Colleges have me confused. Here's why.

<p>State Colleges: Ohio State, Indiana, U. Iowa, ect... say that grades/standerized test scores are very important.</p>

<p>Elite schools: Penn, Harvard, Cornell, say personal qualties, recs, ec's are very important. </p>

<p>So why is it, that I need higher grades to get into say Penn, over Ohio, despite penn only saying class rank is considered, but not very important?</p>

<p>College Board:
University of Pennsylvania
Very important admission factors:
Character/Personal Qualities
Essay
Recommendations
Secondary School Record
Important admission factors:
Extracurricular Activities
Standardized Test Scores
Considered:
Alumni/AE Relation
Class Rank
Geographical Residence
Interview
Minority Status
Talent/Ability
Volunteer Work
Work Experience </p>

<p>Ohio State
Very important admission factors:
Class Rank
Secondary School Record
Standardized Test Scores
Important admission factors:
Essay
Extracurricular Activities
Minority Status
Talent/Ability
Volunteer Work
Work Experience
Considered:
Character/Personal Qualities
Geographical Residence
Recommendations
State Residency</p>

<p>The people who apply to UPenn are generally more competitive academically. The majority of people who apply to prestigious schools such as UPenn already have the high standardized test scores, GPA, and class rank. As a result, UPenn needs to focus on other factors such as essays and recommendations in order to distinguish the TOP students from the already competitive pool of students.</p>

<p>Just to paraphrase Dickies:</p>

<p>Having good grades and good test scores are practically a prerequisite for Penn to even consider you. The ECs, personality, essays, etc. are what distinguish one set of high scores from another, though, and that's why Penn stresses them so much. </p>

<p>Ohio State, however, receives much fewer applicants with top-of-the-line stats as compared to UPenn, so those academic high-achievers are the people they're really looking for.</p>

<p>Dickies is right on! Elite schools automatically assume that their applicant pool will have high GPAs and test scores, so those schools will look at other student qualities.</p>

<p>Not all state schools are the same. UC Berkeley and UCLA are not the same as the U of Oregon or U of Arizona. You can't really generalize about them, as some could be considered "elite." But "non-elite" state schools will cater to a different student population, so their focus may be different than the elites.</p>

<p>No matter what, it is becoming more and more difficult to get into college, because there are so many academically qualified (or even over-qualified) students. I hate to thank what the application precess will be like in 2010 or 2015!</p>