Brown's Selectivity vs. SAT Scores

<p>Class of 2015 admission rate: 9%
Class of 2015 sum of median SAT scores (CR+M+W): 1920 - 2250
Class of 2015 yield: 55%</p>

<p>Brown has a very low admission rate. Its median SAT scores are much lower than schools with similar or higher admission rates:</p>

<p>School: admission rate, sum of median SATs (CR+M+W), yield
Dartmouth: 12%, 2050 - 2360, 52%
MIT: 10%, 2090 - 2340, 65%
Penn: 12%, 2020 - 2300, 62%</p>

<p>Brown's common data set says SAT scores are "important"
Dartmouth says they are "very important"
MIT says they are "important"
Penn says they are "important"</p>

<p>Is Brown denying significantly more students with high SAT scores than its peer schools, or does it receive less applicants with high SAT scores? Personally, I imagine it is the former. If this is the case, why exactly does Brown find high SAT scores less appealing than other schools do?</p>

<p>Is Dartmouth's 75% really a 2360 or are you another one of those people who mistakenly add up all the 75% subscores to get their data?</p>

<p>Frankly, scores aren't everything. I suppose it's one of the few schools that actually sticks to its word on looking at applicants "holistically".</p>

<p>Oops, I mistakenly added them up. Didn't really think about it.</p>

<p>Is it Calexico after the band Calexico ?</p>

<p>high SAT scores, particularly at Brown, do nothing more than make sure you're application isn't weeded out on the first pass as being someone who can't academically cut it. Once you're above the mark, it's about proving how you fit into Brown's unique environment.</p>

<p>Another important thing while applying (and then being accepted) at Brown, in my opinion, is the way once can communicate how ready and eager he/she is to take advantage of open curriculum. </p>

<p>Its essay questions are designed in a way (much similar to MIT's essay prompts, in purpose) that looks upon an applicants fit to Brown.</p>

<p>Well, I was thinking of the same thing. However, I did come across a piece of information some time ago which may perhaps explain this. I don't know if it is true or not but the article claimed that the full-pay ability of an applicant to Brown has higher chances of acceptance than at other need-aware Ivies. This is because Brown somehow limits the aid doled out to students to somewhere around 70%.</p>

<p>Someone please concur or refute.</p>

<p>Brown, like all other Ivies, is need blind. The admission office never even sees whether you are asking for finaid, yet alone views it poorly. Indeed, if someone shows evidence of their success in the face of significant hurdles, financial or otherwise, this is rightly viewed as a positive. So the above explanation is certainly not the reason.</p>

<p>My reason would be this (and it's one that can get lost on the prospective student on this site): imagine how utterly boring college would be if everyone's most redeeming quality was their SAT score. So it is nonsensical for admissions to place a huge amount of weight on the SAT. SAT does not equal academic ability; it can help show it, but not even nearly as much as your high school transcript (the SAT is a singular four HOUR scholastic test, high school is a four YEAR academic experience). Luckily, Brown is in the fortunate position where its reputation is such (unarguably top-notch academically, but irreverent) that it doesn't need validation from SAT scores alone; I think this is a huge strength. As a Brown student, I would much, much, much rather be in class with someone who got a 2050 on the SAT and comes with their own unique perspectives and possesses intellectual vitality than with someone who got a 2400 yet lacks these qualities.</p>

<p>I suspect (or, at least, have always been under the impression) that Brown's applicant pool has lower SAT scores and that Brown gets a lot more middling applications that others don't. Dartmouth's location probably limits its apps a bit, and MIT is very self-selecting. It's probably factors like those that keep Brown's acceptance rate lower than schools with higher SAT scores.</p>

<p>I don't really buy that Brown emphasizes the subjective parts of the application so much more than peers like Dartmouth and MIT that there is such a difference in score medians.</p>

<p>Also, the importance of test scores as marked on a school's CDS probably means next to nothing. Schools have quite an incentive not to suggest that they are "very important," and most schools out there probably care more about scores than they will admit.</p>

