Was it easier for us to get into college...

<p>My D is currently searching for colleges and it got me thinking about how it was for us. When i applied to college in the 80s, Baylor had an 80% acceptance rate and UT and A&M didn't have the top 10% rule. Wondering how much easier it was for us to get into college all those years ago. I'm hoping to do a paper about this admissions experience over time. What colleges did you apply to and what did you do to get in? Many thanks :D</p>

<p>I'm sure it was easier for me, but it didn't help enough. I still got rejected by my top choice and had to attend my alternate. I only tried for two.</p>

<p>Edit -
oh, Harvard and UCSD. At that time if you were in the top 12% or so you could get into basically any UC you wanted. You just listed them by preference. THe average SAT at Cal was around 1150, I think.</p>

<p>We had another thread like this a couple years back but I still find it interesting. I'm still nursing my wounds after 30+ years. Well, only a little.</p>

<p>It was absolutely easier when I applied to college 30 years ago. </p>

<p>I applied to, and was accepted at all four of my choices- Bowdoin, U ME, Conn College and Lesley College. I wasn't even aware of my GPA or class rank (220 students in graduating class)... and I only took SAT's once. Nobody encouraged me to study for them, or to try taking them a second time to improve results. Heck, I was drinking champagne at my sister's rehersal dinner, the night before I sat for SAT's ;)</p>

<p>My husband's guidance counselor snuffed out his cigarette, picked up the phone and called his AdCom buddy at our flagship State U... had a two minute conversation with him, and hung up. HE told my hubby, "You're in." He simply had to send his application as a formality.</p>

<p>Definitely easier then -- less competition, less overload of information. I applied to: Smith, Princeton, Cornell, Wm & Mary, and Harvard; got into Smith, Cornell, Wm & Mary, WL at Princeton; rejected at Harvard.</p>

<p>You'll love this -- my oldest brother applied to 3 schools (my mother didn't know you were supposed to have safeties): Harvard, Yale, Stanford. Accepted at all 3. My other brother applied to Harvard, Princeton, Yale. Accepted at all 3.</p>

<p>So by comparison, I am the black sheep of the family. Ba-a-a-a...</p>

<p>Absolutely easier... I had moved to the East Coast senior year, so all I cared about was getting back to California. My dad told me I had to apply to at least two schools & one had to be a state school, so I applied to UC San Diego & University of the Pacific - went to UCSD w/out ever visiting it before hand. I told my daughter I have done way more research and taken more college tours, etc. w/ her than I did during my own college search. I never even took the SAT's - just took the ACT's once and called it done. It is definitely different now!!!</p>

<p>My uncle transferred to USC back in the 80's with a 2.7!! </p>

<p>I have a much higher GPA and didn't even bother applying to SC...So jealous.</p>

<p>Absolutely easier. In the early eighties, I applied to Penn (a 5 year BA/MBA honors program in Wharton), Northwestern (an honors program), Georgetown, and WashU as my safety. Applications took one evening, handwritten or typed at home. I had top GPA/SAT/other standardized tests, but my EC's were merely leadership positions in various clubs coupled with 2 part-time jobs and advanced independent study in French literature. I got in all 4, even though I actually torpedoed my Penn application on purpose (long story). I don't even remember sweating it - the chances that I wouldn't have gotten into that or probably most other colleges I might have wanted was minimal. I was coming from an upper middle class suburban St. Louis public school. </p>

<p>It was ABSOLUTELY easier back then. What my kids had to do to get into comparable colleges was much more impressive.</p>

<p>My friend went to Pomona, I think mid tolate 80s when she started her freshman year. By the time she was a senior, the joke around campus was that current students could no longer get in with the test scores they had. </p>

<p>Yes, I think it was easier back then (early 80s for me), but I didn't look at selective schools (followed the money) and I'm pretty sure I could still easily get into my alma mater.</p>

<p>Infinitely easier 37 years ago. Most of my friends who applied to Ivy's, little Ivy's, Seven Sisters were accepted and at the time no one applied to more than 4 schools. Almost all of them say there is no way they would be accepted now. </p>

<p>Also, even the not so smart kids (and that is being kind) got into schools which today are considered very difficult to get into. Emory and George Washington were for B-/C+ kids back then. </p>

<p>I was a B student and I applied to Skidmore, Ithaca, Syracuse and Univ of Colorado. I got into every one. Skidmore was sort of a reach, Ithaca & Syracuse were matches and CU was because I thought it would be cool to go to college in Colorado. </p>

<p>I had no EC's except my Jewish youth group. </p>

<p>I should have gone to Skidmore but I chose CU. It was a mistake but not fatal.I loved it there, had the best time of my life, but I wasn't the most studious, to say the least. </p>

<p>I also showed up on campus never having set foot on it before. </p>

<p>I didn't know my class rank and only knew my SAT's (which I only took once) weren't good enough to get into the top schools. </p>

<p>I don't think my experience at the time was unusual. Both my parents were college educated at top schools and my sister was at Smith and they knew about all every school, visiting campuses, interviewing, etc., it just wasn't over the top like it is now and if you knew you had very little chance getting into a school you didn't think of applying. Applications were tedious to fill out- we had to use a typewriter to do it- so one picked a few schools and that was that.</p>

