Bryn Mawr.....

<p>I thought I would post this for the parents, in the hopes that some have had daughters go through the Bryn Mawr admissions. I love the school and am applying early decision, but am not sure what my chances are...any honest input would be appreciated.</p>

<p>My gpa is a bit low. I have an 86 average and my SAT scores are 1290 (700 v. 590 m). I go to a very tough private school, play a varsity sport year round (but am not exceptional at it), and have won a couple academic awards. I do some community service and am very active in a few political clubs. My essay is pretty good, and my recomendations are good. I would be very grateful if anyone could tell me what my chances are. Is it a match or reach?</p>

<p>On the surface, I think that it is going to be more of a reach for you as my daughter was accepted last year with much higher SAT/GPA(decided to go elsewhere). However, we (the parents) don't have enough information as to your school profile (maybe it states their grading policy and academic rigor may explain that your B average may be comprable to an A in other school) We don't know what your sat IIs look like we have read your main essay or the Why Bryn Mawr Essay. Bryn Mawr likes to see interest in the school, have you visited, spent the night, gone to any of their. functions on/off-campus). None of us will be 100% sure as what the school is looking for to build this years class.</p>

<p>Maybe Val/Poetsheart can weigh in on this since her daughter is a current freshman.</p>

<p>IF this is your dream, I would say go for it, but have some other schools as a back-up safety.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for giving me an honest answer...this was by far the most informative post I've gotten (I've posted under the "chances" thread before), and it really helped. I really love the school, but also have a lot of safeties, which I would not be too unhappy attending. I go to a very competative, small private school, which has sent girls with lower grades to Bryn Mawr. However, some of my friends do have A averages, so it is not impossible to get As. I don't want to post my essay or "Why Bryn Mawr" sample, but I think my essay is pretty good. It is about Latin, which is a little odd, but writing is my strong point and my AP English teach liked it. The "Why Bryn Mawr" essay talks about the great traditions at Bryn Mawr and how they relate back to my interest in English and Latin literature. I have spent the night on campus, interviewed, and visited a few other times, and labsolutely love the school. I will have six APs by graduation and lived at University of Delaware this past summer, taking classes. The only SAT II I have so far is literature, which is a 640, :( but I will also take Writing and Math IIC. I sent my application in the other week for early decision (I don't know if that helps my chances or not). I talked to the coach at Bryn Mawr concerning the sport I play, and she said she would look out for, but I do not think that will mean much, as I am not exceptional. I'm not sure if any of this helps, but I thought I would try to give a little more information. Thanks!</p>

<p>Oh, and my gpa is unweighted, if that, is this a desperate sounding post :)</p>

<p>That's right...</p>

<p>I forgot about the writing sample which you need to turn in which will be another aspect of your application package.</p>

<p>Continue to do your best work senior year so if your first year report is going in they will see your potenial.</p>

<p>Since you only have one AP in so far you must be taking the other 2 shortly- all the best on your exam. Take practice test, relax and don't lety yourself get all flustered. Hopefully you are on an upward trend and taking the most rigerous courses which your school offers.</p>

<p>What's the worse that can happen? You get deferred, turn in your stellar mid-year report (because you are working to have a really great senior year:) ) and you give the admissions committee more to work with. Start getting your Rd applications together and ready for mailing in the event that things do not go your way because your head won't be into doing essays/applications if the news is disappointing. Keep your head up, hang in there.</p>

<p>Good luck to you?</p>

<p>Thanks for your help! I know it's a reach so I guess I'll just have to wait until the meantime I'll try to explore my safeties. Any other opinions?</p>



<p>That being the case, there is a good chance that your guidance counselors can give you a far more accurate assessment than we can. It is extremely difficult for total strangers to give "odds". One key bit of information we are missing is where kids at various ranks in your high school have been accepted. A second key bit is that we don't know your race/ethnicity/parent's schooling, etc. -- all of which may have significant impact on how things like SATs are viewed, as do the essays and recommendations.</p>

<p>25% of last year's freshmen at Bryn Mawr had SATs below 1200. 25% had SAT's above 1400. You are pretty much in the middle of that range, so getting accepted is certainly plausible.</p>

