Effect of HS's academic reputation on college acceptance

<p>Thanks for the knowledge, Garland. </p>

<p>Well, I know the one family (Princeton) was Not needy. So whatever they gave him, he's there with their money, not the family's. Come to think of it, the Harvard family wasn't needy, either - Nice McMansion, too.</p>

<p>By the same token, I think the guidance departments of each school are what make the difference. One person earlier in the thread mentioned having 5-6 maybe "get out" - but then, the guidance people don't really Push anything other than state schools in our district, either. I know I told them I was going to have my son apply to a given school, and she looked at me like I had antlers.</p>

<p>My husband was a college prof for almost 40 years at a large east coast university. I know what they take, what shows up, and what hangs in there. Whoever mentioned tracking school success, well, that's only part of it. Because they're always sniffing out something new that will set them apart.</p>

<p>I don't think you can really make this sort of comparison. If a hs has a strong positive reputation at a given college, of course,the adcom will consider that. But kids from schools that the adcom doesn't know about will get a solid shot as well. And, it would also depend on what the actual GPA is. A 3.2 from a strong school that doesn't have grade inflation would count for more than a 3.2 from your average high school. But a 4.0 (unweighted to keep this simple) from even an average high school will carry a lot of weight as well.
Guidance departments can matter too - if a guidance department has a solid record of sending kids that are a good fit and that actually attend, I'm sure a college will notice. Similarly, if a department pushes on kids who end up not going, or who really don't fit, I'm sure that gets noticed as well.
Rank is a whole additional issue. Schools rank in different ways, and quite a few private schools don't rank at all.</p>

<p>NC- the numbers don't actually support your claim. I interviewed for Brown when I lived in a small city in the midwest and I saw plenty of HS kids out of a very large geographic region (I covered the metro areas of a couple of cities) from Podunk HS and frankly, what stood out for most of them was their poor HS prep. And most of the kids were not poor- middle or upper middle class, children of professionals, all the advantages (sports, camp, activities) that the children of professionals tend to have.</p>

<p>But the University wasn't interested in taking upper middle class kids from an under-represented region who had 3.9 GPA's in mediocre HS's but didn't have the test scores or the intangibles to make them otherwise competitive from all those kids from Sty and Bronx HS of Science or Belmont HS or New Trier. That's not diversity. There are country clubs in lots of semi-rural or exurban areas, and kids who have spent every summer working on their tan or perfecting their serve come off as spoiled and entitled no matter which state they live in.</p>

<p>And again, the schools you cite give financial aid only, not merit aid. So it's great that folks who live high on the hog in Amish country qualify for aid from Harvard (and I'm sure that's good news to the nurse, married to the sanitation worker, who rents an apartment in Queens but don't qualify for aid because their gross income is too high.)</p>

<p>Brown was willing then (and willing now) to take a risk on a kid who is first generation college, or didn't grow up in a home where English was spoken, or was economically disadvantaged, or faced other challenges.</p>

<p>But your typical Valedictorian from a podunk HS with marginal test scores who is banking on geographic diversity as a hook? Couldn't sell it then and probably can't sell it now.</p>

<p>My older daughter attended a very small private prep, many schools came to do presentations but still her graduating class was less than 20 so other years with more students they saw more attention.
But her sisters inner city public just about 10 blocks away but with a national reputation and a much larger graduating class sees lots of attention fromall over the country and many of ds friends were accepted to their first choices ( Inc ivy league schhols), I think it helps to be from a very urban school on the other side of the country.</p>

<p>This ****es me off because I am not in top 50% because I go to a good school, if I went to certain school I would be in the top 40% or better so it better matter or its not fair.</p>

<p>Officially, colleges are simply supposed to just look at you in terms of your environment; many say they just want to see how you used your resources to the best you could. However, who's to say that they wouldn't take a kid from a public high school, when one with similar stats from a rigorous private high school is doing just as well? The short answer is that it varies from college to college, and even then, nobody will never be able to give a definitive answer.</p>

