Interesting Admission Statistics from One Top Private School

The numbers vary from year to year, but 3.9+ generally it is top 60%, so not top half. The most recent is 58%. Not top half. That said, I was a group off on my top 75% and will make the change above.

Is it really your theory that if Chicago could get the kids from the top of the class on the same terms, they would pass on these kids in favor of kids from the middle of the class?

Chicago can only accept those that apply.

By your theory, schools that are accepting kids from the bottom half of the class are doing so because they prefer kids who haven’t done as well academically as opposed to kids at the top of their class. That’s not what is happening.

So is it your contention that, at HW, Chicago passes up on a significant number of top GPA’s and test scores all the time in the ED round? That seems highly unlikely.

Sure - starting with 3.9 you probably do include the top 60%. UChicago may be admitting 3.9’s or 4.099’s. We don’t know. But as it’s holistic admission and they’ve admitted some of even lower GPA, it’s safe to say that a 3.9(w) won’t necessarily keep you out of UChicago. Just like having a 3.8+ (uw) won’t necessarily lead to admission.

Not sure what “could get them” means exactly. UChicago offers merit so rather than waitlist or deny, they could have accepted more of the top kids with merit, if they really wanted them. But they didn’t do that.

They do apply. More students from the top range apply than from other ranges.

As has been mentioned, it appears that falling somewhere within the 3.6-3.799 GPA range at HW isn’t predicted to lead to academic probation at UChicago. If it were, they wouldn’t have been admitted. UChicago admits a ton of kids who are at the top of their class so no worries there. HW is only one of many schools they admit from.

We don’t know what happens specifically at HW. We can reasonably surmise that top kids are applying RD because they have other schools they are also interested in, but that can really only be verified by someone familiar with how kids there are applying. My point was that having top stats along with clear demonstrated interested isn’t enough to get someone admitted to UChicago. There are several other factors considered, not the least of which would be the essays.

The odd thing about this exchange is that you have already acknowledged what I am saying.

“It’s more likely that the top of the class prefers other schools, period.” Yep. And it plays out pretty much as you laid it out from there. Yet a few posts later we had this exchange . . .

Only if by “not into the top HW kids” you mean something like this . . .

  • Chicago: “Hey, those top HW unhooked kids are really attractive . . . Do you think they’d go to prom with me?”
  • Friend: “Nah, they’d much rather go with any of a bunch of other schools. They’d only go with you if nothing else worked out.”
  • Chicago: “What if I paid for everything?”
  • Friend: “Sorry, but unless nothing else works out, still a ‘No.’”
  • Chicago: “Oh yeah? Well I’m not into them anyway . . . how about those middle of the class HW kids?”

Seriously though, Chicago is a great school, and some of the HW kids love Chicago (which is why at least 14 accepted this year.) Many gladly pick it as their first or second choice (E1&2) because HW kids generally believe this will give them a very good shot at admission. But, generally speaking, Chicago doesn’t seem to have the same level of desirability among top HW students as a bunch of other schools. Maybe it is just a HW thing, or maybe it is a prep school thing, or maybe something else. I don’t know.

When you exclude the UC system and USC, then among the upper echelon, UChicago doesn’t get as many apps as do Brown, Columbia, Harvard, NU, Michigan (slightly), Penn, Stanford, WUSTL, and Yale. It gets more than do Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, JHU, MIT, and Princeton.

Across the entire GPA range, the schools that beat out UChicago are Brown, Cornell, Emory, Harvard, Michigan, NYU, NU (slightly), Penn, Tulane and WUSTL. UChicago beats out a whole lot of other schools, and I’m not sure it’s too concerned with attracting fewer apps than NYU or Tulane.

(nb: just looked at the list quickly so may have inadvertently skipped a few)

I’m not sure either ranking is very relevant. For instance, none of these schools can compete in applications to USC or the UC system but that doesn’t mean they are less desirable than CA-based schools.

Not even sure what this is about. An admission to a college or university isn’t the same thing as Prom. We should try to keep the conversation focused on the data.

Agree with some of this but I believe you have it backwards. Usually one applies ED because the school is a top choice - not the other way around (school = top choice because it has ED). I mean, sure - many actually do, indeed, use this backward approach in devising their application strategies, but I don’t know how well that tends to work out. Focusing on a highly selective school because you think it has more favorable admission chances seems like very faulty thinking. Admit rates follow the application and admit numbers. They are not an indication of someone’s personal chances.

Admit rates aren’t great for HYPSM, even for the top GPA kids. UChicago’s strategy is to admit ED for those qualified candidates who apply ED at a higher rate. You can bet there are candidates from the top GPA slice who will end up at safety schools as they overestimate their chances at HYPSM.

