Using application stats contributed by CC members

Earlier this week, I posted about how to submit your application status. @CC_Sorin has been collecting reports of who got accepted according to comments in the Regular Decision thread. For example, he profiled U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign yesterday. So I decided to look at the data students submitted so far for UIUC.

A few notes:

  1. All of this data is self-reported. For test-optional schools, we don’t know if the student submitted their SAT or ACT scores or not.
  2. I only show an average if there are at least 5 data points.
  3. There’s no way to know if a result is for Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision. (UIUC doesn’t have EA or ED, so this is a non-issue in this case. See below.)
school status count gpa wgpa sat act
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign applied 44 3.72 4.36 1459 133
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign accepted 34 3.91 4.54 1484
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rejected 14 3.81 4.28 1430
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign considering 10 3.82 4.36 1506
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign waitlisted 8 3.88 1500
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign attending 2

The “considering” status means the user favorited the school, but didn’t select an application status. “Applied” indicates the student applied, but hasn’t come back to update their status based on the school’s decision. So 34 of the 56 students who reported results were accepted. That’s 61% and closely matches the 60% acceptance rate reported by our data provider.

Generally the accepted students have better stats than those who were rejected or waitlisted. The one exception is that students accepted to the school had an average SAT score of 1484 compared to the 1500 average of those waitlisted. Don’t read too much into this, however, since the number of students is reporting results is quite small. Both are well above the average of 1410 reported by our data provider.

Of course our data would be better if more students reported their stats and results. As decisions come in, we’re going to promote adding admission status to help us get better data that I can share here on CC.


Small point in your item 3… UIUC has both EA and RD (no ED)

Oh! Good to know. I guess our data provider doesn’t have the proper data on that.

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The issues with reported GPAs are two-fold: 1) what students report reflects the unique way that their HS calculates GPA (so taking an average of these disparate methodologies isn’t helpful) and 2) many colleges recalculate GPA in their own unique way, and UIUC is one of those. I guess there is also some risk that posters aren’t accurately reporting their GPAs either.


Oh, I eat up these data-point exercises. Haven’t had a chance to dig into this yet, but if you have more, bring…it…on. And sure, the GPA calculation methodologies come in a number of different flavors, but, still interesting to see, even if only 70-75% accurate.

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I guess it depends on what you are trying to find out. On an individual level, the GPA adjustment can make a difference between accepted or not. (I do expect it’s not as decisive as some suppose, however.) On aggregate, the differences wash out. The more data points we have the better the average.

I’ve looked at several schools and it’s been encouraging that the stats line up with my expectation that accepted students will have higher GPA (and test scores) than students who haven’t been accepted. If you look at the range of GPA, it’s clear the school considers more than just GPA:

status count min_gpa avg_gpa max_gpa min_wgpa avg_wgpa max_wgpa
applied 44 2.90 3.72 4.00 3.10 4.36 5.41
accepted 34 3.63 3.91 4.00 3.70 4.54 5.20
rejected 14 3.45 3.81 4.00 3.94 4.28 4.70
considering 10 3.30 3.82 4.00 3.50 4.36 5.15
waitlisted 8 3.50 3.88 4.00
attending 2

We don’t know exactly what GPA the school was looking at, but directionality, we do know that higher GPAs generally help chances. That’s not the most novel conclusion, but it does validate our priors. It also lends credence to the idea that students are sharing accurate information.

Some considerations:

  1. Unless the same specific calculation is used, weighted GPA cannot be compared across high schools.
  2. Many colleges admit by major or division. UIUC is such a college. For UIUC, any admission stats need to be by major to be useful. The same is true for many other colleges.
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