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University of Chicago Admissions' statistics

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Replies to: University of Chicago Admissions' statistics

  • kennedyiceitkennedyiceit 233 replies14 threads Junior Member
    The Chicago Maroon (UChicago's student-run newspaper) just tweeted this out:

    "BREAKING: UChicago's undergraduate admissions rate is 8.38% for the class of 2018, down from 8.8% for the class of 2017."

    https://****/Maroon_News/status/451838756178243584
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Failing to blend in EA deferrals would distort the information about Chicago a lot more than it would distort the information about Duke. Using round numbers, Duke got about 3,000 ED applications and 32,000 RD applications. It didn't likely defer more than 1,500 applications from ED to RD, and it probably accepted about 2,400 students RD. So adding the deferred students into the RD pool or not makes a difference of less than half a point in the admission rate. Chicago got 11,000 EA applications and 17,000 RD applications, and may have deferred 5,000+ to RD. Deferred EA applications probably represented 20-25% of the RD pool (vs. 3-4% at Duke). It makes a much bigger difference whether you include them or not -- over 1%.
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  • theluckystartheluckystar 232 replies17 threads Junior Member
    JHS, are you still in discussion of admit rate just for the RD? My understanding is that the overall acceptance rate is determined rather simply, i.e. total admits number is divided by the total number of applications. If official admissions rate is 8.38%, knowing the total applications are 27,499, by simple math, the total admitted students would be 2,304. If total admits are approximately 1,350 in the early action round, RD admits would translate to 954. Deferred EA applications should be excluded in calculating total acceptance rate. Am I missing something?
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    No, you're completely right about total acceptance rate. But people do get interested in the spread between the EA acceptance rate and the RD acceptance rate. In recent years, there has been a huge gap -- much more so than in the past -- between the EA acceptance rate and the RD acceptance rate. No one applying faces the average overall acceptance rate. It doesn't do anyone applying RD any good to know that the overall acceptance rate is 8% or 9%, if the odds he or she faces are more like 4%. Meanwhile, EA applicants know that, between EA and post-deferral RD, about one in seven of them will be admitted.

    The message that sends pretty clearly is, if you care about going to Chicago, you had better apply EA. I am not certain why the admissions department is sending that message, but it could not be more clear that they are sending it deliberately.
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  • ssn137ssn137 56 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Don't think that Chicago's message is any different than its peers (or those with whom Chicago aspires to be peers). For instance, Harvard admitted about 1,000 (from about 5,000) in the early round for the Class of 2018. Harvard's overall totals were about 2,000 admits from about 35K applications. Even leaving aside deferred EA candidates, Harvard's straight RD acceptance rate was in the low 3s. If one cares about Harvard, then there's a very powerful incentive to apply EA. If there's a message, perhaps it's that Chicago is less of an "elite safety" than it had been. Anecdotal evidence from our children's high school suggests this may be the case--several instances this year of HYPS-Chicago "mismatches" (I.e. kids with better outcomes at an HYPS as compared to Chicago). Of course, many factors go into explaining why a kid, say, got into Yale, but was rejected/wait listed at Chicago, but such a circumstance would have been almost unthinkable just a few years ago. One wonders whether Chicago will evolve to SCEA to test the waters to see if it's truly competitive at he very top of the range.
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  • jiaoaudebabajiaoaudebaba 3 replies0 threads New Member
    During my D's visit to UC, I specifically asked if UC's EA doesn't bind, what's the purpose for apply early? The admission officer said if you apply EA, that shows you seriously consider UC, that will be taken into their consideration.
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  • theluckystartheluckystar 232 replies17 threads Junior Member
    JHS, it totally makes sense now after your clarification. The way I see it in this college admission game is that all these elite schools all do the same thing to increase their yield and lower the admit rate, some being more obvious than others,. I am inclined to believe that Chicago will evolve to SCEA in a few years as ssn137 alluded to. It's almost just a matter of time before The University decides to practice the SCEA method, just like Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Princeton. By the way, are there any other schools that currently exercise such method other than HYPS?
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  • Cue7Cue7 2529 replies117 threads Senior Member
    Jiaoaudebaba raises a good point: what is the point of UChicago's EA process? Applying Ed certainly demonstrates interest in a school, as does scea. One could apply ea to uchicago, and ed elsewhere, or get in ea at uchicago, and apply to 20 more schools.

