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How to improve the chances of chances threads?


Replies to: How to improve the chances of chances threads?

  • asdfjkl1asdfjkl1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    What about essays? I mean, they're so important and never EVER mentioned.
  • goolscigoolsci Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    I know people never follow this, but don't do a chance thread after apps are due everywhere and its just waiting time. It will just make you nervous and it's too late to apply to more safeties and matches
  • CalcruzerCalcruzer Registered User Posts: 4,832 Senior Member
    I think kyledavid80 gave the best summary.

    The six other things I would suggest are:

    (1) that the poster be receptive to the replies;--since if we say we don't think you can get into a school, it is not because we hate you or feel like being rude that day, but rather because it is our intent to tell you the truth, suggest how you might possibly improve your chances, and may wish to suggest a more appropriate school for you where your chances of acceptance are better;

    (2) if you aren't chanced imediately, don't bump the post twenty times and insult us for not telling you your chances at the University of Southern Missouri Technical State in Springfield County, MO. It is just possible that (a) we've never heard of the school you asked about, or (b) we don't know what the criteria is for acceptance are at the school--and therefore prefer not to post rather than guess at what your chances may possibly be,

    (3) if you are applying for a school where legacy matters, let us know if you qualify as a legacy, (and if you don't know if it matters, just tell us where you are a legacy--where your parents--or, in some cases, siblings went/are going to school);

    (4) if you are the first in your family to attend college, tell us;

    (5) if you are low income or a URM (under-represented minority), then let us know that, since we can then put your accomplishments in context--which allows us to better estimate your chances; and

    (6) if your parents work at the school, tell us that.

  • moizuhkmoizuhk Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    Theses are the factors that colleges most usually take into account:

    Rigor of secondary school record
    Academic GPA
    Class rank--If your school doesn't rank give us an idea like top 5%
    Standardized test scores
    Extracurricular activities--Only things you will mention in your application
    Talent / ability -- Do you have exceptional talent in some area? Please dont tell me you are president of Debating Club. Thats an EC.
    Character / personal qualities -- this will be difficult to tell but give us an idea as to how you've expressed yourself in the essay or what your interviewer might have told you about your personality (they usually do)
    Alumni/ae relation -- or any sort of close connection
    Geographical residence--Not all colleges consider
    State residency--Not all colleges consider
    Religious affiliation/commitment--Not all colleges consider
    Minority status
    Volunteer work
    Work experience
    First generation college student
    Level of Applicant's Interest--Not all colleges consider
    Financial Aid -- especially for international students

    Telling all this will significantly help
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471 Senior Member
    Lots of interesting replies. I particularly like the idea of the student thinking about the overall story he is telling about himself in his application--that should show up in the chances thread too.

    Indeed, this should be a slow time of year for chances threads. Any senior by this date has already submitted most or all the applications that will be timely. It's a little early for juniors to know their profile. Sophomores and freshmen have better things to do with their time than to post speculative chances threads.
  • poignantpianist1poignantpianist1 Registered User Posts: 429 Member
    "Too much information is listing every single club you've ever joined or attended. Only note clubs if you're an officer."

    or if you've made significant contributions to a particular organization
  • gandhijr23gandhijr23 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    I think the people assessing and applicant's chances have to be cautious and prudent of the judgment given. Just because and applicant has a phenomenal SAT score or alumni legacy doesn't mean he/she is getting in. Carefully assess the situation from a pretty all around view point.
  • FellowCCViewerFellowCCViewer Registered User Posts: 3,777 Senior Member
    I find that the chance threads that last have a catchy title. But please don't make it "I'm applying to HYPSMC with a 1.2 GPA" when you really have a 4.0.
  • Observer1Observer1 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Chances threads burn me up, because they are pointless. Either you have privileged information about a school's admissions practices, in which case they probably don't want you posting here (unless you're duly recognized, and I doubt you would participate in chances threads), or you don't have any privileged information, in which case your answers are worthless or even counterproductive. A lot would be gained, and nothing would be lost (except for site traffic), if chances threads were eliminated.
  • kyledavid80kyledavid80 Registered User Posts: 8,093 Senior Member
    A lot would be gained ... if chances threads were eliminated.