Apparently UChicago likes Hotchkiss kids as well, and vice versa:

Hotchkiss Class of 2021 - 13 heading to UChicago (of roughly 170 graduates)
Hotchkiss Class of 2020 - 13 matriculated to UChicago (of roughly 170 graduates)

Thanks for that info, @UltimaCroix . I am now compelled to say that “Chicago really really likes kids from Hotchkiss.”

Are you close enough to the situation at Hotchkiss to be able to make comparative observations of these Chicago-bound kids? The quite recent perception of a niche favorable to unhooked kids no doubt explains much of it. However, Chicago has also always had a certain reputation, which I need not expatiate on here except to say that it kept most kids, even those with top marks, from considering it. Too serious, too much work, too cold, too little glamour or even name-recognition, too little to do but read old books - the place where “fun comes to die.” Ugh. That reputation was always a good screen of the unsuited. To put it another way, wanting to go there showed you were the right type and had the right stuff.

Chicago still has something of that rep, as any reader of cc or reddit will quickly conclude. To what extent do the Hotchkissians conform to it?

It shouldn’t be, anyway. Yet here we are, with you and others trying to convince yourselves that the reason Chicago draws so heavily from the middle the HW class is because Chicago is just not into the unhooked kids at the top of the class.

For another example as this type of rationalization, take a look at your latest popularity “rankings” by most applications in which you fail to consider that these kids are also taking into account their odds of admissions.

And for an example of the immature nature the rationalizations, take a look at your dig at NYU and Tulane.

I am sorry break it to you, but if we look the stats of the unhooked kids admitted to Chicago, these schools are among Chicago’s “competition.”

But why are we even still discussing this when we agree? As you wrote . . .

Your words. So why are you having such a hard time accepting them?

Never mind. This is going nowhere. Rationalize away.

Help me with this, MT. Somewhere back there in the numerical miasma were there not some numbers showing - or perhaps it was an inference drawn from the known numbers - that Chicago rejects more high-gpa kids who apply ED than it accepts? These would be kids who ex hypothesi would come if they were accepted. Yet Chicago does not accept them. It can’t be said that it doesn’t accept them because they won’t come anyway. What reason would it have for not accepting them except that there is something lacking in their apps, something that it values more than tippy-top gpas? It therefore widens its sights to select for those desired qualities wherever it finds them, often in other gpa cohorts.

My own view of the number-crunching is that it misses the real reasons that both students and schools make the picks they do. Some close observation on the ground of character and aspiration would be much more illuminating. If only a teenaged Balzac who is also an HW grad would step forward and give us the real dope.

1 Like

Yes, I’ve noticed that among friends at many top schools and the HW kids aren’t going to be an exception there.

UChicago’s strategy to go aggressive on ED (admitting about 50% of the class that way; higher percentage of matriculants obviously) is well known. The question would be whether ED is popular at this or that specific prep (MT says it is at HW and no reason not to believe that as long as MT is, indeed, connected to the admissions process as a parent or competent authority). I do believe this might be a YMMV thing; not all preppies are jumping on the ED bandwagon for UChicago but do come in via RD. And again, UChicago’s non-binding admit rate is also pretty high so they are being very careful in who they select in that round. They are admitting RD students who are quite likely to selection UChicago. That’s my impression, at any rate.

Oh, I think if those unhooked top of the class kids were clear UChicago types it wouldn’t be a question. That’s “typically” associated with ED (if the family weren’t concerned about examining various FA packages) but not always. There are lots of kids coming in RD who are great fits and wonderful additions to the university community. For whatever reason, they applied RD. Their paper chances were low but their personal odds were obviously quite different. Eight such could be from HW over the last few years but it’s possible that a few of those eight applied ED. We don’t know - we can make an educated guess but that’s about it.

Uh, yes I did - reread the post. I don’t believe it’s a particularly meaningful indication of “popularity.” However, looking at admission numbers is a GREAT way to understand how well the school likes the applicant!

Well, at the highest echelon Tulane really isn’t - NYU is. At the 2nd tier all are competitive with one another. But both of these schools really dominate in apps at the lowest GPA tiers at HW. As you were saying earlier, it could be that kids are considering their odds of admission. It appears easier to get into NYU or Tulane with a low GPA than UChicago, and so you will see a lot more apps from those ranges at both those schools.

I think there is a difference in understanding here. There is no perfect correlation between “lack of interest” and “RD.” PLENTY of interested applicants apply RD, are admitted, and matriculate. So one might choose to apply RD for reasons other than that they prefer other schools. But if one does, indeed, prefer other schools they will definitely apply RD. They will likely demonstrate their lack of good fit with the educational mission of UChicago in other ways as well. But RD will be the easy indicator for Admissions. There should be no mystery there. BTW, “prefer” means Revealed Preference (ie applications), not personal wishes.

