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College Admission Calculator on US News site

scificscific 10 replies5 threads Junior Member
edited September 17 in College Admissions
Hi All

I see that the updated US News rankings are out, and I also noticed there is a free "College Admission Calculator" on their site (example at this link https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/brown-university-3401 )

However the calculator does not seem to work for me. Does it work and I am missing something?

Thank you!
edited September 17
6 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: College Admission Calculator on US News site

  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 688 replies3 threads Member
    I can't speak to whether the calculator works or not, but looking at it, it's basically a modified version Naviance's scatter-gram but with data from US News' "College Compass" users, whose data-points are going to mean absolutely nothing to your situation b/c it's both NOT a representative sample of those admitted to Brown, AND doesn't take into account the facets of the Admissions process that are not GPA & Test score based (essays, video portfolio, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, school difficulty etc.)

    Brown's Undergraduate Admissions website has information about their admitted class profile for 2023 (2024 will likely be released later in the Fall:) https://admission.brown.edu/sites/g/files/dprerj526/files/2019-11/Counselor Newsletter.pdf

    The Admissions websites has a lot of helpful information about the application review process (especially under the FAQs) so make sure to read through them if you have any questions! I applied (and am attending) Brown this year, so I can help answer any questions you might have about the admissions process as well.

    Looking at schools' class profiles is a helpful way to get a sense of where your academics will be competitive (although test-optional admissions means that your GPA will play a greater role, and SAT Subject Tests/AP/IB if you have them,) but keep in mind that the other parts of the Admissions process are also VERY important when it comes to Admissions' determination of your "fit" with the school.

    Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!
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  • scificscific 10 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thank you so much for your message and appreciate what you wrote.

    I was also just wondering if the calculator at the USNEWS site works -- know it isnt a representative sample but still since it is up there and so would like to know if anyone was able to successfully use it. When I try it, nothing happens.
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  • MWolfMWolf 3050 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Since I do not have an account, nor do I wish to register for one, I am not sure how it works, Is it comparing you against students who were accepted, or against those who were accepted versus those who were rejected (what percent of students with your profile were accepted versus rejected). If the latter, it can be a very rough idea as to where you are, stats-wise.

    Unfortunately, for colleges like Brown with holistic admissions, stats are only part of the picture, and nothing else is really quantifiable.

    All that the calculator will be able to tell you is what you will get here if you post your profile - Brown (for example) is a reach for anybody, and the higher your stats (in general), the more likely you are to be accepted, the more intense your ECs are, the more likely you are to be accepted, the more awards you receive, and the more prestigious they are, the more likely you are to be accepted, the more impressive your accomplishments - the more likely you are to be accepted.

    However, since the number of applicants who have similar profiles to you also determines your chances, and nobody knows who else will be applying when you do. So that is another source of uncertainty.

    Moreover, even though an applicant with a GPA of 3.95, and SAT of 1580, five great ECS, eight great awards, etc, is more likely to be accepted than an applicant with a 3.89, and SAT of 1480, fewer awards, fewer or less intense ECs, etc, some applicants with profiles like the former will get rejected, while some applicants with profiles like the latter will be accepted.

    So, at very best, the calculator, and people here, can tell the proportion of people who had profiles like yours were accepted. Moreover, all that the calculator and the people here have is a rough approximation of your profile and those of the other people in the past who have applied.

    Nobody will be able to tell you whether you will be accepted, since nobody is 90% accepted or 25% accepted - you are accepted or you are not accepted. Probabilities are continuous, outcomes are discrete and binary.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35852 replies404 threads Senior Member
    edited September 17
    I ran something similar for D1 and it was soooo off. They're looking at available data and getting an admit (to a highly competitive holistic) is so much more than plug and play. (We never even used Naviance, took a different approach.)

    The best bet, afaiac, is to learn as much about the targets colleges as you can. Get an idea what *they* want to see in you, after stats and rigor. (Not just what *you* want.) Rationally assess whether you do offer what they look for and how to best present that Then find the right mix of affordable matches and safeties.
    edited September 17
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2955 replies48 threads Senior Member
    Believe it or not, it works for schools other than Brown...

    But it just looks at self-reported admissions data based on minimal input factors. Yes, historically X% of students with your exact numbers have been admitted. No, this means next to nothing about your chance of being admitted.
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  • scificscific 10 replies5 threads Junior Member
    thanks all. the calculator at the USNews site now seems to work. The data is very few points though -- so not very interesting or useful.
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