<p>^^^That sounds like good advice. I'm from a fledgling Health Science Academy. It's supposed to be like a magnet school, and in many ways is (extremely attentive teachers, challenging coursework), but its lacking in EC's and offers no AP's (we have dual hs/college enrollment instead). I have to do a lot of EC's and AP's on my own. As long as I mention all of this in my application, I should be fine.........right? haha I'm just a bit unsure.</p>

<p>I'm a senior in Stuyvesant right now and my avg is slightly above 90(3.5 UW GPA). At stuy I found that its pretty hard to get anywhere close to a 4.0 GPA but I see many people on CC with 4.0+ GPAs, just how serious is grade inflation in average high schools these days?</p>

<p>Btw, I thought this might help you get an idea about how hard/easy it is for those from competitive high schools to get into IVYs.</p>

<p>Harvard RD Stats for Stuy Class of 2009:</p>

<p>Status || Overall || R SAT || W SAT|| M SAT|| English ForLang History Math Science Tech Art/Music
Accepted (2009) 98.4 800 800 800 98.0 99.5 97.8 99.2 97.6 96.0 98.0
Accepted (2009) 97.8 710 800 730 96.3 99.3 99.0 98.4 96.4 97.5 97.6
Accepted (2009) 97.6 670 760 770 96.0 97.9 97.2 99.1 97.3 96.0 99.5
Accepted (2009) 97.6 750 740 750 97.0 98.6 98.8 95.9 97.8 97.0 98.3
Accepted (2009) 97.5 730 700 800 97.8 98.5 97.2 98.1 96.2 99.0 98.0
WaitList (2009) 97.4 760 800 800 94.7 98.3 97.3 98.2 98.0 97.5 96.0
WaitList (2009) 97.4 800 720 740 95.0 97.3 98.2 98.1 98.0 96.5 98.0
Accepted (2009) 97.3 800 800 780 97.3 98.3 97.8 95.8 97.4 97.0 97.8
Accepted (2009) 97.1 800 760 800 96.7 93.0 97.0 99.4 98.3 95.0 98.4
Accepted (2009) 97.0 730 710 800 94.3 97.5 96.0 98.3 99.0 92.5 97.4
Accepted (2009) 97.0 800 790 800 95.1 98.4 95.8 98.3 98.1 95.5 94.5
WaitList (2009) 97.0 780 780 800 96.8 97.1 98.4 97.0 96.0 97.0 97.5
WaitList (2009) 96.9 750 750 750 96.0 97.0 96.3 97.1 97.0 97.5 99.0
WaitList (2009) 96.9 710 750 710 94.7 96.8 96.6 97.9 97.3 100.0 96.5
WaitList (2009) 96.8 800 770 800 95.3 99.5 97.2 96.3 96.2 95.0 96.7
Not Accepted (2009) 96.8 750 750 790 96.5 98.5 98.3 95.4 96.5 96.0 96.0
WaitList (2009) 96.7 800 710 750 94.5 97.9 97.0 96.3 96.4 99.0 96.5
Accepted (2009) 96.7 800 800 710 98.4 98.0 98.1 93.1 95.0 94.5<br>
Accepted (2009) 96.6 800 730 800 95.3 94.8 97.3 96.1 98.1 98.0 98.4
Accepted (2009) 96.6 700 660 730 95.2 97.0 96.6 96.3 97.3 98.0 96.8
WaitList (2009) 96.4 780 800 740 94.9 97.5 97.3 96.1 95.4 96.5<br>
Accepted (2009) 96.3 630 650 780 94.5 95.8 95.8 97.6 96.8 98.0 98.5
WaitList (2009) 96.3 660 780 800 90.8 98.0 95.3 98.5 97.9 95.0 94.0
WaitList (2009) 96.2 690 720 700 94.5 97.2 96.7 95.1 96.4 95.5 98.0
WaitList (2009) 96.1 770 740 800 94.5 95.2 95.8 96.6 96.6 95.0 97.4
Not Accepted (2009) 96.1 640 720 780 96.6 95.1 95.2 97.6 95.2 97.0 98.0
Accepted (2009) 96.1 700 790 800 95.3 95.4 95.8 97.6 95.1 100.0 93.0
Not Accepted (2009) 96.0 730 720 730 94.7 97.2 97.5 96.0 93.3 98.0 97.9
