Question about Naviance scattergrams

<p>I looked at the Naviance scattergrams for several top schools, looking for people with similar stats as me (low GPA, high SAT). For most of the schools I looked at, there were 1-3 people with a lower GPA than me and a similar SAT. I thought at first that they would probably be recruited athletes, but pretty much all recruited athletes from my school are accepted early D or A. My school has virtually no URMs, 1st gen, low income, or legacies since I go to a top public school full of upper-middle class kids. Basically, everyone who goes to my school is an unhooked Asian or white kid. </p>

<p>So, my first question is, can an athlete be recruited to a school RD? Also, by seeing someone with lower stats than me getting accepted into a top school that's a reach for me, should I believe that I have a shot at that school? IE, someone with a 3.3/2200 was accepted to Duke RD according to Naviance. Since it's highly unlikely that the kid was hooked, does that mean that I have somewhat of a shot?</p>

<p>What I think you're missing is the money/connections hook. Why can't a public school have legacies? It's very common around here, where the public HS are highly rated. Someone knows someone, is an alum, and/or has a strong reputation for generosity. Wouldn't this account for those offbeat admissions? Or, perhaps there are a few students whose forte is not standardized testing, but they have significant accomplishments in community work, science or the arts.</p>

<p>At any rate, these outliers may make you think that there are exceptions to admission standards, and there are, but that is secondary to crafting a successful admissions plan. For every outlier who is admitted, there are dozens who are disappointed, and some of the easiest declines will have a red flag, like a low GPA when compared to the rest of their HS class. Listen to the conventional wisdom that so often appears here and in other guides: don't get your hopes up for a dream school where your stats are outside the norm. Look for match schools that will welcome you, and have a couple of safeties that you love and can afford.</p>

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IE, someone with a 3.3/2200 was accepted to Duke RD according to Naviance. Since it's highly unlikely that the kid was hooked, does that mean that I have somewhat of a shot?

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<p>That's may be exactly what it means. It depends. IMHO, this is the best data that you're going to get. Better than "Chance Me" on CC. </p>

<p>Take your point, and draw an imaginary circle around it until you have between 5 and 10 points. Then calculate your chances. If it's all red "x"'s then your chance is approximately zero. Large outliers usually have some unusual rationale. Perhaps they wrote an essay that brought the readers to tears (crying or laughing), perhaps they are a legacy, or a recruited athlete, or got that 3.3 because they spent so much time winning the Intel Science Fair. </p>

<p>It does mean that someone with those stats got in, and it implies a non-zero chance for you if your stats are better.</p>

<p>@midwesterner: I don't think there have been any legacies in my school whose parents were rich enough to make a huge difference (ie. donation) in the admissions process. Overall, very few rich kids go to my school because my HS is right around the block from one of the best private schools in the nation. I'm still not going to get my hopes up though, because I know that my chances are very low for my highest reaches. It's just a little comforting that I at least have a sliver of hope. </p>

<p>@classic: Yeah, I've found Naviance to be a lot more reliable. After doing what you suggested, I found out that some of my "reaches" can actually be considered matches because a handful of people with similar stats have been accepted in the past. My school's Naviance isn't completely reliable though, because honors and AP classes (with AP classes being 10x harder than honors) are weighted the same, so it's impossible to tell if one's GPA is inflated or deflated on the scattergrams. And somehow, my school sends many kids who are not in the 10% of the class to Ivies and other top schools every year.</p>

<p>My school doesn't subscribe to Naviance, is there any way to log on as an individual? Do they give you information for any school, or only your own high school?</p>

<p>Even if the student in question was a legacy, schools like Duke do not accept legacies who they think are unqualified to attend--well, Duke in particular is a special case as its ascent to prestigiousness or whatever was largely due to a policy that favored legacies, children of donors and politicians, athletes, celebrities, etc. above everyone else and sometimes to the complete exclusion of factors like academic merit, but 1. that is ancient history now!, and 2. in general, a highly selective university of that caliber would not accept a student it deems unworthy of acceptance solely because of that student's legacy status.</p>

<p>So if Duke or Cornell or Columbia accepted someone with a 3.2 GPA from your school, then yes, that means the university in question might be willing to consider another student with a similar academic profile. Be aware, however, that 'consider' is not the same as 'accept'; to get into a school like that with a B average, you would most likely need to be absolutely outstanding in some other area, and to write amazing essays (and by this I mean legit amazing essays, not my essays will be amazing because everyone I know says I'm the best writer ever, so I'm not worried about that, and also I know I can get 2400 on the SAT no problem, and I'll be considered a URM b/c my dad is Armenian, right? now chance me for Harvard amazing), and to be memorable and likeable, and to demonstrate academic promise in some other way, etc. etc. etc.</p>

<p>What I'm trying to say is: You can't assume that because, say, Princeton accepted a single unhooked applicant with a 3.2 GPA last year, and that person happened to go to your high school, Princeton would be willing to look past your low GPA. You have no idea how amazing that candidate might have been, or what other factors contributed to their acceptance, so you can't hope to replicate the success of their application. These things happen extremely rarely, and are usually special cases that you can't use to make generalizations about the relationship between your high school and a particular university. For that you would need more than one data point.</p>

