Does Columbia use different criteria than other top Ivies?

<p>I was accepted at Columbia (and Caltech), but rejected from Princeton. However, there are a few people from my grade that were accepted at Harvard/Princeton/Yale in some combination but waitlisted at Columbia - I was the only one accepted at Columbia. This confused me, I always thought Columbia was easier to get into than these other schools. Does Columbia look for different things than those other schools?</p>

<p>yes it does. every school looks for different things. Penn wants people who are extremely certain of their majors; Dartmouth has a special program for Native Americans; Columbia likes people who have passions/artsy people. </p>

<p>no, it's not easier to get into than the other Ivies, it's just different. Harvard doesn't accept the same people Columbia does. Just because you get into Harvard doesn't mean you'll get into Columbia and vice versa. there's absolutely no guarantee.</p>

Harvard/Princeton/Yale in some combination


<p>meaning one or two of those 3 took some people and one or two of those 3 rejected/waitlisted the same people? If so, perhaps you should ask if even those 3 have the same criteria, because they are different from each other.</p>

This confused me, I always thought Columbia was easier to get into than these other schools.


<p>this is hardly true, if you look at acceptances rates and SAT scores and % of high schoolers in the top 10% of their high school class, HYP are marginally more selective. It's highly possible that with a 7% acceptance rate for H and a 9% acceptance rate for C this year they'd end up choosing a bunch of different people and reject people whom the other accepts. There is not a fixed set of 2500 students who are objectively the ones all ivies should take. </p>

<p>Finally the admissions criteria is probably somewhat different, but even with the same criteria, you have people who wrote different essays and presented themselves differently for different colleges and then there's a huge subjectivity in picking a candidate. These are admissions officers, not robots picking college students.</p>

<p>and to add to concoll's great post - </p>

<p>in the end schools want to admit someone that has made a case for themselves and may actually want to come. it doesn't mean you have to have visited campus or written 100 times to your admissions officer, but demonstrating that you know the school, understand the culture, and fit within the culture, they will take you.</p>

<p>beyond that - hyp (with p being a bit of an exception) do not take many engineering students, i'm guessing since you're columbia and caltech you're thinking either pure sci or engineering? well columbia has a larger eng class than those schools (princeton is about 20% of 1300 students is close to columbia's 315 person class), so that could be a difference itself.</p>

<p>Something that hasn't been mentioned here is the Application. HYPS use the Common App, and because Columbia uses their own App, the same Application might appear differently. For example, I believe community and volunteer work is a little more emphasized on the Columbia App, isn't it? There are also different short-answer questions, and etc. Its possible by simply organizing your Application a different way it made it look more impressive, and organizing it another way it looked less impressive.</p>

<p>Most definitely. I was accepted to HYP, and was waitlisted at Columbia.</p>

<p>i was accepted by Columbia, but waitlisted at Dartmouth which is supposedly "easier" to get into.</p>

<p>Again, each individual college is looking for a student that is a good fit. Sure there are students out there that will get into everywhere they apply, but most of the time its still a crapshoot for the ivies.</p>

<p>Plus, if all the ivies accepted the same 2500 people, which might result when the assessment criteria are similar, then where would that leave the other people?</p>

<p>...I was under the impression that ALL schools used a different "admissions criteria."</p>

<p>No, they pretty much all use the same criteria: GPA, standardized test scores, demonstrated interests/passions inside and outside of school, demonstrated interest in the school, writing/communication ability, creativity, personality, intellectual curiosity, cultural and socio-economic background, and so on. The difference is in how schools judge applicants to fulfill these criteria and the weight they assign to different criteria. Nonetheless, someone with national-level extracurricular achievement, perfect scores and grades, and a good essay could easily get into every selective school they apply to. Most students, though, will only get into those selective schools that are truly the best fit for them.</p>