Were you rejected or waitlisted at a safety?

<p>morrismm, I don't believe a safety has to have a very high acceptance rate. For an average kid, that may be so. For a very top level kid, a safety school can still be quite selective but I don't think schools that accept less than 25% fall into safety range for anyone. My D graduated HS in 2004. Acceptance rates have dropped at her then safety schools. But at the time, her safety schools were Conn College and Lehigh University, which she got into, as well as all her match schools and most of her reaches. Her safety schools would not be safeties for all students but for her they were. But schools that were more selective than that, were matches. She did not apply to Colgate as your D did but if she had at that time, I would have considered it a match, not a safety. As a point of reference, she went to an Ivy League school (only mentioning that to put this in context).</p>

<p>My son's safeties were schools in the area that have the reasonably priced NY state tuition. They could commute there. Some of them did were pretty much open admissions. That is what I consider safeties.</p>

<p>I know a number of kids who did not get into state school because they submitted all of their applications at that magic midnight end of the year deadline. Fine for even the most selective schools, but there are programs at state schools that have rolling admissions that close the gates once the seats are filled. That has resulted in some really nasty surprises.</p>

<p>"Open admission" is not necessarily required for "guaranteed admission". For example, many public colleges have certain standards for admission, but at the same time promise a spot to everyone who meets those standards. That's why the UC <em>system</em> (not a particular campus) has historically functioned as a "safety" for high-performing students in California. </p>

<p>Another type of school where there is a guarantee of admission might be a fairly selective college that has made an early offer of admission or scholarship, or invited the student to apply early for a quick, nonbinding decision. I'm not talking about mass mailings that are meant to entice students to apply -- but rather the type of mailings that go out to NM Finalists from rolling admission schools. Tulane used to invite high state students to do a quick, post-card type application and promise a decision within 2 weeks -- I don't know if they do that any more.</p>

<p>Obviously a school that is a likely or a match but has rolling admission becomes a safety the day that the student receives an offer of admission. </p>

<p>It's also important to consider finances. A school that admits a student but which the student can't afford isn't a "safety" -- its just a trophy.</p>

<p>@Gwen: I felt when we received the schools decisions they made perfect sense. How can I explain this. I'll start with the example I used. I think Bates felt my S was too high powered and too cynical for their very, very nice student body.</p>

<p>What do I mean by too high powered? He already played the violin better than their senior players, for example. He had already read Jung, Joseph Campbell, the Aeneid in Latin twice. Although he liked the school, and is a dear, dear person (although a bit of a smart ass) I gathered they thought he would outgrow their program. His friend who went is quite bright, but nowhere near as well-read as my S. (My fault; I'm a college professor in the Humanities.)</p>

<p>I think Amherst and Williams felt much more comfortable with his level of sophistication.</p>

<p>Brown accepted him; Dartmouth rejected him. He really isn't the frat/drinking type at all, nor is he an extrovert. (I don't mean to diss Dartmouth -- we all loved it -- it's just not my son.) U Chicago accepted him, Cornell rejected him.</p>

<p>So, it was clear from his applications that he is a nerd. Or nerdish. The schools with a slightly more leftist, cerebral atmosphere recognized that he'd do better there. At least that's what I think happened. And the schools I think he would have been happier at accepted him. (He didn't apply to UPenn, Columbia, or HYS.)</p>

<p>My daughter was accepted at Barnard whereas she was wait listed at Smith. She didn't like Smith. Her stats were slightly above Barnard's and way above Smith's, but her word for Smith was "cultish." (Don't mean to offend any Smithies. I love it.) Now of course, her application was perfectly polite and actually quite effusive, whoever interviewed her at Smith and/or read her application didn't think her brand of urban chic or whatever it came across as was as perfect for its student body as Barnard did.</p>

<p>She was wait listed at Brandeis but accepted at NYU for what I think were similar reasons.</p>

<p>She was put into the Honors Colleges at all state schools she applied to because they're stats based only; the privates aren't. They are matching the kid to the environment, particularly at small LAC's.</p>

<p>Does that help? If I can help more or speak more to your particular situation with your student please feel free to PM me.</p>

<p>Demonstrated interest can make a big difference in some schools. Many kids are totally unaware of the messages they convey about how they truly feel about some things, including colleges. When we were on a tour of one college recently, there was a student who had the body language and the attitude of someone who really didn't like that school. Adcoms are much more skilled and experienced than I am to pick up on those messages. Demonstrated interest is not just showing up for an interview and letting the school know that you want to be accepted there. You have to convince the adcoms of the fact, not just go through the motions. And kids do get tired of having to convince every school that it is the one and only for them. </p>

<p>Though adcoms cannot afford to deny the most qualified kids admission simply because they suspect or even know that their school is not first, second, third ....and so on choice on their lists, they just might do so if they feel they are among the last. Admission officers are human, have feelings, and sometimes act on emotion if something hits them a certain way. If they don't like a kid or see some behavior they can't stand, it can affect admissions. Not always, but it can. It might even be wrong of the adcom to have acted that way, but it does happen. Not most of the time, but it does happen.</p>

<p>cptofthehouse wrote:

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My son's safeties were schools in the area that have the reasonably priced NY state tuition. They could commute there. Some of them did were pretty much open admissions. That is what I consider safeties.

