Don't get your hopes up! (unless you are connected)

<p>They days of getting in on merit are over! </p>


<p>AP Amer. History -5
AP Euro. History -5
AP English-5</p>

<p>SAT IIs
Writing- 800
Literature- 800
Amer. Hist.-790</p>

<h1>1 in class of 205</h1>

<p>Outstanding references, extensive Extra Curr. including Pres. of several clubs, leads in musicals, comm. service, summer classes every year at CTY, Governor's school and more. </p>

<p>These were my son's stats last year...he was deferred, then rejected. I know there are only so many slots, but it's all BS as to why they take so many lesser candidates. EA, it's that they are athletes, Super or connected! My first exposure to a Yale mom was at a professional ballgame in her boyfriend's company's private box. $$$$$ Later, I knew when my son came home from his interview with the physician who asked all kinds of questions like "What does your dad do? What does you mom do? Where did your grandfathers work?" that he wouldn't have a chance. I was right. The 2 kids that got in from our area last year are the sons of doctors! This is the truth. I'm not discouraging you from applying because you will have NO chance if you don't, but be prepared for the letdown. He's doing great at another Ivy and loves it, so don't think it's the end of the world if you don't get in.</p>

<p>I can take any nasty responses about sour grapes, but I call 'em as I see 'em.</p>

<p>Yale, Princeton, and Harvard could all fill classes with people whose accomplishments were as good as or better than your son's. It's not that merit isn't the key criteria, it is simply that most people will need some (maybe a lot) of luck on top of that.</p>

<p>Yea, some people get in because of money. Doctors are wealthy, but probably not wealthy enough to sway the admissions officers at a place like Yale. I really doubt that was a factor at all in those kids' decisions.</p>

<p>iamme, it possible that your son simply did not stand out of the crowd enough. Did he have anything unique besides his great stats?</p>

<p>Where is he now?</p>

<p>Outstanding stats indeed, but merit comes in many guises. "President of SEVERAL clubs" and the other EC listings suggest a lack of a specific extracurricular passion, which while not the only good way to live is something that admissions boards look for. (Also remember that such stats and even better are quite normal at such schools. I'm sorry your son didn't get in to Yale-- he's obviously an excellent student-- but I think you're being a little hasty in your accusation of class prejudice and greed. After all, Yale isn't in dire straits, financially, and they hardly need to attract MORE rich kids.)</p>

<p>I agree with fiddlefrog. "Merit" come sin so many shapes and sizes. What were his essays like? I'd alos like to know what school he attends now, and how he likes it.</p>

<p>quoting fiddlefrog: <...lack of a specific extracurricular passion, which while not the only good way to live is something that admissions boards look for...></p>

<p>Well... that's what I keep reading but what's so bad about being a jack of many trades and - if not quite a master, at least competent in a few? Being aware of this I tried to show the depth of my involvement in music (not just piano - my main focus -but also singing in the choir and a capella groups, songwriting, etc.) while also mentioning some of my other activities. Actually I wanted to mention more but I changed my mind and removed such things as representing school at the national, state and regional levels for Scrabble, choral speaking and debate, since I merely represented the school and didn't bring back anything - I wonder now if that was a wise thing to do? Anyway sorry I guess I've gone out of topic so I'll stop here... replies would be appreciated though.</p>

<p>your son is awesome, yet stat-wise sounds a lot like me and many other people applying. Will we all get in? Perhaps, perhaps not. But I'm sure we will all end up at great schools that we will be happy to attend, Yale or not. And where did your talented son end up going to school?</p>

<p>and i think only big politicans would have that kind of sway over admissions...lots of people have parents in medicine but definetley aren't getting into yale based on connections.</p>

<p>Yea, your sons stats are good. But they're pretty much mine. Will I get in? I hope so. But we'll see.</p>

<p>Iamme, I wouldn't assume it's connections that are required. With a surplus of applicants with superb academic qualifications, it comes down to a combination of the applicant's outside accomplishments and the gut feel of the adcom as to which applicants will be great contributors to the class, and later, to the reputation of the university.</p>

<p>Academic qualifications get you into the finals, but the winners are typically decided on other factors.</p>

<p>Interviews are typically no big factor for the Ivies, except perhaps for a major negative comment from the interviewer. (I suspect the Yale admissions office would be quite horrified by an interviewer grilling an applicant about his pedigree. By the time they are in decision mode, I'd guess that an applicant with a LESS privileged backround would have an edge.)</p>

<p>It's a sad fact that students who have completed stellar high school careers get rejected in droves. There's nothing to say that can make this seem fair or right. It's just a fact of elite admissions today.</p>

<p>Often, too, students from smaller high schools lack counselors who send many kids to highly selective schools. That may not be your case, but it's common enough.</p>

<p>Your son sounds like an extremely accomplished young man, and I trust he is doing well at his final choice school.</p>

<p>I don't know... my stats are just as good as that if not maybe a little better... and I'm definitely not banking on getting in. It's just so, so competitive. And if I don't get in, I doubt it will be because of social prejudice.</p>

