How Correct is this A for Admissions Book?

<p>^ No one is ignoring the correlation-causation distinction. We're simply making the assumption that confounding factors are not sufficient in magnitude to explain the extent of the positive correlation. It is inconceivable to me that those with 800 on the Writing section are so much better in other respects that they have a 46% higher chance than those with 750-800. I would expect the confounding factors to account for maybe 3-5% at the most.</p>

<p>^Why not? Why couldn't 800's be that significant of an indicator?</p>

Why couldn't 800's be that significant of an indicator?


<p>Why would scoring perhaps slightly better on a subjectively and inconsistently graded essay or getting one or two more questions right correlate with nearly a 50% greater chance merely because of confounding factors? It's unlikely that 800ers prepare any more on average than 750-790ers. If the gain were 5% or less, I would probably attribute it completely to confounding factors. But nearly 50%? A wholly non-causal explanation sounds absurd to me.</p>


<p>one possibility of the difference it that the test is capped at 800. We don't know, for example, if those scoring an 800 on Math 2 missed zero or 7/8. The point is that *some[/] of those scoring an 800 could score 1,000 if CB scaled it that high, but the 720 guy/gal would never get there. And that 1,000 guy/gal has the brainpower to have more A's and (time?) for more ECs, all other things being equal. Thus, it may not be the 800 per se that adcoms are looking at, but the rest of the package which might be that much stronger than a package from someone scoring 750.</p>

<p>Just speculatin'.</p>

<p>I believe that 'psychological divide' plays an important role in the admissions offices. For example: my SAT I scores were 690 M, 690 CR, 800 W. I truly believe that if I had gotten one more question right on M and CR and my score was 700 M, 700 CR, and 800 W, it would look more impressive to adcoms. I'm aware of the fact that they know it's only the difference of one question. But, as Michelle stated in the book, many admissions officers automatically register a number with a '7' in front as superior and one with a '6' in front as average without really meaning to. It's more of a subconscious thing. It's the same thing with an 800. There's something about it unexplainable through words, but just seeing the 800 has a 'wow' effect that a 760 won't have to the fullest extent. An 800 is perfect (or very, very close to it), so having that magic '8' in the front can make a significant difference, as silverturtle mentioned in his guide.</p>

<p>ONLY because the book is being discussed here, I will toss out something even cc parents may gawk at.</p>

<p>Something was brought up recently where the author was referenced. I looked to the website hoping to find any clarification. I stumbled across a mention in the blog about Ivy League grads who serve as live in tutors to high school students as they navigate classes, placement tests, applications, essays, etc. Whoa! Prep classes, private tutors, even 'boot camps' I've heard of. Live in private tutors is something that made me do a double-take. When a 2-day mini-boot camp is $7k (tuition only), I can not fathom what a live in tutor would cost.
I will add, if you have the means, it works for your family, and you feel it is the best choice for your student, it is certainly your choice. I just had not heard of this type of support.
Anyone else?</p>

Live in private tutors is something that made me do a double-take. When a 2-day mini-boot camp is $7k (tuition only), I can not fathom what a live in tutor would cost.


<p>This is nothing new as the academic nannies, mannies, or similar terms have been in the news for a long time. More than anything, it represents the reaction of an industry to the demands of a selective clientele. For the ones who live in the rarified air of uber-wealth, money is much easier to find than the time to guide their children. Also, when they develop an illness, they do not drive to the local clinic, they seek the best doctors. When they need legal help, they do not call 1-800-shark4u, they reach out for the best and most expensive legal eagle. Cynical? Perhaps, but that is the way it is. </p>

<p>On the other hand, growing up with the added expectation brought by wealth and status must not always be fun and games. HAVING to spend time with a live-in tutor or spending a week in a hotel next to Harvard Yard might not be as exciting as one might imagine. </p>

<p>It's also good to remember that that for every super expensive coach, there is an alternative in the form of a 20 dollars book. And, perhaps, that might be Michele's greatest contribution, in that she popularized the information that had been the exclusive domain of the ultra-rich. </p>