1 Like

The majority who apply ED are rejected and a LOT of those kids have wonderful stats. It can be quite shocking. But wonderful stats simply aren’t enough to get you into UChicago. Stats will certainly demonstrate the attributes that the College is looking for but it’s very possible - and many times very easy - to have top stats but not have those attributes. Or have those stats but not be the best fit for the type of liberal arts education that the College offers. Or have those stats but make it clear that your college goals aren’t in line with the educational philosophy of the College. And so on. . . .

The numbers aren’t broken down by ED. Much of this conversation has centered on rationalizations about why Chicago admits so many kids from the middle of the class at the same or slightly higher rate than kids at the top of the class. This is most likely explained by ED vs. RD, but in the opposite direction you suggest.

It must be your view, then, that Chicago accepts all or almost all top gpa kids who apply in ED round. You would have to believe this if you also believe, as you clearly do, that the reason Chicago is accepting so many second or third-tier gpa’s is that it can’t do any better than that. (I don’t accept that those good but lesser gpa level kids are necessarily of lesser academic quality as you seem to think, but that’s a different debate.) If there was data - or reasonable extrapolations from data - that would show that in fact a majority of the tippy-top gpas who apply ED to Chicago are in fact not accepted, shouldn’t you reconsider your conclusion? That would be proof that it would be easy enough for Chicago to snare those kids if they in fact had what Chicago wanted.

Once again, all of your speculation about what I believe, view, think, etc. is inaccurate. I don’t even know what you think I “conclude” and I’m not sure you do either. Please stick to what I write rather than assigning me straw man positions.

  • As far as I know, Chicago is thought to be very concerned with yield, and a school where one can greatly improve one’s odds of an admission by applying ED. It is also thought to be a great school, but (at HW, at least) it doesn’t seem to have the same general desirability as top schools like the Ivys, Stanford, the top LAC, and some others.

  • On the other side of the coin, the unhooked kids in the middle of the HW class are generally outstanding students and are more than qualified to succeed at any college. But, unfortunately for them, they face long admissions odds at the most desirable schools.

  • But these kids have a relatively decent change at Chicago in comparison, especially if they apply ED. In other words, for the middle of the class kids, Chicago just isn’t as competitive as are many other top schools, and the statistics reflect this.

For example, If we take the 50 of the most competitive schools (lowest admission rates for the top 25% of the class, 10 or more apps) then sort these schools by admission rates in the next three brackets (middle 50%), we can see who is truly competing for the middle of the class, and who isn’t:

Percentage of Unhooked HW Applicants Accepted from the Middle 50% of the Class at Top 50 Most Competitive College at HW. (|College|%|apps|admits|)

  1. |Pomona College|0.0%|9|0|
  2. |Claremont McKenna College|0.0%|9|0|
  3. |Yale University|0.0%|24|0|
  4. |Massachusetts Institute of Technology|0.0%|9|0|
  5. |Swarthmore College|0.0%|11|0|
  6. |Harvey Mudd College|0.0%|4|0|
  7. |Brown University|1.6%|63|1|
  8. |Vanderbilt University|1.7%|59|1|
  9. |Stanford University|3.3%|30|1|
  10. |Dartmouth College|4.4%|45|2|
  11. |Princeton University|5.0%|20|1|
  12. |Rice University|5.9%|17|1|
  13. |Harvard University|5.9%|34|2|
  14. |Williams College|6.3%|16|1|
  15. |University of Pennsylvania|7.4%|68|5|
  16. |Duke University|7.4%|54|4|
  17. |Columbia University|8.3%|36|3|
  18. |Cornell University|11.1%|63|7|
  19. |Northwestern University|13.1%|61|8|
  20. |University of California Los Angeles|13.6%|103|14|
  21. |Johns Hopkins University|14.3%|56|8|
  22. |Amherst College|15.0%|20|3|
  23. |Tufts University|18.2%|44|8|
  24. |Emory University|19.4%|67|13|
  25. |Middlebury College|20.0%|15|3|
  26. |University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|21.1%|19|4|
  27. |Bowdoin College|23.1%|13|3|
  28. |Georgia Institute of Technology|25.0%|8|2|
  29. |Wesleyan University|25.0%|32|8|
  30. |Barnard College of Columbia University|25.0%|28|7|
  31. |University of California Berkeley|25.2%|123|31|
  32. |University of Southern California|26.0%|73|19|
  33. |Georgetown University|26.7%|45|12|
  34. |University of Virginia|28.9%|38|11|
  35. |Washington University - St. Louis|29.5%|95|28|
  36. |University of California Irvine|29.7%|37|11|
  37. |University of California San Diego|34.5%|84|29|
  38. |University of Chicago|36.7%|49|18|
  39. |Wellesley College|37.5%|8|3|
  40. |Carnegie Mellon University|40.0%|20|8|
  41. |California Institute of Technology|50.0%|2|1|
  42. |University of California Davis|52.6%|38|20|
  43. |Tulane University|52.8%|53|28|
  44. |University of Michigan|55.6%|99|55|
  45. |University of Texas at Austin|58.3%|12|7|
  46. |University of California Santa Barbara|60.0%|90|54|
  47. |Boston College|63.4%|41|26|
  48. |New York University|64.1%|64|41|
  49. |Case Western Reserve University|72.7%|11|8|
  50. |Boston University|77.4%|31|24|