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<p>To the best of my knowledge, none of the SUNY Colleges or University Centers have admission policies that can be described as "open admissions." [The SUNY CC's do have open admissions.]</p>

<p>I teach at Buffalo State College, a regional tier three masters university according to USNews. We're usually considered rather far down the listings of SUNY Colleges and we're certainly far from anybody's idea of "selective". But in an average year, we reject a higher percentage of our applicants than SUNY University at Buffalo (UB) does. We often have an acceptance rate of less than 50%. That doesn't make us "selective" or "harder to get into than UB." It does mean, however, that we've got a very large number of applicants who are simply not prepared for work at even a low tier four-year college, but they have heard (and believed) that "BSC takes anybody" or "BSC has open admissions."</p>

<p>My point is that except for saying places with super-low acceptance rates (say < 25 or 30%) are no-one's safety, a college's overall acceptance rate might not be a particularly good indication of whether the college is a safety for a particular student. Basically, BSC <em>is</em> a true safety for any kid graduating from a NYS high school with a B- or B average and SAT CR+Math total of around 1000 in spite of our acceptance rate. But there are plenty of schools with acceptance rates of 70-80% where a student with a B+ average and SAT CR+Math of 1200 may easily be denied admission because the school's applicant pool is made up of an overwhelming number of students with A averages and SAT CR+Math score of 1300+.</p>

<p>thank you so much for the further explanation Mythmom-- it helps a lot, as I've had the feeling no one was really going to look at the whole person behind the statistics, and you're making it clear that at least in many cases, they do.</p>

<p>Gwen -- The smaller and more unique a school is the more they will. A large state U won't. But a school like Columbia, for example, wants to make sure the student will do well in NYC and fit in with an urban crowd. A very rural LAC wants to assure the opposite. So I wouldn't say they do in all cases, but many schools do.</p>

<p>D1s safety was a state school with formulaic admissions where there was really no possibility she would rejected. If accepted, they would offer her an Honors college and free tuition. Which is what happened.</p>

<p>But that was in a different state, we moved.</p>

<p>D2 skirted the issue altogether by applying to her first choice ED.</p>

<p>Now my son is coming up to bat, and actually I don't know yet what we will do about this yet. We will be looking at the state schools, probably.</p>

<p>My daughter's college acceptances were divided completely based on money, I thought. Everywhere she was accepted had a need blind admissions policy and she was waitlisted at schools where her grades/scores were well above their middle 50%, but were need aware. She is going to Harvard on a full financial aid package. Reach high if you're a good student, but poor.</p>

<p>
[quote]
My point is that except for saying places with super-low acceptance rates (say < 25 or 30%) are no-one's safety, a college's overall acceptance rate might not be a particularly good indication of whether the college is a safety for a particular student. Basically, BSC <em>is</em> a true safety for any kid graduating from a NYS high school with a B- or B average and SAT CR+Math total of around 1000 in spite of our acceptance rate.

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<p>That's a very helpful perspective. I really wish more schools would release the data and admissions experience for the whole applicant pool. American U is the only school I've come across so far that allows you to see, for example, what percent of the applicant pool has stats like your child's, and what percent of students with a given GPA or standardized test score were admitted. With those data, you can come much closer to a realistic estimate of "chances."</p>

<p>
[quote]
But there are plenty of schools with acceptance rates of 70-80% where a student with a B+ average and SAT CR+Math of 1200 may easily be denied admission because the school's applicant pool is made up of an overwhelming number of students with A averages and SAT CR+Math score of 1300+.

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<p>Curious to know what some of these schools are? The only one I ran across that might fit this scenario was Case Western and they seemed like an anomaly.</p>

<p>I'll admit to being waitlisted at, what I thought, was a safety. Son was waitlisted at a neighboring state's flagship. Maybe it was because he applied in November. Maybe it was because he didn't submit the optional essay. Maybe it was because this flagship has seen an increase in applicants, so the previous year's stats were no longer valid. Maybe it was because we arrived late at the info session, so never "checked in". He ended up being accepted at more selective schools, so it really didn't matter. </p>

<p>Second child's safety was a school with 100% acceptance. I didn't want to take any more chances.</p>

<p>Robinsue, that is the case with a number of SUNYs and other state schools where though the numbers for students at the school are not way up there, the selectivity is high. That is because there are many, many more students in the range that your school caters to, and the price is right. Those students are not likely to be applying to the school where the midrange SATs are way above theirs.</p>

<p>However, Buff State would most likely snap up a student who uses it as a safety school, given the student's stats, UNLESS it is a special program or one that fills up on a rolling basis. </p>

<p>IHS, some schools are self selecting in that students don't bother to apply unless they have a specialty interest in it. Case is such a school; so was Uof Ch. THose schools just did not make the list of kids who had border line stats for acceptance. They also just don't get a lot of application, but those kids who find the school appeals to them have it way up there in their choices. Tech schools are often that way. </p>