    Yup, like anxiety and depression.

    (The chances forum isn't my favorite one, but it serves a clear purpose and is helpful to a lot of students.)
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 13,089 Senior Member
    Here's my problem with chances threads: there is SO much that a prospective applicant may well leave off the thread. There is a lot of information that would make it easy to connect the dots if it were disclosed in a chances thread. Think Venn diagrams: the intersection of Award X with Award Y, with School X as a safety and Z as an intended major, the sequence of APs exams taken, even one's SAT scores (if it's a remarkable score and there aren't many others at one's school similarly situated). It's just not that hard.

    In addition, for obvious reasons, it's not a good idea to post essays. That component is a huge unknown to those online posters who are being asked to evaluate a student's chances -- I couldn't begin to assess someone's chances without reading essays as part of the process.

    If one wants to get a serious look-see by someone who knows the deal with admissions, get Dave Berry of CC to do the $89 StatsEval. It's a safe place to disclose the info you don't want to (and probably shouldn't) post online. We did this last summer and got some useful feedback.
  • 2boysima2boysima Registered User Posts: 1,794 Senior Member
    Lots of good suggestions. Just want to add that I'm impressed with the seriousness and level of thought reflected in many the responses to the OP.
  • CalcruzerCalcruzer Registered User Posts: 4,832 Senior Member
    Observer 1 wrote: "Chances threads burn me up, because they are pointless. Either you have privileged information about a school's admissions practices, in which case they probably don't want you posting here (unless you're duly recognized, and I doubt you would participate in chances threads), or you don't have any privileged information, in which case your answers are worthless or even counterproductive. A lot would be gained, and nothing would be lost (except for site traffic), if chances threads were eliminated."

    However, it's not that difficult to get "privileged information" not known by the common person who asks for chances. The average high school junior (the normal "chances" poster) generally doesn't know whether it is more difficult to get into UC Davis or Wisconsin or Georgetown or Stanford or Rice or the University of Florida;--whereas there are quite a few people who normally reply to these posts that knows the details on each school quite well.

    A few examples might be in order: let me ask the reader the following:
    1. Which of the schools above give greater preference to in-state verus out-of-state?
    2. Which schools on the list above consider freshman grades and which ones don't?
    3.Which schools have specific departments that are much more difficult to get into than other departments at the same school?
    4. Which schools consider music and athletics extensively in granting admissions to possibly "gifted" students in these fields?
    5. Which schools are the most expensive of the above?
    6. Which ones have the highest GPA overall of the students (it's not what you expect, by the way)?
    7. What are the average SAT scores for each school?
    8. Which school or school offers scholarships to internationals?
    9. Which schools have high diversity (as relates to ethnicity) representative in their student body and which ones don't?
    10. Which one uses its own method of calculating GPA separate from how others do it?
    11. Which school has the most national merit scholars?
    12. At which school will it cost the most for room and board?
    13. Which school offers the best financial aid?
    14. What are the most common majors at each school (what is the school known for excelling at)?, and
    15. Where are each of these schools located?

    A person like kyledavid80, lolabelle, moizukh, suze, tokenadult, Andre or flopsy could answer all of the above without having to look up anything--since they know most of this stuff by heart from having answered questions like these over the course of a year or two or three. (and many are specialists in certain schools--like lolabelle for Tufts, Andre for Michigan, suze for Dartmouth, and flopsy for the UCs)

    So I'm not entirely sure that chances are all that worthless--although they may be depending upon who is doing the responses.

    I believe that Observer1 may be correct in saying that all of us are not experts at who is most likely to get into the very, very top schools, since none of us are admins. However, almost all of us know at least one or two admins (I know one from Wharton and one from the medical school at UC San Francisco) so we do have at least some insight into the thinking behind the determination of who gets in--even if not the exact rating criteria.
This discussion has been closed.