    I guess the real benefit here is against harvard etc? eg if you apply ea to uchicago, that means you aren't applying scea to harvard etc? As verrrryyy few kids get into harvard etc in the regular round (maybe 3%?), uchicago knows it won't lose many ea admits to the tippy top?
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    Haha, still tossing around that metric that only satisfies the Chicago fanboys? The repeated message about including deferred does not become more applicable or relevant by broadcasting it ad nauseam. It remains that schools that defer massive numbers of early applicants are merely twisting the data. Does a school that fails to make the necessary decisions in December becomes more selective in April. It is pure horse manure on a comparative basis.

    What is relevant? The number of total admits and the ... size of the EA pool admitted versus the spots available for enrollment. THOSE are comparable metrics of selectivity. And those numbers are apparently known and expected to be as true as the typically released numbers from Chicago. Meaning that a healthy dose of sea salt is warranted.

    As it has always been. Unfortunately.
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  • ssn137ssn137 56 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Actually, I think the thread evolved into a fairly reasonable discussion of the merits of the EA program as it is practiced by Chicago. May look different to someone whose view is refracted through anti-Maroon glasses, but I don't think that anyone here is crowing about the 4% RD number, or the effect of the deferred EA pool. To the extent that it matters, the overall number is the only one that matters. Although for myself, I'd be happy with less crowing about the 8.4% overall number, too. The education one receives there is probably no better than it was when the admissions rate was 25%. The current students are probably no more talented--the highly conditioned ability to fill in oval bubbles with a #2 pencil on the 7th try is not necessarily an indicator of one's academic potential. However, what does seem more likely is that that students now exist who choose Chicago due to its relative position on some dopey list, rather than choosing it for a particular and unique type of education. Not an unalloyed good.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    xiggi, what is your problem? Seriously. Your last post is a bunch of practically unintelligible bile.
    What is relevant? The number of total admits and the ... size of the EA pool admitted versus the spots available for enrollment. THOSE are comparable metrics of selectivity.

    Huh? What are you talking about? Relevant to what, to whom, for what? The number of total admits -- that I understand, and that's a pretty important number (and also generally an available one). The "size of the EA pool admitted"? Does that mean the number of EA admits? The percentage of EA applicants admitted? "Versus the spots available for enrollment"? Are you now saying that it's super-important to look at the ratio of EA admits to projected class size? And that's relevant how, and to what? And comparable how, and to what? There are really only a fistful of colleges with (generally) unrestricted EA, so those are the only colleges for which your ratio provides any comparable metrics of anything at all. None of which is of any interest to RD applicants.
    And those numbers are apparently known and expected to be as true as the typically released numbers from Chicago.

    Are you hung up on selectivity? No one here has been talking about comparing the selectivity of any colleges, at least not for weeks. You have this nutty obsession that Chicago partisans are overcharacterizing the school's selectivity. Which has been true for a couple of isolated people, most of whom stopped posting here about a year ago. And you think Chicago should make more numbers public, something probably everyone here agrees with. In any event, I have no idea why whatever weird rage you feel about that renders you incapable of writing something that actually communicates an idea.

    I note that Harvard, Stanford, and many other colleges have been reporting their RD acceptance rates exactly as we have been discussing Chicago's here: acceptances divided by RD applications plus deferred early applications. Hopefully Chicago will provide some official numbers like that at some point, too, but it's really only a matter of curiosity what the exact figure is.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    >>Huh? What are you talking about? Relevant to what, to whom, for what? The number of total admits -- that I understand, and that's a pretty important number (and also generally an available one). The "size of the EA pool admitted"?<<

    Try again. Hint? Size of EA pool admitted means nothing. I wrote size of pool admitted versus ... something. In plainer English, it is the percentage of EA admits over the expected enrollment. I also used the terms relevance and comparable. I thought I made it clear that the context was to use metrics that mean something when comparing schools. In so many ways, the conclusion here is that the metrics PUSHED here by some are simply not relevant to the ones reported by say, HYPS. And, to be clearer, Chicago gas to be compared to others EA NON RESTRICTIVE schools.