<p>Wow, that makes me feel a lot better.
I'm not a minority, both my parents went to state colleges, one graduated. A girl from my high school did get into Bryn Mawr with a C+ average and below 1200 a couple years ago, but was a minority (I'm not sure how much that affects the process). My guidance counselor says I have about a 50/50 chance, and I suppose he probably knows my chances best, but I'm so nervous. All that really means is my chance of getting in is the same as my chance of rejection, so I'm at the mercy of the admissions comittee. I post asking my chances because I am VERY nervously waiting for ED decisions and want more opinions, but you're right, the only person who really "knows" my chances is my guidance counselor. As for where students from differant ranks in my school end up, it ranges anywhere from the local university to Harvard. HJowever, I'm not really sure how the different ranking/gpa matches up with the schools they end up at. Thanks so much for responding and for your help!! Does your daughter go to Bryn Mawr?</p>



<p>I wouldn't argue with that assessment of your odds. 50/50 is actually pretty good odds, BTW.</p>



<p>No, she's a freshman at another Quaker school down the road a few miles, Swarthmore. I know what you are going through. Once that ED app is in the mail, all you can really do is try to put it out of your mind. You've done everything that you can do, so work on the other applications and see how it turns out. If you get in, it was meant to be.</p>

<p>Interesteddad, I'm actually quite surprised by the statistic you quoted: 25% of Bryn Mawr's freshman class scored below 1200 last year?! Byrn Mawr has a reputation as a highly selective school with a good deal of academic rigor, so much so that, My D and I considered it a real reach for her. Her admission was a pleasant relief. (She was a URM applicant with a 1300 SAT and a 4.1 GPA, which given the stat you posted, I now realize actually puts her in the middle 50% of admitted Mawrters. Obviously, with only 4% of Bryn Mawr's population being African American, and with even fewer Latinas (though in reality, my D is biracial), that 25% scoring below 1200 was in no way primarily made up of minority metriculants. </p>

<p>Another stat that I found interested ( and I believe that, again, it was you who posted it), Bryn Mawr is one of the top ten schools in the nation for graduates who go on to obtain a terminal degree. In this regard, it outranks a surprising number of schools with much higher median entrance scores. So I guess it goes to show that, Bryn Mawr does indeed take a wholistic approach to admissions, seeking variables other than just hard numbers as indicators for potential success in its students. </p>

<p>BrightEyes, it sound like you know a great deal about the school already, and would make an excellent addition to the student body. My D loves Bryn Mawr and can't think of any place she'd rather be. Good luck on your application!</p>

<p>The SAT scores for Bryn Mawr are pretty consistent with all of the top women's colleges. Here are the 25th and 75th percentile SATs for the 2003 freshman class:</p>

<p>1260 - 1450 Wellesley
1230 - 1400 Scripps
1200 - 1400 Bryn Mawr
1210 - 1370 Mt Holyoke
1150 - 1370 Smith</p>

<p>Those are not low at all. There are only 10 LACs in the country with a 25th percentile SAT of 1300 or higher. There are more schools with a 75th percentile of 1400 or higher, but the "merit aid game" has a lot to do with that. </p>

<p>The women's colleges are a great "admissions value". Because they can only accept applications from half the population, they don't get as many applications as comparable co-ed schools. With a smaller applicant pool, they can't be quite as selective when it comes to class rank, standardized test scores, etc. So, the end result is a school that is a bit easier to get into than it should be relative to the all-around academic excellence. The five schools I listed above are probably the top-five best "admissions values" in the United States and they are all top-notch colleges. I believe that, if it had been co-ed all along, Wellesley would be the hardest LAC in the country to get into and would be the top-ranked LAC. It has the biggest endowment, a spectacular campus, and location, location, location.</p>

<p>BTW, there would not be very many "reach" schools for an African-American URM with 1300 SATs and a decent application (ECs, recommendations, etc.) Your D was in a pretty elite pool of applicants. I actually think that one way all of these schools could make their diversity efforts reach a broader audience would be to publish their URM stats -- including SAT scores. I think a lot of kids probably look at the overall stats and get scared off. Unfortunately, the schools are not about to make that data available. </p>

<p>Having said that, I would rather have my daughter at a college where she is solidly in the middle range of the applicants, than one where she is bottom 20%. She can then know that she got in on her own merits and can compete academically with anybody in the classroom.</p>

