<p>It's unlikely that two candidates are "equally qualified" unless perhaps they go to the same school. Individuals and their experiences tend to be very different, and the admission process is usually somewhat subjective. I wonder whether the admissions people would be willing to say "If we have two well-qualified applicants and one spot, the spot goes to the legacy" ?</p>
<p>Indeed, but with 20,000+ applicants, don't you think that there will be at least a few who are labeled as roughly equal?</p>
<p>"I wonder whether the admissions people would be willing to say "If we have two well-qualified applicants and one spot, the spot goes to the legacy""</p>
<p>That's essentially what they were saying- "well qualified" is not exact enough. A student with a 2200 and another with a 2400 (I'm just using SAT's for brevity's sake) are both well qualified, but they are not necessarily equally qualified.</p>
<p>I remember Harvard saying 75% of its students are academically qualified. Even by the equally qualified logic, legacies will have a much easier chance of getting since nearly everyone is "equally qualified." When you think about it, is there a big difference between 700 and 800 on SAT? How about one person having straight As and another having 3-4 Bs freshman and sophomore year? So legacies have a big advantage because "equally qualified" could mean so many things.</p>
<p>Harvard also claimed that, if Harvard rejected its class and accepted the next 10% instead, the quality of the class will be pretty much the same. So there are at least 20% of the class that are equally qualified, so legacies have at least a double chance of getting in.</p>
<p>I recently met someone who claimed to have been among the "happy bottom quarter" at Harvard. He felt confident enough to utter such a statement because he is currently a very powerful investment banker. I don't know whether he'd been a legacy, though.</p>
<p>As for the 75% academically qualified, it's different from saying they are equally qualified.</p>
<p>It's definitely A LOT harder to get an 800 than a 720, take it from a high school student. I don't have a problem with legacies getting the nudge, it makes sense, and colleges aren't humanitarian organizations, they are businesses. I just found the candor of this statement noteworthy.</p>
<p>I believe that adcoms look at SAT scores in terms of tranches. So, 750-800; 700-750; and so on. For all practicaly purposes, then, a score of 750 is equal to a score of 800; but a score of 730 is not.
For GPAs, it depends what year the Bs were received; many colleges discount or ignore altogether freshman year grades; it also depends on which subjects the As and Bs were received. A B in Band is not going to be same as a B in English. Indeed, many colleges recompute grades, using only grades in core subjects.</p>
<p>I'm all for candor, but I agree w/ None (post #8). I recall D's friend scoring around 740 and having missed only a question or two. Considering standard deviation hard to see any meaningful distinction b/w the mid-700's and a perfect score. Sad that college admission is so competitive that in some cases it comes down to splitting hairs.</p>
Sad that college admission is so competitive that in some cases it comes down to splitting hairs.
I'll be a contrarian, glad that there are so many excellent schools that students compete to attend. It would be sad indeed if most schools were mediocre such that kids didn't care where they landed.</p>
<p>Mathson took the SAT1 twice and didn't get an 800 in math either time, yet got 800s both times on the verbal despite Bs in English every year except this one when he had conflicts and couldn't take honors or AP English. (He did get an 800 on Math2c SAT2 and a 5 on AP Calc BC - so he pretty much proved math is his math strength.) I think CC students put WAY too much emphasis on SAT1 scores. BTW the two questions he got wrong on the Math SAT1 the first time were easy-peasy. He just forgot to do a step on one (minus 20 points), and misread another (minus another 20 points.) I'm pretty sure when Harvard says equal candidates it's roughly equal not exactly equal.</p>