    HTH
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    >>I note that Harvard, Stanford, and many other colleges have been reporting their RD acceptance rates exactly as we have been discussing Chicago's here: acceptances divided by RD applications plus deferred early applications.<<

    I think you are mistaken!

    Not the sources I have seen, but I would be glad to check your links. I have seen Stanford 5.07 overall and 3.95 RD. The 3.95 does not include deferred students.
    edited April 2014
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  • scrippieangelscrippieangel 12 replies0 threads New Member
    After a year of lurking this site I have come to wonder what U Chicago experience so embittered Alice Johnson and xiggi? The consistent day after day negativism toward one of the worlds truly elite universities is rather puzzling.

    There are positives and negatives that can be offered about every elite university including Harvard, Stanford, and yes, even Duke. U Chicago has its share of challenges but appears, after decades of indifference together with a near non existent marketing effort, to be making a strong effort to address many of its short comings. When a brand stops advertising (it) will be required to invest a large sum to recapture identification and share of market, if in fact it's not too late to do so. This is the reality with which U Chicago is now dealing. Make no mistake, remaining among the elite universities in the world is now all about marketing warfare.

    Rather than posting links to shaky research that does not employ apples to apples comparisons, it would be more interesting and helpful to discuss what, if any thing, a university is doing to improve its undergrad experience.

    With 21,539 posts xiggi appears to be somewhat obsessed with college admit rates. But, to each his own and good for him...he obviously enjoys posting and has the time to do so. The Columbia board could use his passion for posting as it is nearly dead.

    JHS: Your analysis is clear and right on point. I really don't understand why any one would have difficulty understanding the math. It appears to be consistent with the procedures most other elite schools use to determine their rate of acceptance and yield and if they don't it appears they should do so. The inconsistencies appear when comparing ED and EA. In my opinion, EA is an elitist practice designed for athletes, legacies, and the wealthy.

    Not having an elite athletic program like Stanford, Duke, USC, and Notre Dame; puts U Chicago at a disadvantage in marketing and fund raising. Unfortunately, a wining football or basketball program does more to inspire alumni than does the association of 79 Nobel prize winners.

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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Here's the Harvard link: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/3/27/regular-admissions-class-2018/

    Stanford, as far as I can tell, didn't say anything official about its RD acceptance rate, so my error on that. I don't know why I thought otherwise. I would also note that, given Stanford's well-established parsimony with deferrals in the EA round, it is uniquely uninteresting to adjust Stanford's RD applicant pool for EA deferrals. There aren't more than a few hundred of them in a pool of around 40,000.

    Of course, what's probably more important than any of this is recognizing that there's no standard definition of an "application." Some (lots) of colleges count incomplete and withdrawn applications as applications, others don't. Obviously that's a pretty relevant distinction if you are trying to figure out what the average RD applicant's chances are. At least unless the college has a practice of admitting people who have failed to complete applications. (I don't think that happens much. Years ago, however, I got a letter in February from a college where I had started an application, but not completed it, saying that I didn't have to complete the application but they couldn't accept me if I didn't pay the application fee.)
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  • ssn137ssn137 56 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Although it runs the risk of obviating 21,000 or so posts, wouldn't it be enough to say that the overall admit rate (and only the overall admit rate) is a fair (albeit imperfect) indicator of an institution's current desirability? All the rest of the discussion--type of EA/ED, # of deferrals from the early round, % admits in early v. regular, etc.--is only germane to a person's individual application strategy. For instance, if one's top choice is an ED school, there's a super-powerful incentive to apply early. Next in line are applications to SCEA schools (HYPS) where the delta between the early % and overall % is still pretty high. If one has the chops to compete for a spot at HYPS, then one should probably apply early to one's first choice, and forgo the rest until RD. Finally, the unrestricted EA programs (Caltech, Chicago, MIT) have relatively low deltas between the early and overall percentages. So, a person who really wants HYPS (and has a reasonable chance) should apply early at an HYPS school and then apply RD at Caltech, Chicago, and/or MIT. If one thinks that an HYPS is too much of a reach, then one should apply early to all the non-restrictive EA schools that one is considering (along with an ED school, if one of those is a first choice). The overall rate defines the size of the window of opportunity, while the other data can help maximize the possibility of getting through it. The rest of the discussion, to me, seems unnecessary.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I can agree with much of the above, but only if you omit the first sentence. I don't think the overall admit rate (or any other admit rate) is a meaningful indicator of an institution's current desirability. Nor do I think it's a worthwhile project to grab various objective, available statistics and then try to use them to rank colleges by current desirability. Nor do I think that you would have achieved anything worth achieving if you produced an accurate, objective, replicable index of comparative current desirability. We need to get away from finding ways to rank colleges.