Not Accepted (2009) 96.0 780 730 800 96.0 97.6 93.7 95.3 95.3 100.0 95.6
Accepted (2009) 96.0 800 770 760 92.8 96.3 97.4 97.3 94.8 96.5 96.6
Not Accepted (2009) 95.9 740 800 780 95.2 96.8 95.8 94.3 96.4 96.0 96.4
WaitList (2009) 95.9 730 790 770 95.7 96.0 97.3 96.1 95.3 91.0 98.3
Accepted (2009) 95.9 650 740 800 92.2 97.1 94.3 97.6 96.9 95.0 96.9
Not Accepted (2009) 95.9 780 700 800 95.0 95.1 97.7 95.7 96.0 95.0 97.0
Not Accepted (2009) 95.9 800 790 800 96.7 96.3 96.0 95.1 95.7 96.5 97.5
WaitList (2009) 95.9 750 730 730 94.7 97.4 95.2 97.8 94.8 95.0 92.5
Accepted (2009) 95.9 94.7 97.0 94.5 96.3 95.7 96.5 97.0
Not Accepted (2009) 95.8 710 710 800 91.7 94.3 93.7 98.7 96.9 95.0 96.9
Not Accepted (2009) 95.8 800 760 740 95.2 98.3 96.3 94.1 96.1 94.5 99.0
Accepted (2009) 95.7 760 740 710 94.5 96.9 95.3 96.0 95.7 97.5 92.5
Not Accepted (2009) 95.7 660 680 740 95.4 94.3 96.7 96.4 94.5 97.5 98.1
Not Accepted (2009) 95.7 670 800 780 94.6 96.6 94.5 97.5 94.8 99.0 90.5
WaitList (2009) 95.6 700 700 690 95.5 96.5 95.3 93.9 95.5 96.5 97.0
WaitList (2009) 95.6 700 720 740 95.2 96.8 97.0 93.4 94.9 97.0 98.3
Not Accepted (2009) 95.6 750 710 800 93.5 95.8 94.0 97.4 94.6 94.5 97.5
Not Accepted (2009) 95.5 700 780 780 94.3 96.5 96.5 93.1 97.1 98.0 94.6
WaitList (2009) 95.4 690 700 780 93.2 94.4 94.8 96.1 95.7 97.0 98.0
Accepted (2009) 95.4 720 770 730 96.4 96.9 93.8 94.0 95.9 94.5 92.0
Not Accepted (2009) 95.4 760 780 770 95.2 92.2 95.7 97.1 95.4 97.0 95.0
Not Accepted (2009) 95.4 720 720 780 90.7 93.5 96.3 95.6 97.6 97.5 98.0
Not Accepted (2009) 95.3 760 730 770 95.9 95.5 96.2 95.6 92.3 94.0 97.4
Not Accepted (2009) 95.3 710 790 800 92.2 98.4 97.0 93.7 95.0 93.5 96.0
WaitList (2009) 95.2 750 790 780 94.1 94.3 93.8 96.5 95.8 97.5 94.0
Accepted (2009) 95.1 800 730 800 93.0 97.3 93.0 96.2 95.2 95.0 95.6
WaitList (2009) 95.1 680 730 800 96.3 94.5 96.7 95.0 93.9 94.5 97.5
Accepted (2009) 95.0 760 770 770 93.0 98.0 93.4 95.1 93.5 97.0 96.6
Accepted (2009) 95.0 740 800 770 95.8 93.9 97.3 92.9 93.9 95.0 97.9
WaitList (2009) 95.0 660 690 780 93.2 96.8 94.8 94.1 94.6 94.0 97.6
Not Accepted (2009) 95.0 690 670 770 92.2 94.5 95.0 94.4 96.8 97.5 97.0
Not Accepted (2009) 94.8 800 720 800 92.2 96.8 94.8 95.3 93.6 95.0 96.7
Accepted (2009) 94.8 680 700 790 92.0 94.3 94.0 96.2 95.5 92.5 96.4
Not Accepted (2009) 94.8 670 690 660 95.8 95.1 96.8 93.0 94.2 93.5 94.0
Not Accepted (2009) 94.8 650 620 760 93.2 94.6 94.0 93.1 95.8 96.5 98.0
Not Accepted (2009) 94.7 710 720 740 92.8 93.5 96.7 96.0 93.5 93.5 97.0
Not Accepted (2009) 94.7 740 730 770 94.2 95.3 97.8 95.7 92.0 95.5 95.5
Not Accepted (2009) 94.7 700 680 780 94.2 91.5 97.9 95.0 95.1 90.0 95.5
Not Accepted (2009) 94.7 760 800 800 94.8 95.5 93.0 95.6 93.7 92.5 96.3
Not Accepted (2009) 94.6 96.6 94.5 96.9 94.7 91.5 96.0 89.0
Accepted (2009) 94.6 750 750 800 91.4 94.1 90.4 98.3 94.9 98.0 96.8
Not Accepted (2009) 94.5 730 680 730 95.8 95.3 94.8 93.8 91.5 93.0 97.9
Not Accepted (2009) 94.5 780 730 770 94.3 97.6 95.3 93.4 91.4 91.5 95.5
