Does Princeton Review's "Freshmen Admission Factors" have any real merit?

<p>I was browsing colleges on Princeton Review today and found something interesting that I hadn't seen before. They have a section called "Freshmen Admission Factors" that weights various factors of admission in terms of importance for a specific school. For example this is what they say for Duke:</p>

<p>Academic Criteria Importance
Rigor of Secondary School Record: Very important
Class Rank: Considered
Academic GPA: Considered
Standardized Test Scores: Very important
Application Essay: Very important
Recommendation(s): Very important</p>

<p>Non-Academic Criteria Importance
Interview: Considered
Extracurricular Activities: Very important
Talent / Ability: Very important
Character / Personal Qualities: Important
First Generation: Not Considered
Alumni/ AE Relation: Considered
Geographical Residence: Considered
State Residency: Considered
Religious Affiliation / Commitment: Not Considered
Racial / Ethnic Status: Considered
Volunteer Work: Considered
Work Experience: Considered
Level of applicant's interest: Not Considered</p>

<p>The weight of importance for different colleges are sometimes extremely different. Does anyone know if these lists have any fact or proof to them at all, or are they just basically educated guesses?</p>

<p>As I understand it, these come directly from the admissions offices.</p>

<p>Interesting. Well it's the first time I've come across them, so I just wanted to be sure. Sometimes Princeton Review can be a little sketchy when it comes to their data.</p>

<p>It reads exactly like the Common Data Set, so it should be pretty legit.</p>

<p>That information comes directly from the school's data that's publicly displayed on every universities' website.</p>

<p>I believe the information comes directly from the Common Data Set, Part C. for the individual colleges. As RedSeven notes, the terminology is identical to the CDS and that is no coincidence.</p>

<p>Yes, go to school web sites and put "common data set" in the search box. Look in section C7 to find the exact same data you are seeing.</p>

<p>However, a few schools seem to make the common data set hard to find. USC (Trojans) is probably one of the most well known such schools.</p>

<p>It's also available in the data displayed through CC's college search function.</p>