    The other thing that's wrong above is suggesting that Chicago, like MIT, has a relatively low delta between its EA and RD acceptance rates. That's something that has changed very sharply over the past 2-3 years.
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  • ssn137ssn137 56 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, JHS. A few clarifications: While I completely agree with a proposition that popularity is a very poor reason to guide one's application or decision strategy, the point I was trying to make regarding desirability was meant to be value-neutral. I did not mean to suggest that a low admit rate indicated that a school was "better" in any way. Instead, the math just indicates how an institution is perceived in the current marketplace. It seems non-controversial (and incontrovertible) that overall admissions rate is a proxy for how the marketplace perceives a school. The education at Chicago, for example, is probably about the same now as it was when the College admitted 25- or even 40-percent of its applicants. The current 8.4 percent figure reflects that the market now places a higher value on a spot at Chicago--for reasons that may range from the noble to the ridiculous.

    As to admission strategies, I was trying to make a slightly different point. My metric was to compare the EA round to the overall number, in prospect of filtering out the noise regarding how many were rejected/deferred in the EA round or whether the RD round included deferred EA students, or not. Thus construed, my view is that the numbers indicate the strategy premium associated with applying early to an SCEA school. The "delta" values at HYPS are substantially higher than they are for MIT/Chicago. For instance, HYP early success was in the 15-20 percent range, with overall rates of 6 or 7 percent. Thus, the early-to-overall ratio at HYP was about 3:1. At Stanford the ratio was a bit over 2:1 (about 11 percent early/5 percent overall). By contrast, MIT admitted about 9 percent early and 7 percent overall, while Chicago admitted about 11 percent early and 8.5 percent overall. The EA-to-overall deltas are less than 1.5, and well below those at HYPS. Of course, the numbers themselves don't tell the whole story. For example, HYPS compete in Division I athletics, which probably skews the number upward to sweep in recruited athletes. Additionally, the "lock-in" effect of SCEA may result in the HYPS early pools being stronger overall. Nonetheless, my view is that as a matter of tactics, there is a stronger incentive to apply early to an SCEA school as compared to a non-restrictive EA school.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    The "delta" values at HYPS are substantially higher than they are for MIT/Chicago. For instance, HYP early success was in the 15-20 percent range, with overall rates of 6 or 7 percent. Thus, the early-to-overall ratio at HYP was about 3:1. At Stanford the ratio was a bit over 2:1 (about 11 percent early/5 percent overall). By contrast, MIT admitted about 9 percent early and 7 percent overall, while Chicago admitted about 11 percent early and 8.5 percent overall. The EA-to-overall deltas are less than 1.5, and well below those at HYPS. Of course, the numbers themselves don't tell the whole story.

    Indeed, the numbers themselves do not tell the whole story. For instance, the analysis of the "delta" in admission rate expressed above does not consider one of the most salient elements, namely the size of the accepted pool of early admits versus the available number of seats. For instance, MIT with admits of 680, 650, and 612 in the last years in quite different from Chicago's 1,532, 1380, and around 1300 for the same period. The obvious difference can be traced to the vastly different yield from the early pools at both schools.

