanks everybody!!</p>

<p>thanks for all this information you guys, you really helped ease my worries. im thinking of applying to penn and brown. i heard this rumor from a friend and wanted to research it. i realize this is a relatively old post and was wondering if this practice has changed in the recent years. in other words, ivies still aren't too concerned about how many other ivies you apply to, right?</p>

<p>also, mustafah, you can just ignore this message if you don't feel comfortable answering it, but how many did you get accepted to?</p>