Odd Acceptance Trend at My High School

<p>I am a first year freshman at FSU (lovin it btw). The thing I thought struck a bit odd was when I visited my old high school this spring break, I talked to senior friends on where they were going and I talked to the guidance counselor and about how many kid were accepted at the state colleges. She showed me a list of the senior class and what colleges they had been accepted to and what was way weird to me is how 30 kids from my high school (A terrible one, few AP's low, low graduation rate) got into UF, while only 4 got into FSU, she said more applied to FSU too. I guess FSU is really bumping up their admissions standards, as last year only 3 kids got into UF and about 15-20 into FSU. Anyone else notice the admission trend at their former high schools?</p>

<p>I think the #112 ranking got adcoms scared sh--less.</p>

<p>In a relative sense, UF tends to place a higher emphasis on GPA and course selection, while FSU prioritizes test scores. UF is apparently very interested in bolstering retention and graduation rates, and admits substantial numbers of "reliable" students - applicants whose academic records suggest that they have been studious, if not altogether exceptional or brilliant. This is why UF takes a large number of CC transfers, accepts numerous students with average or low test scores, and also rejects students with high test scores but spotty or inconsistent academic records. 82% of the FTIC students UF admits have a weighted GPA of 3.75 or higher. FSU rolls the dice a bit more - I knew a lot of brilliant slackers in high school who ended up at FSU. Some are managing hedge funds today, and others are cashiering retail stores.</p>

<p>Obviously, UF does attract a ton of very talented students each year. Enough that they figure they can anchor their student body with a chunk of hard-working students of fairly average talent without damaging their overall reputation. The school is, after all, a state university with 40,000 students - not the "Harvard of the South" as some overzealous alumni postulate.</p>

<p>With grade inflation being as it is these days, everybody and their mother is coming out of high school with a fairly high weighted GPA, so there's a wider variation in the applicant test score range than GPA range. Thus far, FSU has been aggressive than UF in capping enrollment/limiting admission in response to the state budget cuts. Given FSU's admissions policies, many of those cut were those with mediocre test scores - consequently, admissions standards appeared to rise dramatically overnight, and you're seeing numerous students rejected from FSU but admitted to UF. I would be interested in seeing the grade distribution profile for next year's incoming class at FSU - no doubt it has risen somewhat from previous years, but not as rapidly as the exam score spread.</p>

<p>Most of the hard information on this matter is public record. The explanations are simply my deductions (accurate or otherwise). You can see more here:
Office</a> of Institutional Research - Florida State University
Office</a> of Institutional Planning and Research - University of Florida</p>

<p>Note: the fact that UF actually has a "National Rankings" subsection on their IR website should give you some idea of where their priorities lie.</p>

<p>FSU has their list of national rankings here: FSU</a> Highlights</p>


<p>I believe you have the analysis reversed. Consider C7 of the CDS. FSU posts theirs, UF does not for the latest year...they used to, it seems they have eliminated Question C7 from their CDS postings. Very curious.</p>

<p>C-7 format only indicates relative importance of coursework rigor, grades, class rank, test scores, and essays. It doesn't rank order priority of these. True, UF didn't post their relative importance in 07-08 CDS, but their admission office does rank the priority, at least verbally in group sessions: #1 Grades and Course Rigor #2 Essay # 3 Tests. For FSU, you can assume priority is reversed on #2 and #3. </p>

<p>I think the OP is correct in the assessment of various admission strategies. I know several UF recent grads, whose test scores had higher percentile ranking than did h.s. grades (not shabby, btw) that took 13 semesters to graduate, and still don't know what they want to do with their life. I also know UF grads with very low test scores/high h.s. grades that graduated in 8 semesters and in grad school by the 9th. </p>

<p>UF already has the Florida market cornered on the high-caliber student statistics- it appears they are seeking to improve graduation time and class size stats. FSU needs to seriously improve in this category as well, but perhaps they are trying to get the student stats up level with UF first. </p>

<p>The big question is: which combination is a better indicator of life success- good h.s. grades/medium test scores or medium h.s. grades/good test scores. (I would add the 3rd variable- character (i.e. essay) but that is impossible to assess in my simplistic question!) And the kicker- does the university of attendance help make the difference for either group?!?</p>

<p>As if we can measure happiness via statistics or even some person's definition of success!!!!</p>

<p>Of any university in Florida FSU is probably the least focused on test scores. Note that FSU has long abandoned the value of "buying" National Merit students after having the most in Florida for some time. UF has followed suit since.</p>

<p>In this snippet from a 9/2005 FSU Trustee meeting FSU's Provost Larry Abele states:</p>

<p>*FSU Admissions</p>

<p>Dr. Larry Abele provided a review of how the admission process at FSU has changed over the past many years. Over 6,000 students are admitted. Academic preparation in high school is now emphasized. He reviewed the admissions statistics and policies for the Board.*</p>

<p>See: Board</a> of Trustees - Florida State University</p>

<p>Like I said: in a relative sense. Grades remain paramount at most schools, even though they probably shouldn't be.</p>

<p>FWIW: while it can be a very valuable source of information, the CDS is often as much a publicity stunt as anything else. The ranking publications source information from the CDS, which is primarily why it exists. You can be sure that the provided numbers are accurate, but I've always been skeptical about the rest.</p>

<p>^I agree about the CDS. Ditto the various ratings published in magazines. The angst such things create in students and parents is regrettable.</p>