WaitList (2009) 94.4 750 730 750 95.1 94.2 92.2 94.8 94.5 96.0 96.7
Not Accepted (2009) 94.3 95.3 95.1 94.0 92.7 93.7 97.5 93.5
Not Accepted (2009) 94.3 730 800 790 93.0 96.8 94.0 93.7 92.3 96.5 94.7
Not Accepted (2009) 94.3 680 710 740 92.4 96.0 92.2 93.7 94.3 95.0 96.6
Accepted (2009) 94.2 690 730 730 94.7 93.2 92.7 96.1 93.0 96.5 93.5
WaitList (2009) 94.1 720 780 730 90.2 96.6 96.0 95.1 93.0 91.0 90.5
Not Accepted (2009) 93.9 680 730 770 91.7 92.3 95.8 95.1 92.3 98.0 92.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.9 640 640 800 88.7 93.4 93.2 95.0 95.8 94.0 97.5
WaitList (2009) 93.7 800 800 720 97.2 93.6 96.3 89.9 92.8 94.5 95.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.6 610 690 790 95.2 95.6 92.2 90.4 92.8 92.0 96.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.5 93.9 95.8 93.3 93.4 90.3 96.5 95.1
Not Accepted (2009) 93.5 740 760 800 90.5 92.6 94.3 93.8 96.2 91.0 86.5
Not Accepted (2009) 93.4 640 580 710 89.7 94.1 94.7 94.7 94.5 89.0 89.5
Not Accepted (2009) 93.4 710 720 700 93.3 97.8 90.8 93.7 91.0 97.5 89.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.4 710 740 670 95.2 96.1 93.8 91.4 90.0 95.0 97.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.2 800 730 770 92.3 93.9 94.8 91.0 92.9 99.0 92.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.1 760 770 720 93.0 96.2 95.6 91.5 91.0 92.0 95.0
Not Accepted (2009) 93.0 740 720 800 91.7 95.1 93.2 91.7 91.9 93.5 96.6
Not Accepted (2009) 92.9 700 690 760 91.7 91.7 94.7 92.6 93.5 96.0 93.6
Not Accepted (2009) 92.8 720 740 770 94.7 91.2 95.8 89.9 90.5 90.0 97.9
Not Accepted (2009) 92.5 800 730 770 93.0 91.5 94.5 88.7 90.8 96.0 96.4
Not Accepted (2009) 92.5 730 800 800 92.7 92.1 93.3 95.0 88.3 94.0 87.5
Not Accepted (2009) 92.5 590 650 750 92.8 92.5 92.0 92.1 91.2 98.0 93.5
Not Accepted (2009) 92.4 710 670 710 90.8 91.7 96.4 90.6 91.4 98.0 92.5
Not Accepted (2009) 92.0 700 790 740 91.2 88.5 92.0 94.7 92.0 94.0 94.7
Not Accepted (2009) 91.9 800 780 770 92.7 93.0 97.0 83.9 92.6 85.0 98.0
WaitList (2009) 91.8 780 760 700 94.7 90.7 93.1 88.9 90.0 93.0 96.5
Accepted (2009) 91.4 790 800 720 94.3 88.2 92.5 90.1 88.5 90.0 96.0
Accepted (2009) 91.3 710 780 800 93.0 91.1 94.1 90.8 90.0 83.5 91.5
Not Accepted (2009) 91.1 700 670 730 93.2 94.1 93.3 87.7 85.9 93.0 91.5
Not Accepted (2009) 90.2 640 540 680 89.8 96.2 88.4 83.3 87.1 96.0 94.0
Not Accepted (2009) 90.1 700 620 770 89.3 88.5 90.5 91.7 90.0 91.0 88.5
Not Accepted (2009) 89.3 760 720 700 93.2 88.2 92.7 84.8 87.7 91.0 89.0
Not Accepted (2009) 89.1 730 680 800 88.5 85.6 88.5 83.6 93.9 80.0 94.3
Not Accepted (2009) 87.7 580 630 800 91.7 89.8 85.5 84.6 81.7 93.5 92.3
WaitList (2009) 87.5 740 710 650 92.8 90.7 93.1 82.6 86.5 85.0 87.5
Not Accepted (2009) 86.3 630 600 680 89.5 87.5 84.2 87.1 82.2 84.0 89.0
Not Accepted (2009) 83.8 620 570 710 85.3 84.5 88.5 78.2 82.1 87.0 86.5
Not Accepted (2009) 83.7 650 670 800 88.2 79.1 88.0 85.4 81.3 86.5 67.5</p>