<p>Oh well, nobody is perfect.</p>

<p>Ahhhh, xiggi! The very FIRST thing I found on cc, and the sole reason I came here. S2 came home to 20pages of printed out xiggi method and said 'zig-a-what?!?'. :) So for every $20 book there are 20pgs of printer ppr.</p>

<p>Very good points. I had not heard it in this context. I did try to state that what people do with their money is their business. I honestly feel that way. When I read this last night, I asked my boys if they had heard of anything like it. We don't really live in the sticks, however urber-wealth money isn't a good description either. I steer clear of these discussions with parents at their school. Maybe the kids had heard something I hadn't. They didn't know anyone who had a live in, just a few with private tutors. They all agreed it was creepy and they would not want another watchdog in the house when they wanted downtime. They clearly didn't see it as an advantage, but the baggage you described.</p>

<p>Sadly, I didn't find the answer to my question on the site.
Good to have your perspective.</p>

<p>Just wanted to pop in since I've been an off and on again contributor to CC for years. Regarding A is for Admission, I rewrote more than 40% of the book for the new edition. And I definitely indicated the increased selectivity all throughout the new version -when the book came out, Academic 9's were accepted at an extremely high rate - now less so (but still higher than 6's, 7's, etc...). If you read the book instead of just excerpting a line here and there it will be crystal clear how the process works and how of course grades, academic performance academic acuity, intellectual vitality, scores, ec's etc.. are all woven together. It was the first book that really dissected the admissions process at the Ivies and exposed many of the secret formulas they had denied for years even though they had (and still do) used them since the 50's. I have 4 books, all of which are in the $10 range and provide tons of free info on my website. I offer all different levels of services - no one forces anyone to sign up for any of my programs. On the live in tutor option, think of all the students you know who home-school - it's the same thing - they have a legion of tutors as well. Again, it's just an offering for those who need that kind of intensive help. It's certainly cheaper than say a year at Andover. In any case, I'm happy to answer questions on this board about my book, but I did want to point out that the book has been updated and that once you take into account the sheer increase in the number of applicants, plus Harvard and Princeton getting rid of early which put a huge burden on the regular pool, I think you'll find the book is still quite current.</p>

said 'zig-a-what?!?'


<p>Haha, that happens when one selects a CC name that is ... not common. This said, I hope your S looked beyond the weird name and found the 20 pages helpful. </p>


<p>I would encourage any parent to visit your site as it does have a lot of free information. My question was very specific and a follow up to something someone else had quoted you on. It was a stab in the dark. I would expect to pay a consulting fee to ask and would not take advantage of the fact that you support clarifications on your book here.</p>

<p>I would like to clarify that the mention regarding live-in tutors I referenced was in a blog where many topics are discussed and was simply that. A reference. It was not something being pushed, advertised, or listed as a service offered.</p>

<p>Perhaps I should have brought this up in the Parents Forum. I apologize if it seemed negative towards the host site, or Michele, in any way.</p>

<p>Thanks for responding, Michele Hernandez! I checked out your website.</p>

<p>You might want to know that the link to Amazon for "A is for Admission" on your website leads to the 1999 edition, not the 2009 edition, of your book. The Amazon site then says there is an updated edition of the book, but I scrolled down to the reviews and didn't see that notice the first time I looked.</p>

<p>Whoa, was that really Michele herself?! :)</p>

<p>The book itself is very illuminating. In fact, I believe at one point she even points out that if you find the notion of learning beyond the classroom to be exhausting, you're probably not well-suited for the Ivy League schools. As a kid with an AI of 6, it definitely helped me grasp what I'm up against and demystified alot about the process.</p>

<p>I was confused as to why Harvard truly eliminated early action. It's not binding, so I doubt removing it would change the number of wealthy, elite applicants applying which is what their supposed intent for removing it was (I'm skeptical about this intent). So, in your opinion, why did Harvard really eliminate the early option, and was that a good or bad thing for highly selective college admissions?</p>

<p>The reason they removed it was because ED disadvantages kids who need to compare financial aid offers from schools.</p>

