Same 20,000 Kids Applying to the Same 20 Schools

<p>incl: 4 or 5 of the Ivies, Williams, Middlebury and Amherst, UNC UVA, Michigan, Duke, Vandy, U of Chicago, NYU, USC WUSTL, and a few more (BC< Emory <UCLA<Berkeley). Usually many of an identical subset are accepted at all the schools although they can only enroll in only one. In turn many qualified students get deferred or rejected. The Common App. is to blame for much of this as is fishing for FA and scholarships and simple trophy collecting. Should the Common App limit application to say, 10 schools? </p>

<p>However, one change I have noticed this year is that many of these schools realize this game is being played and are beginning to defer and even reject some applicants w/ SAT scores of 2200-2400. Essays specific to the school, contact w/professors in their respective departments of interest, interviews on-site and w/alumni, campus visits are now all becoming almost mandatory in many cases.</p>

<p>I don't think it should be limited. I suspect the 20 schools you're talking about aren't complaining too much since with lower admission rates, they're seen as more "exclusive." Like you said, more schools are adding essays, interviews, etc. And some kids really do need to get the best FA or scholarship possible.</p>

<p>20,000 applications at $50 each. Nice chunk of change. You would think they would make it even easier to apply.</p>

<p>If people can only enroll in one school, then the true number of people who are able to go to a school doesn't change at all. Probably more people are put on waitlists, but in the end, the same number of people matriculate.</p>

<p>"Fishing for FA" is a necessity for many of us.</p>

<p>In what way is this "game" and who exactly is being "played"? Perhaps the players are schools like Yale and Harvard that, despite single-digit acceptance rates, continue to send out recruiting materials and actual applications to thousands of kids that they plan to reject, mouthing lies about how various stats don't matter and everyone has a chance and so forth--something easily belied by their own published figures--so that even more kids can become cannon fodder in their competition for maximum selectivity and rankings.</p>

<p>I would love to know who you are and where you get the information you've been posting. BTW, to respond to an earlier thread title, it is not only students accepted to HYPS who use state flagships as their safeties. :rolleyes: Nor is that news. And since the schools you cite somehow manage to fill their classes, it is unclear that anyone is being rejected or deferred because students apply to multiple lottery schools. (Except, perhaps, other students from their own HS...)</p>

<p>Look at all the schools offering non-need based fee waivers to garner applications from high stat kids. Even when money is taken out of the equation, they gladly take more apps. I wonder if admissions at these top tier schools takes in enough application fees to be revenue neutral, profitable, or a marketing cost?</p>

<p>I don't think it's any big conspiracy or game playing...it costs the colleges money and time to get way more applications than they need for very little gain. Most of the statistics on number of apps, number accepted, number matriculated are used in an artificial environment that has little bearing on the quality of the education the kids are actually getting. However, I'm on record for a number of years stating that I think applications should be limited and ten seems like a reasonable number.</p>

<p>Harvard claims it is revenue neutral.</p>

<p>"Look at all the schools offering non-need based fee waivers to garner applications from high stat kids. "</p>

<p>I liked this aspect. My kid got into several schools with a lot of merit money and would be glad to use it if the tippy top schools don't come through. It also raises the question - are they worth the extra 150 k if someone does not qualify for FA from them and they have zero merit money.</p>

<p>texaspg:</p>

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It also raises the question - are they worth the extra 150 k if someone does not qualify for FA from them and they have zero merit money.

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<p>There are certainly thoughtful posters on CC that would say no. There seems to be a common sentiment that an Ivy education is great if someone else will pay for it based on your financial need but those super competitive kids without financial need should jump onto the merit scholarship bandwagon and their parents are foolish to pay Ivy tuition in those cases. This is backed up with the sentiment that top kids do well wherever they are planted. Personally, I can't imagine a better way to spend money on my kids and I think this is a better gift than a bigger inheritance but I recognize that not all full pay parents have the same confidence that I have that they will still have enough for themselves through retirement.</p>

<p>I am not so certain it is only the issue of the parents' retirement. </p>

<p>There are questions like paying for Law, medicine and business school after undergrad where the student has to take loans. So now we are talking 500k instead of 250k investment and some people do have more than one kid.</p>

<p>The money at most ivies dries up at 100k income while their tab is 60k these days. It is really an odd place for a parent when schools come up with a very unrealistic price tag based on that level of income.</p>

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I can't imagine a better way to spend money on my kids and I think this is a better gift than a bigger inheritance but I recognize that not all full pay parents have the same confidence that I have that they will still have enough for themselves through retirement.