<p>I go to a very top private school (top 10), and I can testify that the school's reputation works in our favor. Out of the senior class of about 120 people, we had 3 accepted to MIT, 3 to yale, and 2 to princeton on early alone. These people aren't exactly walking legends in our hallways, either. They're pretty normal and down to earth.</p>

<p>@vlezquez: That is an excellent post and it does demonstrate that graduating near the top of the class from an academically rigorous and highly esteemed high school can be an advantage.</p>

<p>I counted 27 accepted. Amazing number of Harvard acceptance in a single year! Strong correlation with high GPA, but I'm also glad to see some students getting in with less than stellar GPA's. There were also couple students with less than 2100 getting in. Obviously, not too much can be concluded from these numbers because admissions is more than just GPA and test scores.</p>

<p>I have not conducted a chi square test of a statistically significant sample, but i will share a personal observation. I have served as an alumni interviewer for a small Jesuit university in the District of Columbia, which is considered among the top, most selective universities in the country. I often found that the students from public high schools whom I interviewed to be more grounded, more ambitious and more "worthy" of admission, based on my own interview criteria than those from independent college prep schools. There seemed to be an inverse correlation between my interview recommendations and acceptances. I concluded, quite unscientifically, that attending a top college prep academy was a distinct advantage for the applicants whom I interviewed.</p>

<p>Van555 - did you go to a public or private HS? And do you think your personal experience in this regard may have colored your views of students as you noted their background?</p>

<p>My kids at the private school have had a much harder curriculum than the same "exact" curriculum at the public school. The public AP teaches to the test. This approach is not what happens at kids' private. And sure, the publics offer AP literature, but only write one or maybe two papers all year and learn the material for the test. My son wrote a 4-5 page paper for every book they read, including one about poetry. The degree to which he wrote alone gives him an edge. Curriculum is never the same district to district or state to state, BUT.. I agree it is more about how a student embraced their opportunities. At a large public, making varsity or being president of the club is probably beating a much harder odd than a kid at a small private. However -- my son was accepted to a great CLA but there are five or more kids from area publics who were accepted as well. All the news from over break has been that everyone is going back in good standing for the second semester. So.. I think it has more to do with preparedness than curriculum PER SAY. I used to say I have one kid who could learn in a paper bag and one who it seems wears a paper bag on her head (kidding)... andI think for the middling kid, the smaller classroom and additional accountability can be worth every penny in creating good habits of learning.</p>