<p>^^That was the spin that they used. :)</p>

<p>Btw: Harvard had Early Action (which Yale still maintains), not binding Early Decision. (Princeton dropped ED.)</p>

<p>Hey Blue,
I didn't take it personally at all - and thanks all for the tip on the link on my website - it should link to the new version - sorry about that. Will fix!</p>

<p>I have a strong opinion about the Harvard issue - in my mind, they did it for totally different reasons - on the surface, they wanted to look like they wanted poor kids to apply and felt they were "afraid" to apply early - that however could have been remedied by an announcement that they would give full financial support to anyone in the early round for families making under X dollars. If you recall, their announcement came out right after Daniel Goldens (excellent) book called the Price of Admission - Harvard didn't come out looking too good after taking all those development cases -- so this was their "counter attack" announcement, "Hey, we love poor kids... and therefore we're getting rid of early." It isn't hard to encourage lower income kids to commit to early if you assure them they'll get full financial support. it's not "early" per se that stops them. The sad truth is that there just aren't that many low income kids who apply at all, period. They should put early action or decision back. In fact, I advocate that all the top schools simply have ED so kids have to pick their true first choice school. what happens now is that some triple 800 kids with great records get deferred at Yale or Stanford, and then panic and apply to 25 schools in regular! That clogs up the system and is the reason why regular apps are SO high! Harvard and Princeton are literally causing this problem as so many students "wait" for the regular found and therefore are forced to apply to Yale/Stanford or MIT non binding.
Just my thoughts</p>

The reason they removed it was because ED disadvantages kids who need to compare financial aid offers from schools.


<p>I'm well aware that ED disadvantages lower-income applicants because of the need to compare FA packages, myself included. However, as the above poster stated, Harvard had an EA policy which was non-binding. So why remove it? A non-binding option disadvantages no-one: even if accepted, you could opt to attend a different institution, although I doubt any other college would give you FA as good as Harvard's offer.</p>

<p>EDIT: Thanks for re-posting, Michele. :)</p>

<p>I do think Harvard should reinstate EA, as should Princeton. I don't think ED is a good idea if you want to encourage low-income applicants to apply to Harvard and similar caliber schools, though.</p>

<p>Not a fan of Yale's SCEA as we know of kids who SCEA at Yale and are deferred--
so in the RD pool with everyone--having burned the bridge with EA.</p>

<p>I think the common app has made apps in general easier so kids apply to tons of schools. </p>

<p>Back in the day--we did the 5 app rule--the reach, 3 matches and a safety...on typewriters.</p>

<p>Glad to hear from MH herself--as I was just perusing through her book again (re-reading the highlighted marks I made reading it the first time)
Our student is a scholar-athlete (not a helmet sport) and so we have had interest in the AI and wondering if its alive an well.
I noted to myself in the margin any place a statistic was dated--or if a policy/rule etc had changed--which the author herself notes as well (my copy is 2009)</p>

I'm well aware that ED disadvantages lower-income applicants because of the need to compare FA packages, myself included.


<p>ED does not have much of an impact on LOW income applicants --at least, as long as we define low-income students a students qualifying for Pell grants. In fact, one could make a clear case that ED could be one the few items that truly benefit the lower income students as the admission rates are higher in the early rounds.</p>

<p>As far as why Harvard did, it is pretty simple. They did because, as the clear leader in admissions, they could afford to drop the early admissions and survive the negatives MUCH better than their peers. While seeing Princeton joining them must have been an unexpected bonus, the impact of dropping the early admissions was surely felt as lower ranked schools such as Duke. If you want to see a tangible proof, simply look at what happened to size of the wait lists in Durham! </p>

<p>All in all, H's dropping early admissions was not for the benefit for anyone else than the school itself, and it was a clear aggressive move to reinforce their leadership and hurt schools that were getting a bit too close for comfort.</p>

<p>Wow. Michele Hernandez. I read the price of admission book too. I wonder how weighted vs. unweighted GPA's fit into the system now.....</p>