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I agree and we will also be secure in retirement - even if we need to cover the cost of grad school or the like. </p>

<p>BTW – D applied to 8 schools and was accepted to all 8. Only one was an IVY, 2 others in the top 20 while the rest were 2 publics and 3 mid-ranged privates. D’s apps centered around fit and presumed major - nothing like what the OP is suggesting.</p>

<p>"campus visits are now all becoming almost mandatory in many cases. "</p>

<p>Nope - trend is the other way. Many of these "elite" schoosl will not even record whether you visit their campuses because they feel that the expense of such visits is prohibitive to many of the applicants.</p>

<p>Also, limiting the number of applications would bring scrutiny from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, congressional inquiry and numerous civil lawsuits.</p>

<p>
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However, one change I have noticed this year is that many of these schools realize this game is being played and are beginning to defer and even reject some applicants w/ SAT scores of 2200-2400.

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<p>Do you have any idea how many kids with SAT scores of 2300+ and the gpa, rank, ecs, etc. to match are rejected from these schools and have been for years? A whole heck of a lot. </p>

<p>As for "fishing" for financial aid, you'll just have to excuse those of us who don't have 200K in cash at hand for daring to allow our children to apply to these schools.</p>

<p>None of what you wrote is new, some of it is downright incorrect (ie campus visits) and it has nothing to do with a "game." Good grief.</p>

<p>OP, your "analysis" doesn't ring true to me. The hypothetical list of schools you've come up with is full of excellent schools....many of which are radically different from each other. Who the heck is going to apply to Williams, Middlebury, and Amherst....and also UNC, Vandy, and USC? Possible, but unusual. </p>

<p>UCLA and Berkeley aren't on the common app, and aren't candidates for anyone hunting for financial aid or scholarships. Many (if not the vast majority) of the schools you've listed don't give a rat's hindquarters about demonstrated interest--they don't track campus visits or contact with professors, and they don't offer on-campus interviews. </p>

<p>Keep in mind that some people apply to lots of schools because they are in the same position as your son (or you--your posts sometimes seem to be from a student POV, and sometimes from a parent's): decent academics, ability to be full-pay, and interesting ECs that might be of real interest to a reach school. Students like this will send out a large number of reach applications because they don't know if or where lightning will strike.</p>

<p>Here is what I see but I say this knowing it's only anecdotal. Kid A applies to HYPSMCBC. Kid B applies to HYPSMCBC. Kid C applies to HYPSMCBC. Kid D applies to HYPSMCBC....Kid X applies to HYPSMCBC, Kid Y applies to HYPSMCBC and Kid Z applies to HYPSMCBC, so when Harvard says they have 15,000 kids applying and Yale says they have 15,000 kids applying and P, S, M, C, B, C have 15,000 kids applying they are basically all the same kids- give or take a few. I see kids not choosing to apply based on fit but simply based on the fact they are Ivies and equivalents. </p>

<p>And after applying to these schools they thrown in Middlebury, Bowdoin and NU as safeties!</p>

<p>Cornell's application fee is $75, number of paying applicants ~30K, total income is $2.25 mill. They have 10 reps listed on their website, assuming each person's total package (tax, phone, benefit) is about 100K, that's 1 mill already. Factor in administrative assistants, travel, marketing, real estate, technology... I don't think those schools are making money over application fees.</p>

<p>To me, I think the real difficulty in deciding whether to bother to apply somewhere is if you are unhooked and above the median on all tests and rank (if given) but below the 75th percentile on one or more testing areas. If you are above the 75th percentile in all exams, it is still not a done deal but at least you are certain it's worth a shot (especially if you really like the school). If you are way below the median you probably figure it is not worth it except on a lark, or if you are hooked or have some incredible talent or something that sets you apart.</p>

<p>But if you are in the "upper middle class" of applicant stat wise, but not the "upper class", and you can't think of something that really makes you stand out, it is tough to decide if it's worth it.</p>

<p>The schools publish stats, but not enough detail or granularity in the stats to help much. Brown publishes a lot, but it is not even that helpful except to say it's not a sure thing for anyone, and really a long shot for some.</p>

<p>glad this is all just an intellectual curiosity for me. I feel for the kids and parents. :).</p>

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<p>So what does your daughter's example prove about the general trend in applying to more top schools? I knew a kid who applied to just two schools, MIT and his public university. He was accepted to both. All this shows is that there are always exceptions to any rule. I think we have all seen examples of kids filling out multiple applications to schools in the Ivy League/ MIT, CalTech/ Stanford ilk. I actually spoke to a counselor from one Ivy school a couple of years ago, who lamented about this problem and told us how the top schools have begun talking to each other about it now.</p>

<p>I believe they have always talked to each other. Yale says to Harvard, I'll take Kid A, you take Kid B, and so on down the line (and yes, I know there are exceptions.) I remember way back in the 70's we were always shocked when Kid A got accepted to Harvard and rejected from Yale and Kid B was the reverse. It happened all the time that I don't think it was a merely a coincidence.</p>

<p>
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So what does your daughter's example prove about the general trend in applying to more top schools? I knew a kid who applied to just two schools, MIT and his public university. He was accepted to both. All this shows is that there are always exceptions to any rule.

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Because I think there are many more “exceptions” than you and the OP want to admit. My D and the kid you know are not that rare. Especially if you are seeking fit versus prestige.</p>