<p>Back in MY day, UMich was the holy grail of in-state college applicants. Any directional U was a respectable second choice, depending on your major. LACs?-pfft.</p>

<p>There is no way I would have been accepted today at my college. 35 years ago, the SAT verbal score was more strongly weighted at my college. My math SAT score would have been a non-starter by today's standards.</p>

<p>My H got rejected at his top 2 choices in the 70s despite 1250ish on the SATs, good grades at top Jesuit high school and decent ECs (forensics & sport teams manager). While Harvard was a huge reach, his 2nd choice should have been a safety. He ended up at his 3rd choice and seems to have turned out OK.</p>

<p>Definitely. When I was a high school senior in 1971-72, at a private high school in New York City, I applied to six schools, all in the Ivy League: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, U. of Penn., and Brown. Columbia and Penn were my safety schools! In addition to those two schools, I ended up getting into Yale (where my father went and I ended up going) and being waitlisted at Princeton, and was rejected at Harvard and at Brown (which was very popular among my classmates because of the absence of specific course requirements, and was considered as hard to get into as Harvard.) Out of my senior class of 106 students, 25 ended up attending Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and a total of 50 went to Ivy League schools. </p>

<p>My son's grades and test scores were every bit as good as mine were, and his EC's were better, not to mention that I'm sure he comes off much better in interviews (since I was painfully shy, whereas he's turned out to be very outgoing and sociable in many ways). And although he got into U. of Chicago and Johns Hopkins (among other places), he didn't even get waitlisted at Yale, despite a double legacy there. He didn't bother even applying to Penn and Columbia because he figured he had no chance. If I'd been applying when he did, I doubt very much that I would have gotten into Yale.</p>

<p>So, yes, times have changed. I don't think that even the school I went to, which is still considered one of the best schools in the country, sends half of its class to Ivy League schools anymore.</p>

<p>I've thought about this as I look at the current acceptance rates. My parents and uncles all went to their "local" CA schools, Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech and USC. It was just a matter of preference for them. I'm sure they had decent grades, but I know my D and her peers are far more advanced as hs seniors than these relatives were when they applied. </p>

<p>My mom still doesn't grasp the concept that my D can't just "choose" Cal...</p>

<p>Soooo much easier.</p>

<p>Of all my friends, I was the only one who didn't go to an Ivy, though I was accepted to P., where I really doubt I would be accepted today, btw. Of course, I was also the only one who had to pay. (Dad was a high school dropout mega-success and thought college was highly overrated.) Went to the state flagship. I don't even remember filling out that application. I sometimes think I just went there and registered for classes. </p>

<p>I took the SAT one time, never studied, never even considered studying. We were so unserious then, as students. I remember writing my APUSH essay on the puritans and it was this laugh out loud sarcstic comic essay. I was laughing out loud in the room as I wrote it. I wrote my English AP comparing a novel I hadn't been able to finish (something very deprssing and Russian) and something else I can't recall. I got college credit for both.</p>

<p>I don't think they even had subject tests. I did my applications one Sunday afternoon watching a bears game. My parents thought I was doing my homework, I think. The Bears won. "Peyton left, Peyton right, Peyton up the middle." I actually recall that more clearly, also the pizza we ate, which had peporoni on it, than the applications.</p>

<p>Definitely easier process in the past. I only applied to 2 schools. Was accepted to one, not the other. One was more of a reach, the other a match. That strategy was risky enough then, would be extremely risky today. People I knew back then did not apply to the large number of schools some do today, either.</p>

<p>Also, did not study for SAT and was not even aware of the existance of study materials. When I sat for SAT only 3 people took subject tests (1978). My schools did not require them. First heard of Kaplan course as a college senior when friend took the course to study for LSAT.</p>

<p>Although one of my HS friends did score perfect 1600 on SAT. When I asked for advice on taking the test, she said, "Read the newspaper." Still good advice.</p>

<p>Visiting a school was not even thought of. I happened to have relatives near one and had seen the campus prior to applying.</p>

<p>I remember the app and writing the essay but did not think essay had much weight and did not obsess over it.</p>

I don't think they even had subject tests.


They had subject tests but they were called achievement tests. I didn't remember taking them either until I found my high school transcript in my mom's stuff when she passed away.</p>

<p>I didn't study for the SAT either. Nobody I knew did. They did already have Kaplan prep courses back then, but my friends and I looked on that as "cheating."</p>

<p>So much easier. Fewer applicants applying to fewer schools each (wonder what the total # of applications filed in 1982 was vs. 2011?) I had a bunch of friends who went to work right after HS and never even attempted college; 2 who worked for the city are now retired with full benefits so who was the smart one ;) ?</p>

<p>No internet to do research. My parents would never have taken me to visit a school that required an overnight. I took the SAT's one time, no AP classes. I was an NMSF and had no idea what that meant; GC never explained that it could have been $$$. My Dad wouldn't let me apply for FA because he didn't want people "knowing his business." </p>

<p>Applied to 2 & got in 2. I don't think I even had to mail anything in. I remember the reps coming to the HS and they did an instant decision in the GC office. I had an appt. time, the rep would look at your file with the GC & they'd say yes or no on the spot.</p>

<p>Rob, maybe that's what happened with the State U for me. I really have no recollection at all of filling out an app for that school.</p>