How much is the admit rate diluted by mediocre students?

<p>I'm not sure if this has been asked before, but the other day, I was thinking about how so many people would apply to Columbia even if it was way out of their league just for NYC. I also know a lot of very mediocre kids at my school who are applying to places like, say, Harvard, just to see if they would get extremely lucky and get in. How much do you think this plays a role in Columbia's ~10% admit rate?</p>

<p>a lot of troubles with this post.</p>

<p>a) who or what is a mediocre student? is there an objective standard you're using? this is really hard because college admissions folks think differently than most 18 year olds, to them there is no one way to compare students based on grades or test scores. so they will look at you individually and may indeed admit that kid you sneer at that is lower than you in the class, but guess what he/she may be more compelling than you.</p>

<p>b) in general i'd say there are a lot of relative mediocre students, that as columbia has begun to both 1) attract folks that would previously only have applied to HYP and 2) yield those students, the kind of kid that at one point would've been considered a decent candidate is now considered mediocre. i mean kids that 10 years ago were shoo-ins are now being handed denial letters.</p>

<p>c) accordingly counselors that for years would recommend folks not quite up to HYP snuff to apply to Columbia have failed to adjust with the times and continue to poorly counsel students.</p>

<p>d) as it is unclear year to year who is in a relative sense mediocre, i think it is hard for those students to truly know they have no shot. and indeed it might be worth the 70$ gamble, i mean, you stand a better chance of being admitted to coumbia than winning in vegas. those are solid odds.</p>

<p>e) most applicants are unaware of the standard they are being placed under so it is hard for them to think they are mediocre.</p>

<p>f) the product of being mommy or daddy's precious leads more than a handful of kids to develop an unhealthy amount of self-confidence. and that's a wall you wont be able to break down.</p>

<p>all in total how much is it? how much does it bring down (i don't quite think dilute is the right word) the admit rate? unclear because you're dealing with complex phenomena - counselors counseling, students self-aggrandizing, other students who are unsure, a moving average. why do folks that you think wouldn't get in apply? because they can. and with columbia jumping to the common app, you are gonna find more anecdotes to share. </p>

<p>in the end the majority of students who apply to columbia are from my experience interviewing mostly top of the school, with good grades and test scores; and the vast majority of them will be denied.</p>

<p>136 members of the Class of 2009 from the Bronx High School of Science--one of NYC's specialized high schools--applied to Columbia, to either CC/SEAS. You can imagine, if mediocre, half-wit grinds are applying en masse from all of NYC's high schools, both good and bad, and from high schools all over the country, Columbia's pool is quite saturated--to the extent that countless students, both strong and weak, are passed over in a potentially arbitrary manner.</p>

<p>Data for accepted students:
GPA, CR, M, W, II
CC:
86.09, 560, 680, 640, Phys 610, MII 650
94.20, 730, 760, 750, Lit 760, Span L 570, USH 750, MII 750
96.68, 630, 660, 770, World H 650, USH 770, MI 670, Span L 570, MII 620</p>

<p>SEAS:
94.80, 650, 720, 660, Phys 720, Chem 740, USH 740, MII 680
95.50, 630, 680, 650, Chem 700, MI 690, Chinese L 790, Bio M 650, MII 650
95.80, 580, 730, 670, USH 640, Math I 740, Chem 730
98.24, 550, 730, 580, MII 720, USH 660, Phys 660, Chem 730
101.02, 780, 740, 730, MI 800, Chem 800, Phys 800, MII 800, USH 740</p>

<p>8/136 got in? I find that hard to believe, this is probably the matriculated student data.</p>

<p>The GPA and SAT II is interesting (if a tiny sample), but the SATs are pretty worthless because data on SAT ranges for the entire current freshman class is on Collegeboard.</p>

<p>I think you'll get more polarized applicants from NYC, both BS applicants who want to stay in the city and stellar applicants who do not want to move far away from home. From other places, you'll have less BS applicants, but probably a smaller proportion of absolutely stellar applicants.</p>

<p>Just because someone's reason to apply to a school is because it's in the city, does not mean they are anti-intellectual or under qualified. Columbia's SAT scores and GPA are in line with its low acceptance rate, and the application is formulated to get a sense of personality rather than just raw numbers. Ever college has a bunch of mediocre applicants, I've known some really under-par students with no shot in hell at getting in apply to Harvard and Stanford just for the brand name. I've even met students at MIT/Harvard/Columbia/Duke and other top schools who were thoroughly mediocre, and it was difficult to see how the admissions committee didn't weed them out. I knew a few kids at Columbia who became druggies and pot heads and just threw away their college lives.</p>

<p>I'll post the stats for stuy students in a sec (as a benchmark) because I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that only 8/136 got in from Brx sci - especially since I personally know more than 8 :3</p>