<p>Disclaimer: This is mostly speculation.</p>

<p>you have bad data.</p>

<p>25th - 670/660/670
75th - 760/770/770</p>

<p>this is from 2010. Might have gone up a bit this cycle. It's very comparable to the other schools, in fact identical to Penn's more than Cornell's, close to Dartmouth's.</p>

<p>These are section wise scores and it is wrong to just add them up to get a cumulative. Most probably the cumulative is around 2100(25th) and 2350(75th).</p>

<p>All the replies are 'mostly speculation', but I doubt yours is correct. Brown could fill it's class several times over with top SAT scorers, so they don't lack for applicants in that pool, they just aren't all getting in. I do think that the image Brown promotes is encouraging of students who don't have the very tippy top SAT scores, but reflect the ability to have valuable contributions to the student body in the rest of the application.</p>

<p>Calexico, Be careful with yield, a very popular percentage. Consider Dartmouth or other ED schools. You really shouldn't include ED acceptances in calculating the yield number, rather deduct that number to find an "adjusted yield." Example, Dartmouth accepted 469 ED this year. With roughly 1100 to be enrolled in next year's class, that leaves approx. 630 more slots. Hypothetically, if you look at last year's common data set for Dartmouth and deduct this number of ED acceptances from the enrollment, and then use the remaining enrolled and the number offered admission you will see the yield without ED to be around 33%. Extrapolate out that number, multiply it by the number of acceptances needed to reach 630 more enrollments. You will be able to estimate how many more acceptances are needed for this year. Again, yield is impacted by ED, even EA schools, as those students will go to those schools as obligated, or by single choice. Deduct that ED admitted number from the # enrolled, as well as that same number from the number of total applicants. Holistically, if you have the number of ED from last year, you can use last year's common data set and calculate this "adjusted" number for last year. What I propose here, is a way for applicants to guesstimate how many acceptances may be needed by a school to reach their enrollment benchmark. Confused? I hope not.
Take care, Mr. VC</p>

the article claimed that the full-pay ability of an applicant to Brown has higher chances of acceptance than at other need-aware Ivies. This is because Brown somehow limits the aid doled out to students to somewhere around 70%.


<p>Not true. Perhaps true before Brown was need blind, but absolutely not true now.</p>

<h1>6 #7 Your posts are very helpful! =)</h1>

<p>yea I agree with #6, there is probably an initial screening in which the students whose stats means they are clearly unqualified for admission are eliminated. There is probably some score cutoff - or more likely a admission index (AI) formula based on scores combined with GPA. Then I'd guess that after the initial screening is done, everything moves to the holistic end of the process. Where they forget about your scores, because at this point everyone remaining in the pile has a "good enough" GPA & test score. So now is the time they look at essays, recs, EC's, etc -- and for each applicant make something of a gut level determination.</p>

I suspect ... that Brown's applicant pool has lower SAT scores


You're incorrect.
For that metric, Brown is in the top pool in the country, with largest applicant overlaps with Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, and Princeton. (See Fiske Guide 2012.)
From the Brown Admissions website:
Of applicants for the class of 2015:
81 percent of valedictorians were rejected.
83 percent of SAT Math 800-scorers were rejected.
79 percent of SAT Critical Reading 800-scorers were rejected.
80 percent of SAT Writing 800-scorers were rejected.
Admission</a> Facts | Undergraduate Admission</p>

<p>My interviewer told me Brown is a school where standarized scores are of less importance than Ec's and essays.</p>

<p>I don't mean to be THAT person. But I think all schools tell/advertise that they don't look at standardized test scores as critically as other schools.</p>

<p>free2rhyme, you're right... but in this case, I feel as though this school really is telling the truth when they say that. EC's and essays seem to be the basis on which most are selected over others. I do agree that there is an academic threshold (possibly 25% percentile at the least... some are the exception) and that's the only way the school can distinguish who they want since everyone is seemingly good at test taking.</p>