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Acceptance Rate Discrepancies?

TrapNumenTrapNumen Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
How great do the acceptance rates vary? Particularly from the school of engineering to the school of arts and sciences? At Vanderbilt the acceptance rate is higher for engineering majors but I believe that was an anomaly.

I've also heard that the SCEA at Yale doesn't grant as much of a boost as it may appear to, is this true?

Replies to: Acceptance Rate Discrepancies?

  • IxnayBobIxnayBob Registered User Posts: 4,107 Senior Member
    edited August 30
    @TrapNumen, it is difficult to quantify the SCEA boost, or even if it exists. The SCEA applicant pool probably includes some extra qualified applicants, but offsetting that is the possibility that some throw an application in "just to see what happens."

    My personal opinion is that the boost is very slight for normal unhooked applicants. IMO, the biggest benefit to any early application, including SCEA, is the stress reduction it provides if you gain an acceptance.

    I don't have any idea about the first part of your question (acceptance rate variance).
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    Students are admitted to Yale College. There is not a separate admissions process for engineering vs. other concentrations. There is always speculation about whether indicating different fields of interests affects your probability of admission, but I have never seen actual meaningful data backing this up (e.g. different acceptance rates of students indicating an interest in certain majors along with the accepted students' median objective stat's by indicated interest).

    I don't believe there is much if any boost for applying SCEA. The rate looks high vs. RD because athletic recruits and other super hooks (e.g. major donors) usually apply in this round, plus the SCEA pool is more competitive (probably by a large margin) compared to the RD pool.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,851 Senior Member
    It's also possible that some kinds of applicants get a boost from SCEA, but others may not. For example, lore has it that legacies should apply early in order to get a legacy boost. Is this true? Nobody really knows, but there are probably a lot of legacies in the SCEA pool.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,978 Senior Member
    @TrapNumen you can imagine that at any college, the majors where the school is not super strong/top at, would be a bit easier to get into. At Yale that is hard to measure because everyone is admitted to Yale College as a whole, but I would imagine that in general applicants with STEM profiles/clearly demonstrated interests in STEM, would face less of an uphill battle than applicants clearly interested in politics or IR. For a place like MIT the opposite is probably true. But still the difference in difficulty shouldn't be very big.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    There is some logic that if Yale is assembling a class of students of diverse interests, that some sub-pool may be marginally less competitive than others, but this may vary year by year based on the applicant pool for that year. I believe that the risk of trying to "game" this aspect of the application is much greater than any potential benefit of choosing what the applicant believes to be a less competitive pool. As @Penn95 says, the differences, if any, are likely to be slight and candidates are totally guessing which sub-pool is less competitive for that year. Within the sub-pool, out of the truly competitive candidates, it will still boil down to the subjectives (essays, LoR's, EC's). If you don't have the substance to back up your stated interest, you will be rejected. The only truly negative interview evals I have given were of candidates that had a stated interest (Yale interviewers are given stated interest if provided in the app but not grades, scores or list of EC's) that was incongruent with the candidate's knowledge or activities that were discussed in the interview. I would assume AO's with access to the full file, including LoR's, will be able to spot "gamers" easily.
  • exyalie15exyalie15 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    edited September 2
    I feel like the STEM boost would be pretty insignificant, because the admissions office is aware that half of the STEM admits change to humanities and social science within a year (there is also some flow in the other direction). Yale actively encourages freshmen to shop around majors too.

    I would also say that the students who come in who have demonstrated both a strong commitment to STEM and the ability to achieve great results in upper-division classes (for instance, after attending IMO) are not borderline cases and don't really need a diversity boost.

    I've seen the official documentation and Yale STEM majors had higher high school GPAs and SAT scores than Yale social science and humanities majors on average.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,851 Senior Member
    I suspect that Yale and its peer colleges receive an avalanche of STEM-focused applications each year. I doubt if being STEM-focused is any sort of boost at all.
  • Tperry1982Tperry1982 Registered User Posts: 1,491 Senior Member
    I think I read that almost 60 percent of students changed their stated major at some point. Because you don't declare a major until the end of sophomore year, there is plenty of time for exploration. Shopping period and no core classes, also allow students to take courses they may not otherwise take and spark an interest they did not know about.
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