<p>Seas ED:
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<p>SEAS:
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<p>College ED:
Imageshack</a> - colled1.jpg
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<p>College:
Imageshack</a> - coll1u.jpg
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Imageshack</a> - coll7f.jpg</p>

<p>I stopped there because the number of acceptances dwindled to like 1/20 and I got tired :3</p>

<p>You can draw from this that SEAS is more number oriented than the College is. However, nothing can ever guarantee you a spot and a particular talent or quirk can make you a better candidate than someone with better numbers.</p>

<p>I'd guess (and hope) most mediocre students who want to go to college in New York City will apply to NYU. NYU offers fly-over-staters the real experience of living in New York and taking advantage of the downtown nightlife, etc. That's why NYU is the number 1 dream school in the United States. Columbia offers a very different experience: one that includes the city, but isn't limited to it. That said, I'm sure tons of unqualified applicants apply to Columbia simply because it's an ivy and/or it's in New York, and obviously that brings down the admissions rate. But you're deluding yourself if you think that Columbia's applicant pool is overwhelmingly unqualified and it's much easier to get in than it seems. Look at this year's decision threads for some perspective. By all means, please apply to Columbia if you're interested; just don't be too pessimistic or optimistic when considering your chances. Just put as much work as you can into your essay and application, and if possible, apply ED.</p>

<p>^ very helpful + interesting bioblade :) Thanks!</p>

<p>*I'd like to note: SEAS applicants seem to have more success .. and not necessarily better scores either.</p>

<p>WOW bioblade your stats are scaring me ...</p>

<p>eg. 2010
SEAS ED
95.5% 2170 SAT accept
CC ED
95.2% 2220 SAT reject
95% 2330 SAT reject
95% 2150 SAT reject</p>

<p>2010 alone is scary, but all 3 years .. CC is scattered, but upper SEAS is washed in green.</p>

<p>I know scores don't represent everything, but this cannot be coincidental...</p>

<p>What's the point of this thread, OP? You know that Columbia is a very competitive school that rejects tons of very good applicants. And you're correct to assume that plenty of mediocre kids apply to Columbia. Are you going to apply/not apply based on the answers to this thread? It's impossible to quantify "how much" the admit rate is diluted by mediocre students.</p>

<p>StarsAligned, my former school is a school specializing in math and science so that can be accounted to the high SEAS success - but like I said before, its still clear that SEAS is more number oriented than the college.</p>

<p>The ED benefit should also be apparent, for those of you considering it.</p>

<p>Also, just as a side note, the 2 people who got in with averages in the 80's for CC ED were both minorities - and one of those was a sports recruit.</p>

<p>I think the fact that Columbia is now on the common app encourages students who have no shot at getting in to apply. They only have to write a supplement and turn in their app.</p>

<p>^ The switch to commonapp won't affect ED right? It's just those who throw in another essay at RD?</p>

<p>bioblade, why are there only around 5 courses? Do you not have electives? Do colleges see a different average?</p>

<p>^ The switch to commonapp won't affect ED right? It's just those who throw in another essay at RD?</p>

<p>bioblade, why are there only around 5 courses? Do you not have electives? Do colleges see a different average?</p>

<p>Colleges don't get any of the "averages" your school puts - or at the very least don't count it. They get your transcript with the grades you got in your classes and get your average their own way. This is because each school counts aps, honors and whatnot differently. All the grades you see up their are unweighted.</p>

<p>There's lists for 7 averages because we have 7 departments in our school. Each department has their own electives and classes. Economics falls under history, oceanography and meteorology fall under science, comp sci goes under math, video production goes under technology, etc. The health and PE dept. isn't on their because it isn't very important.</p>

<p>Very interesting!
Are stats for other Unis with normal College vs. Engineering so favorably inclined to Engineering as well?
Eg. UPenn CAS and UPenn SEAS?</p>

<p>Too bad the database is only for their students xD</p>

<p>^ No, the databases of a handful of top high schools are accessible to the public.</p>

<p>kwu I would appreciate links, or at least examples of names.</p>

<p>Stars:
The only other school stuy splits it up by college for is cornell and yeah, you do see a similar trend for early decision, but not for regular decision. Pretty much all 93+ get in for cornell engineering ed and most 94+ get in for a/s, but its there's like 1/3 red with 2/3 green.
It's not like that for regular decision - almost all 95/96+ get in for all 7 of cornell's colleges, with a rare red dot.</p>

<p>All other ivies look similar to columbia a/s (spotty, but need a 95+ to be competitive). Harvard just has considerably less acceptances than everywhere else (18 this year, usually 15-20 per year). </p>

<p>Maybe we just have a bad track record with the college or maybe its columbia getting more competitive, but its the hardest to get into after harvard for our school.</p>