Not Getting In?

Hi everyone, I am a rising senior with good stats and ECs. However, I keep hearing horror stories about perfect students, even valedictorians/saledictorians not getting in to UCONN. Do you have any of those to share yourself? Where it looked like everything was all lined up perfect, but got a surprise rejection? I think it’s interesting. Trying to formulate what UCONN really looks for as it seems like quite a trivial and senseless admission strategy to me (and I love the school, but I can still admit that).

I honestly think it is the same in every college. We will never know what it is they are looking for. We did hear similar stories when my first son was a senior in high school. Students that thought they would get in were crying at school because of the rejection. We are in state so the rejection hurts more because it means a significant difference in price for them since they have to choose another school which could cost a lot more. Admissions is a difficult and brutal process even with top grades. I watched both my sons go through it. Ironically it was tougher for the one with extremely high grades because of the selectivity and extreme competition.

Are you instate or OOS. This past year was a weird one. Son’s friends didn’t get into places that should have been within reach but then there he was, not a URM, but an eagle scout and he only didn’t get into reaches, but into 2 University of California campus, all of which are highly competitive. My advice, be realistic about your chances, and cast a good net. UCONN was among the less competitive of his choices but I’m finding out that it’s on the rise.

@overbearingmom I am in state applying to their engineering school for comp sci.

Wow exactly like my first son. Engineering and comp science. Although he did not stay with computer science he did stay in engineering. UConn was the first school to except him and the response came almost immediately. He will be a junior and is very happy there. The workload like any other school is no walk in the park but especially difficult in Engineering.

Watching my own kids go through this over the past few years, college admission is nothing like when it was “back in the day”. Even schools that one could reasonably expect to be admitted to simply based on grades and SAT scores are not sure things for anyone. What I think many admissions offices are now looking for is that “something” that sets an applicant apart. What makes you different? What is your passion? Your story? The example I will give involves my son, who has really good grades and pretty high SAT scores. But, then, so do thousands and thousands of other kids and the competition is brutal, as you’ve alluded to. In my son’s case, I think his essay is what set him apart. It told a personal story and offered a glimpse into a part of his life that is important to him (it was not a “woe is me” story, but it was on a very unique topic that I’m sure is not encountered very often). And, this is not to toot his horn, but I will share he was admitted into the engineering program of every school he applied to, including two top ten programs. I am certain this happened because he wrote something that made him memorable to those who read his file. Admissions reps see thousands of cookie cutter applicants. You have but a few moments to catch the eye of the admissions committee. Make yourself stand out!

@skimomof3 I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that. I wrote about some major health issues that I had that took me out of school for a while. My specific focus is why being out of school taught me about the gift of education, as I really missed it while I was out. Other than that I have really great ECs and four years of work experience but idk. I sometimes beat up on myself for not being a “higher achieving” student because I was not very successful freshman year. I hope that having straight As in only honors and AP courses my junior year can help but at the moment I’m very nervous for the upcoming fall and even moreso for acceptances in the winter/spring.

I wasn’t that involved with my son’s application, and my son’s grades were fine throughout, but he struggled to work independently freshman year, and he took no AP’s in Sophomore year (which is pretty uncommon here, though I think there is just one or two they can take). And in the UC’s, the AP’s don’t help you if you take them senior year as far as your profile (you do get credit). The counselor’s advice was to focus on the trajectory, the improvement, and getting to were you need to be and poised for success. I actually think that colleges are looking for that rather than cookie cutter “good student” in the days of grade inflation