    In the end, at the risk of repeating the argument I made previously and has hardly been understood is that schools that follow different admissions paths are NOT comparable. In the case of Chicago, the admissions statistics from today are no more comparable to the HYPS and the remaining Ivies as they were a decade ago. I do not think that anyone on this forum believed that the admissions rates in the 30 to 60 percent in the medium to long history of the school clearly represented the selectivity of the school.

    In so many words, while I understand that people looking at the history of Chicago for comparative purposes might look at the ratio of acceptances that includes the massive deferral pool from the EA pool and compare the data points over the years, I maintain that it serves little purpose to compare schools that have different admissions patterns.
    Nonetheless, my view is that as a matter of tactics, there is a stronger incentive to apply early to an SCEA school as compared to a non-restrictive EA school.

    The incentive or the increased change of admissions is balanced by the restriction to apply elsewhere. In the case of non-restrictive EA, there is no downside except for the time and cost of the application. As long as the rate of admissions at an EA school will remain very high, there will be people tossing their app in the hat as a "you never know" process. Even with the relaxed rules of ED and the open rules of SCEA, there is a higher committment needed, and if not, a distinct loss of opportunity (in terms of higher admit rates.)

    All in all, and again, the differences are not that subtle.
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  • ssn137ssn137 56 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @xiggi: Not sure if you regard yourself as a misunderstood genius, who's that much smarter than everyone else in the CC community, or if you just hate Chicago. Maybe it's both. Regarding your first critique, it appears that your point is that analyzing EA v. RD admissions demonstrates that Chicago isn't that selective, especially by comparison to MIT. For the Class of 2018, the EA admits/RD admits/desired class size for MIT were 612/807/1050. For Chicago, they were 1275 (est.)/1030 (est.)/1420. While you find an "obvious difference," I'm not sure that it exists, or if it does, how one finds significant meaning in it. For one thing, Chicago's target class size is 40 percent larger than MIT's, so the raw numbers, without proportion, are not valid. Also, MIT admitted about 43 percent of its total in the early round, compared to 55 percent for Chicago. Indeed, the ratio of EA to RD admits may fairly be read to indicate that Chicago is becoming more, rather than less, popular--i.e. the school admitted students in the EA round that it expected to lose as cross-admits elsewhere, got surprised by how many EA admissions accepted, and then had to chop down the number of admissions in the RD round. That, of course, is speculation. But it's at least a conclusion supported by some facts, rather than a claim too see a golden cipher in certain data that is invisible to the unwashed masses. The resort to history also seems unpersuasive as a determinative factor--there was a time that Stanford was a good, but not great university, and a safety school for college, with admissions rates nearly double those of HYP. Through leadership and vision, universities improve (the story of Frederick Terman as the Stanford Provost is instructive here). Chicago's situation is a bit different, because the university from its founding has always been held in the highest regard, while the College has not. Chicago's current leadership has a vision for how to change perceptions of the College, and we'll have to wait and see regarding the results of their efforts. But, regardless, I think it's appropriate to say that MIT and Chicago are both great schools, with a fantastic histories, and they each can be a wonderful choice for a certain type of talented student. Some would thrive more at one than the other, given their particular interests, but most would be well-served at either place. In the end, it's all so much "sound and fury, signifying nothing" (and probably a good reason for me to step away from a debate that casts reason vs. vitriol). Chicago (albeit certainly not a fit for every talented applicant) is one of the planet's genuinely elite schools. Recommend learning to embrace that fact.

    Regarding your second critique, it seems that we are in agreement, no? Of course, my substandard perceptive powers may be causing me to miss something that's "not that subtle." SCEA has a preference premium over non-restrictive EA, as it is practiced by MIT and Chicago (which, in spite of fulminations to the contrary, have statistically similar practices). I would only amplify that with regard to non-restrictive EA, there is a cost beyond the "time and cost of the application." Specifically, a Caltech/MIT/Chicago non-restrictive EA applicant faces the "opportunity cost" of not being able to apply to an SCEA school. Given that (1) the average EA admits at the non-restrictive EA schools have superior metrics (and thus may be SCEA-school material), and that (2) the SCEA early premium is significant, the cost of forgoing an SCEA application can be significant.
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