<p>^Yeah I'm not saying that I have a high chance of acceptance just because someone was accepted with similar stats before. While I might have a chance because of that, it's definitely nothing to get my hopes up over, right?</p>

<p>pecanshell, check with your HS's college counseling office. Most schools have some system for tracking this type of data, even if they don't use Naviance.</p>

<p>Anyone else got input?</p>

<p>There are intangibles that are not captured by the scattergrams or even some metric of the "impressiveness" of someone's extracurricular activities or essays. Selective schools accept kids who meet their standards for being able to succeed academically and also meet some other specific institutional priority. Perhaps the kids in question offered something the school needed: a marching glockenspiel, a theatrical lighting designer, a debate team star, or some other role in one of the many community organizations that make up the school outside the classroom.</p>

<p>Is there something special you bring to the table? That you would contribute to the school once accepted? Not something you did that you think is a gold star on your record, but something they can envision you will do for them if you attend. If so, highlight that and hope that's what they need this year!</p>

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You have no idea how amazing that candidate might have been, or what other factors contributed to their acceptance, so you can't hope to replicate the success of their application. These things happen extremely rarely, and are usually special cases that you can't use to make generalizations about the relationship between your high school and a particular university. For that you would need more than one data point.

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<p>Exactly. The fact that P accepted a 3.2 kid from your high school doesn't mean that the appropriate conclusion is "therefore, they have a soft spot for 3.2 kids from my high school" or "they recognize a 3.2 kid here is a 3.7 kid somewhere else." It just means that P happened to accept a 3.2 kid for what could have been ANY NUMBER of reasons -- or a whole host of them put together (some innate talent, unusual EC's, outstanding essay) and it just so happened that said kid went to your high school.</p>

<p>I suspect adcoms do a lot less of thinking of kids as "representations" of a high school than we are led to believe here on CC.</p>

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My school has virtually no URMs, 1st gen, low income, or legacies since I go to a top public school full of upper-middle class kids.

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<p>I find this unbelievable. Our district falls into this category but there are always some students who are URMs, 1st gen, low income. For example, how do you know someone who is not 1st generation?
I found one student with low GPA and lowish SAT from our high school that was accepted to Dartmouth and some other Ivies, googled her name she went to some summer camps for American Indian kids. It makes a lot of sense because Dartmouth recruits American Indian kids.</p>

<p>There are usually around a dozen URMs per grade in my school, and in the past 4 years, I don't think anyone who went to a top 10 school was a URM. It's pretty easy to tell that everyone in my school's pretty well off, since my HS is in a rich district and no one has free or reduced lunches. </p>

<p>I was exaggerating about the legacy part, since there are a decent amount of legacies (although I doubt anyone has parents who are rich enough to make a huge difference in admissions through donations). However, is being a legacy really powerful enough to get a 3.2 kid into a top 10 school?</p>

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I don't think anyone who went to a top 10 school was a URM. It's pretty easy to tell that everyone in my school's pretty well off, since my HS is in a rich district and no one has free or reduced lunches.

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URM does not mean poor. For example, the lawyer that prosecuted Enron successfully(who lives in a rich district) and is married to an American Indian whom he met at Dartmouth. His daughter got into Princeton and is a URM. If you don't beleive me, google for the story.</p>

<p>Well I'm 99% positive that no low-income kids go to my school, since it costs a lot to live in the area. The vast majority of kids who go to my school are from middle to upper middle-class families. I don't think it would be possible for "poor" families to afford a house/apartment in my district or even nearby.</p>

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Well I'm 99% positive that no low-income kids go to my school, since it costs a lot to live in the area. The vast majority of kids who go to my school are from middle to upper middle-class families. I don't think it would be possible for "poor" families to afford a house/apartment in my district or even nearby.

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<p>You TOTALLY can't assume that living in a "rich neighborhood" means that not one single student there is poorer. For instance, in my smallish town (a quote/unquote rich neighborhood) most houses are $800,000-$2 million. There's even a section of my town that is nationally known as one of the richest areas in the entire country, with houses in the dozens of millions and many famous people living here. YET we still have kids with housekeepers for parents. We have many kids driving $50,000 cars to school every day, but we also have some kids who can't afford lunch. The total taxes in my region are the highest in the entire country. Yet there are people who make very little money and somehow still manage to live here.</p>

<p>You can't make assumptions that everyone lives a cushy life in your town because it is a "rich neighborhood."</p>

<p>Additionally, I'd be willing to bet that, though there are 3 points on the scattergram near you that got acepted to these schools, there were also a TON right there who got rejected. So if you are trying to gauge Naviance for your chances, it would be telling you that they are extremely slim.</p>

<p>^Just looked up info on my school website, and it says that less than half a percent of students are eligible for reduced-price lunches. Which means that at most there are probably 4-5 kids total in my school at any given time who are "low-income." So I guess I shouldn't have said that there are NO low-income kids at all. </p>

<p>And I totally agree with what you're saying; I even said several times in this thread that my chances for my reaches are still going to be tiny. But it's still a relief knowing that I at least have a chance, rather than none at all. I guess I'll have to find a way to make myself stand out from everyone else</p>