<p>Also state schools often look closely at class ranks and grades. I see some with very high gpas reported. When such an emphasis is on grades and class ranks, some kids from competitive high schools taking difficult subjects may not get consideration for those difficulties. I know some kids who were not accepted to state schools from my son's private high school that did get into some highly selective LACs that know the high school. A 3.0 at his school is not easy to get. They do not weight grades at all. The ivies and other select schools that know this school use a whole different chart to assess students from certain prep schools because they are aware of the grading system. Schools that do not get a lot of apps from such schools but are deluged with ever so many apps, as many state schools are, do not have the time to pick out such applications, and if a student really wants admittance to such a school, he should request a private meeting with the admission officer to have the situation highlighted and taken into account. Otherwise his app is likely to be put through the number mill and be deemed lacking in class rank and gpa. </p>

<p>The former teachers' colleges that still have strong education programs are highly selective for the median test score ranges as they too are very gpa conscious and have a huge applicant pool in a certain range. </p>

<p>I truly don't consider any school, other than the local ones that will definitely take you, and do take you upon application, or schools that let you know early you are "in" as safeties. I really take the word "safety" seriously. I would not consider many of the schools like Lehigh, Ct College, Tulane, etc as safeties for anyone even the vals with perfect SAT scores. Let that kid get into trouble in May for something or suddenly the parents can't pay the cost, and they'll be dumped in an instant. Have seen it happen.</p>

<p>Deskpotato:
[quote]
American U is the only school I've come across so far that allows you to see, for example, what percent of the applicant pool has stats like your child's, and what percent of students with a given GPA or standardized test score were admitted. With those data, you can come much closer to a realistic estimate of "chances."

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</p>

<p>This may be true for schools that mostly use stats and gpa as their determining factor, but is not at all true at schools that approach acceptances on a holistic" approach.</p>

<p>Robinsue, though the SUNYs may not have open admissions for students to be admitted in a program, anyone can take courses there. We've all used SUNY Purchase that way. My son who went to SUNY Buffalo has many friends who took isolated courses at Buff State that way as well. (Wish I'd known you on this board while he was there; I'd drop in to say hi)</p>

<p>That is the sort of back up plan I think all folks should have given the economy, if there is ill health in the family, in case of trouble. Most of these schools will gladly take the kid once he has completed a full semester of classes or a year of classes as a degree program student. A "back door" approach to keep in mind. Some mighty fine schools offer this, by the way, such as NYU, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, to name a few, and even Harvard in their non mainline program. I just cited the SUNYs because of the cost issue which is a biggie these days. All of my kids have made use of the inexpensive state tuition here in getting their college education. I know a number of kids who cut the cost of their private schools by 25% or more in doing this.</p>

<p>American U has become selective these days; much more so that in the early 2000s, I can tell you. I've seen kids denied there, that I would have thought as close to sure bets. That' s one school that has made me leery of safety labels.</p>

<p>The message I'm getting is that there are no or very few schools that are safeties for everyone. It truly depends on the student and the student in the context of their high school. At my D1's school, American and Tulane are (admissions, if not financial) safeties for everyone. That would absolutely not be the case at D2's school. Conversely, Berkeley is a total reach for D1, but it is a safety for some of her classmates. If D1 attended D2's school, Berkeley would have been a low match to safety for her, but certainly not for most students at D2's school. </p>

<p>I agree that some students get burned when they give their safety applications only cursory attention. A student on the GWU forum was utterly puzzled that he'd been denied or WL'd when his stats were so high, and when he'd been accepted to more highly ranked schools. After all, he'd written in his essay about how much he wanted to be in DC! :rolleyes:</p>

<p>Tulane's 27% acceptance rate is manufactured. They eliminated the application fee and essay, making it a 'why not apply- I have nothing to lose' for many students. A calculated move on their part that worked well, but not the same as 27% at a school that requires $75 and 3 essays.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Deskpotato:
Quote:
American U is the only school I've come across so far that allows you to see, for example, what percent of the applicant pool has stats like your child's, and what percent of students with a given GPA or standardized test score were admitted. With those data, you can come much closer to a realistic estimate of "chances." </p>

<p>This may be true for schools that mostly use stats and gpa as their determining factor, but is not at all true at schools that approach acceptances on a holistic" approach.

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<p>I would still argue it's valuable information. I can see, for example, that two years ago, AU took <10% of kids with a given SAT score or GPA and >80% of kids with a different SAT score or GPA. So a "holistic approach" is likely used to choose those kids, or they wouldn't have taken kids from the lowest stratum at all, but at the same time, I get an overall sense of the admissions experience of applicants within a given stratum. Which is much more informative than knowing the admissions experience of the entire applicant pool.</p>

<p>Holistic admissions process or not, I still think it's useful to be able to benchmark oneself against the pool of applicants. </p>

<p>I would think this would be quite important to kids aiming at merit aid as well. I wish more schools would make that information available.</p>