This is why I keep saying Chicago isn’t really competitive with the rest of the supposed Ivy+ schools.

  • 37% of Chicago unhooked applicants from top quartile get in, making Chicago the 20th most competitive school by admission percentages (of top 50 schools) from this quartile.
  • 37% of Chicago unhooked applicants from the next two quartiles - the middle 50% - get into Chicago, making Chicago the 38th most competitive school by admission percentages (of top 50 schools) from the middle 50%.

You can rationalize all you want, including by assuming that many of the top HW are applying ED, but Chicago is rejecting them. Or by assuming that the Chicago AO prefers middle of the class kids even though this isn’t the case with most of their “competitors.” But neither the numbers nor common sense supports these assumptions.

This is no knock on Chicago, which is a great school and it is getting really outstanding HW students. But at HW, at least, Chicago isn’t really competing with supposed Ivy+. There is some overlap in the top quartile, but not nearly as much below that.

1 Like

Choosing your school based on admit rate for ED doesn’t tend to work well - even if you are a top student from a rigorous school. If you have a lot of enthusiasm for UChicago, applying ED is a great way to show that. (nb: also, as discussed below, yield is a measure that concerns colleges and universities in general, even top ones).

When you look at application data, UChicago holds its own in terms of “general desirability” but less so by a little among the top echelon. No LAC’s beat out UChicago on this metric. “Some others” will include schools that aren’t peers. All of these are great schools and students put their lists together based on many factors including fit, probability of admission, and so forth. But if you are going to talk about “desirability” you actually need to point to evidence or data - the evidence in the handbook present a slightly different picture than you have provided.

However, when it comes to the top GPA echelon, UChicago is similarly competitive to a few Ivy’s, and more competitive than a few others:
Brown 12/58 21%
UChicago 8/37 22% (tie)
Dartmouth 6/27 22% (tie)
Columbia 11/45 24%
Yale 10/42 24%
Cornell: 11/31 35%

These schools manage yield as well, usually pretty well. Most also have ED.

UChicago is also more - sometimes much more - competitive regarding that top echelon than other highly competitive schools that approach “peer” level and that use ED1/ED2 to manage yield:

UChicago 8/37 22%
Vandy 5/21 24%
Wash U 19/41 46%
Emory 8/17 47%

It’s an interesting school that is more competitive at the top GPA than middle GPA group. None of these other schools have that characteristic.

Actually, the data show exactly this second point, at least among the peers and near-peers that I listed above. When it comes to HW, UChicago seems to prefer middle of the class kids over top echelon kids, while these others do not and will therefore admit higher percentages of the latter. It would be facile to chalk up this difference to something like “yield protection” because all colleges and universities are concerned with their yield and most of the institutions listed above have tools at their disposal to bump this measure as needed. Yield is an important metric to more schools than just the University of Chicago.

You have an odd way of putting things, @mtmind . That Chicago admits larger percentages of unhooked applicants than does its peer schools means to you that it is “uncompetitive.” To me it means that Chicago likes the unhooked more than the peer schools do. You manage to make into a denigration what I see as a virtue.

You didn’t answer the question I posed to you. When a question is dodged that’s usually because there’s no good answer to it. You can take a second shot if you like. The question is significant because it focuses only on those cases (ED applicants) in which a school will get exactly what it chooses. It’s a natural lab experiment of the Steven Levitt variety. The choice made in those cases will tell you what a school wants, not what it thinks it can get as second best. That noise is filtered out. If what it wants is kids with the very highest gpas, it will choose all such kids who apply ED. That’s simple logic. If instead it rejects most of those high-gpa applicants while accepting many other kids with lesser gpa’s, then we can draw the conclusion that it is not super-high gpa’s that matter to this school. You can call that “rationalization” if you like, but it is really only elementary logic.

Just means the best students are applying to UChicago so, of course, they get in. The best students from a top school. The lower caliber ones apply to the Ivies.

Rent free., JB…lol…

1 Like

Let’s move on from debating minutiae.