<p>I don't know what it is like at Bryn Mawr, but I do know what it is like at Smith. I met with athe dmissions department 10 days ago, as I was doing some consulting for them about homeschoolers. They related to me that one of the last acts of then President Simmons (now at Brown) was to convene a committee of the faculty and the office of institutional research to examine the use and effect of the use of SAT scores on the academic quality of the student body, and on Smith's historic commitments to economic diversity. They asked two questions: 1) was there a correlation between SAT scores upon admission and academic performance on campus; and 2) did the use of SAT scores in admissions impinge negatively on Smith's 30-year commitment to economic diversity. The answer to the first question (looking over a decade's worth of data) was that they could find no correlation (now, mind you, they only looked at matriculated students, not those they rejected, or those who chose not to attend.) The answer to the second question was yes. As a result, the admissions office has been directed by the President to heavily de-emphasize test scores (they had already done that with their Ada Comstock scholars - 10% of the student body is older students ages 24-69, averaging 36, who often have lower scores.) The admissions director looked me right in the eye and told me point-blank that she couldn't even remember the last time SAT scores were used to make or break an admissions decision. The result is a wide range of scores, and a wide range of decisions, with many folks with relatively higher scores rejected, and those with lower ones accepted. (What's wrong with Interesteddad's post above, at least as it applies to Smith, is that he assume a range of "higher", "middle", and "lower" applicants based on test scores exists at all schools.) What they say they want is evidence of strong passions and intellectual drive ("heady and nervy", they say on their website a dozen times), proof you can do the work, and strong writing skills.</p>

<p>As I said, I don't know what the situation is at Bryn Mawr. But Bryn Mawr students - lower test scores or not - are taking the same classes with Haverford students, taught by the same professors, being graded together, and are doing as well or better. </p>

<p>Show them that you REALLY want it, can do the work, and write well, and then let the chips fall where they may.</p>

<p>Brighteyes, do visit Bryn Mawr, and speak to someone at admissions. Officially an interview, I guess. But I think any school like Bryn Mawr is particularly interested in someone who really wants to go there. I say "like Bryn Mawr" because being a woman's college, it really is a niche school in that it has a special audience and cheering section. The stats are only a part of what these schools want. I know a student who was turned down with some pretty great stats, who got into some more selective schools. I don't think she demonstrated enough interest and it showed through. In your case, your interest would be in your favor. Let it show.</p>



<p>I believe that to be the case at Swarthmore as well. It is still a bit of disingenuous adcom "double-speak", though. </p>

<p>The SAT scores are used at a much earlier stage in the culling process, long before any "make or break" admissions decisions are on the table. And, I don't mean in a simplistic "lop off everybody below this threshold" way. I think the thing people fail to understand is that admissions committees use a variable scale for evaluating SAT scores -- different types of applicants are evaluated to different standards.</p>

<p>If I had to guess, I would say that the most prevalent way SAT scores are used to blow someone out of the water at elite colleges would be the affluent suburban kid who scores 1600 on the SATs and ranks barely in the top 20% of his class on GPA. That is would be a "break" decision in the culling process.</p>

<p>Could be, but the "cull" would be so wide at Smith (from 1,000 to 1,600) as to be worthless. The 1,600 wouldn't affect the cull one way or the other if the student wasn't what they were looking for - from the outside world it would like they used the score, but from the inside it would be irrelevant in building a class.</p>

<p>I expect that given the study at Bates, and the one at Mount Holyoke, you will see them (and likely a host of other institutions) discontinue the use of SATs pretty soon. (They did mention a use of SAT II scores, but for homeschoolers - they had wanted to make sure that they had enough science/math background. But after examining the academic performance data, they discovered that the homeschoolers had stronger performance in science/math, and were just as likely/more likely to take courses/major in same.)</p>



<p>I saw the stats from Swat recently. They reject a little over half of their applicants with 800 Verbal SAT and a little under half of their applicants with 800 Math SAT.</p>

<p>As you say, if the applicant isn't what they are looking for, the test scores won't get them in. That applies fairly broadly across a range of LACs and similar elite universities. </p>

<p>Having said that, I don't think that Mt. Holyoke or Swat takes too many affluent suburban white kids with 25th percentile SATs and cookie cutter ECs.</p>


<p>Anyone know my chances at Bryn Mawr ED? I'm nervously awaiting a decision in mid-december....</p>

<p>I feel your pain. This is an awful process. Hang on, you're almost there! I think you've got a very good chance. Your guidance counselor may be deliberately underestimating your chances. It's a bit like NBC's reluctance to predict the election with 90% of Ohio's votes in. Your GC doesn't want to take a strong position - because he might be wrong. This is just a theory of mine based on one data point - our own experience with my son's GC who drastically underestimated his chances of acceptance. This may not help...but my son was rejected by his ED school - and he was crushed. It was so unexpected. So I think one of the earlier posters made a good suggestion - at this point, you may want to focus your energies on finding, applying to, and falling in love with at least one match and one safety school.</p>