<p>wmgan, I think that variety of involvement is fine and good. My point was just that membership in lots of clubs rather than pursuit of activities or projects appears perhaps a little cursory, though that would depend on what the clubs were and what they did. Your approach is probably standard.</p>

<p>have to disagree with iamme...</p>

<p>admission to Yale, or any other top school, is not about grades and test scores. oh sure, you're not likely to get in with an 80 avg and 1100 boards. but that's true even if you're a legacy, minority, athlete or anybody.</p>

<p>consider that almost 20,000 people applied to Y last year and that fewer than 2,000 were accepted. of those who applied, how many had a 95 avg and 1500 boards? probably 5,000 or more. how many had a 94 avg and 1400 boards? thousands more. clearly, Y had to make its decision based on other factors. even among those applicants with perfect board scores, probably fewer than half were accepted.</p>

<p>admission to Y and the other top schools is based in large part on accomplishment. those students who have already demonstrated in some way that they will make a substantial contribution to society as they go through life are the ones who are likely to be accepted.</p>

<p>almost every student who applies to these schools has really good grades, test scores and a list of great activities. each of them probably stands out in their high school, as they have stood out in middle school and elementary school before that.</p>

<p>now, the goal is to stand out within this small group. and it's complicated by the fact that each school is trying to put together a community. you might fit in one year and not the next. indeed, an adcom told me that you might fit in one day and not the next, or even 1 minute and not the next. if the committe has just accepted 2 or 3 kids in a row, what are the odds that they'll take the next one?</p>

<p>admissions to these schools is often called a crap shoot...and as the adcom above makes clear, there definitely are random events that come into play. but you can enhance the odds by presenting yourself in such a way that you stand out.</p>

<p>make sure that your applications makes your case. reading posts on this board, it's clear that many kids sit down with the app and answer the questions. that isn't likely to get you in.</p>

<p>instead, before you even look at an app, think about the case that you want to present to the school. ask yourself, "why should school x take me? why am i special?" make a list of the points that make your case. some of these can be adapted as answers to the questions they ask. in other cases, you may want to consider writing an essay that specifically addresses one of your points. when you're done, you're app should "scream" your case.</p>

<p>make sure you get recommendations from teachers/others that will bolster your case. if they agree to give you a rec, provide them with a few pages of background on your activities, accomplishments, etc. My S may have gone overboard when he provided about 20 pages of stuff, but I can assure you that each of his recs was right on target.</p>

<p>give yourself more of an advantage by visiting the school and talking with professors in your area of interest. even if you can't visit, you can correspond with them. let them know who you are and what you're interested in. find out about special opportunities. faculty will advocate for applicants if they've made a good impression.</p>

<p>there's more of course, but the bottom line is this: you have to work hard for admission to the top schools. no matter how good you're grades and test scores, you can be sure there's someone else in line that did even better. but if you work at this, you can get noticed...and you can get in. even if you're not wealthy, connected, a legacy, an athlete, etc.</p>

<p>I am a freshman at Yale right now, and I will say this: There are a lot of legacy/athletes/Andover kids on campus. I was none of that--I didn't do any sports in high school, my father went to a Canadian university and my mom never went to college, and I definitely went to a REAL public school where 90% of the kids go to the state school or community college. Talking with these legacy/athletes/Andover kids sometimes makes me wonder whether I'm the only one who got in on the basis of my merits, but then I sit with them in class and I realize something--They just as smart, if not smarter, than I am. I agree with what everyone else said... the strings help, but only to a certain extent. The drive still has to be there. And Yale has a bad rap for it b/c we're always connected with Bush, Kerry, Lieberman, Dean, etc. etc., but it's the same at H and P. Yes, it does make the admissions process a little suckier, but it makes campus life a lot more interesting.</p>

<p>Perhaps I didn't state clearly what I believe happens in some cases. If the alumni interviewer is hung up on elite status and pedigree, he will surely recommend someone who will fit that mold over others. He prefers his own kind to represent his school. It' a reflection on him. That's my point. If you think there aren't people who are hung up on SOCIAL STATUS, try to join one of their country clubs! I know many of you think that interviews aren't that important, but it can BREAK you if you don't get a recommendation. The admissions counselors just look for a reason to reject you when there are so MANY qualified, outstanding applicants. Maybe it was not the reason, but I have to wonder ....Since I want my son to remain anonymous, I will not tell you where he goes now, sorry. He loves it there and is doing GREAT so it all works out. Good Luck to you all!</p>

<p>Wow, the more and more I read on CC, the more I realize that I'm not getting in...</p>

<p>haha. same here... i don't even know why i shelled out the 75 bucks to apply. there is no point.</p>

<p>i want yale, but yale doesn't want me :( it's sad.</p>

<p>gosh life is so cruel...i just applied for yale ea,sent in the application n everything. thought i had a pretty good chance, but now seems kinda ridiculous. well shall prepare for the worst. it better to apply ea than rd? i mean do u get a better chance?</p>

<p>"What does your dad do? What does you mom do? Where did your grandfathers work?"</p>

<p>All are highly improper questions.</p>