<p>For those students bemoaning the fact tHat tHeir highly rigorous school is so full of brillant studnts that they are in the bottom of tHe class I give this advIce.</p>

<p>Celebrate the fact that you had tHe good fortune to attend a school with top students and rigorous academics.
But perhaps you are not one of those students who is driven to greater heights by challenging peers, it wouldn't be in your best interests to attend a college that would be repeAting your high school experience, but given a chance to attend a school with a less competitve student bOdy, you could have a chance to shine and show your stuff with your strong background.</p>

<p>My impression. Of why my daughters inner city public school was given so much attention by top schools like Primceton anD johns hopkins is that students who attending classes in a challeNging neighborhood dependent on the whiMs of the. District and underfunded by the city and state, where curriculum is poor and books are falling apart, when those students are Able to show their potential and intelligence to adcoms, even though tHeir achievements thus far could be considered equal to someone from a well funded suburban or Private school, tHe "potential" of the public school student could be considered to be greater because they had fewer resources to begin with</p>

<p>lol @ vlezquez.</p>

<p>Stuyvesant has outrageous grade inflation and your data proves it.</p>

<p>One of my friends, an alumna, had been complaining that she received only a 95 on an English paper.</p>

<p>I would have thanked the heavens had I gotten a comparable grade on any of my English papers at my alma mater.</p>

<p>
[quote]
when those students are Able to show their potential and intelligence to adcoms, even though tHeir achievements thus far could be considered equal to someone from a well funded suburban or Private school, tHe "potential" of the public school student could be considered to be greater because they had fewer resources to begin with

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I agree with this obersvation. My kids play chess and I can always spot a kid with potential even when the kid is rated about the same with other kids of the same age. One key metric - how long has the kid been playing rated tournament. If a kid reaches the same rating as his/her peers in less than a third of the playing time, the kid will generally move above his/her peers very quickly, given sustained interest in chess.</p>

<p>This is interesting thread. My daughter attends a large urban school which is poor, however, five minutes away from my house is the large suburban high school rolling in money. My daughter is #1 and applying to several ivies along with other schools. She's already accepted at Pitt's Honors College. Her SATs are not as high as a prep school student, however, she has been going to school in a big, diverse high school where she's a minority. Last year, her school sent students to Brown, Penn, & Cornell. The Yale rep will be at her school Friday. I actually think my daughter has a better chance at some of these schools because of the diversity at her school. We'll see late in March how it turns out.</p>

<p>From my experiences, certain high schools (public and private) will always be target/feeder schools to selective colleges and universities simply because a) admissions counselors are familiar with these high schools and b) the graduates are more likely to have a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. At my high school, it was common to see representatives from top-tier universities visit for admissions sessions and college fairs. Some high schools don't have this opportunity. As a result, these selective colleges and universities may have diverse incoming freshmen classes, but the students tend to come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.</p>

<p>Modadunn, it's not as simple as public vs private. My kids go to a decent public school, that is by no means considered particularly desirable within the county. I think its best teachers are at least as good as the ones I had in a well known boarding school way back when.</p>

<p>Both sons opted not to take AP Lit at our school because they write so many papers. Younger son did opt to take AP Euro because they write so many papers. (Three major research papers so far.) But classes vary - my younger's son's AP US History class didn't write as many research papers as the older son's class. I'm confident that they've been well prepared for college.</p>

<p>My older son (not a writing guy) is doing well at Carnegie Mellon - even in the few writing intensive courses he was required to take.</p>

<p>By the way, my son talked to his U of Chicago interviewer about how much he's enjoying his non-honors English elective which is filled with kids he hasn't seen since elementary school.</p>