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Perspective: the highly accomplished student rejections


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#1 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:47 AM

We have so many positive stories of amazing acceptances, awards, and scholarships on this forum that when I read this thread this morning, I thought I should share it here bc it is the very real counter-example of what a very large group of top students face. The results thread on here can skew perspective and make it seem like those admissions results are the norm. They really aren't.

http://talk.collegec...cisions-p1.html

The best advice we can offer our kids is to apply to schools they can see themselves attending. It cannot be emphasized enough that they need to really like the school that they know will accept them and that they can afford. That way, even if they are rejected from the rest of the schools they apply to, they have a school they will be happy to attend.

The student in the thread I linked had great options even amg the rejections, but there are students that back themselves into a corner by only throwing in a junk application to a not well-thought-out safety school bc they have zero intention of attending and then don't even have that poster's choices.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 26 April 2017 - 07:16 AM.

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#2 Julie of KY

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:12 AM

Thanks. It's so sad, but true and we need to instill some reality into kids as they apply.

One girl I've counseled is planning next year on applying to three super competitive schools and one underwhelming safety. My main question to her is: Are there ANY schools that you'd get into and can afford that are a better fit than #4?


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#3 teachermom2834

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:43 AM

Yes. A safety is not a safety if the student really doesn't want to go there. I see this over and over at a competitive local high school. Application list is: Yale, Duke,Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Vanderbilt, mid ranked state U. Student gets all rejections except state U and kid is miserable or they get an acceptance from one with a $60,000 price tag. Parent feels terrible "making" student attend state U...enter enormous debt and financial strain.

I'm always thinking "if your kid can get accepted to one of those schools...surely there was someplace they could go with good merit aid".
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#4 lisabees

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:58 AM

Love thy safety!

 

Close friend's dd applied to UCLA and UC Berkeley as an out of stater.  

 

A barrage of emails from her yesterday, shocked that she received NO f/a.  But, but, but, I said...the UCs are notorious for not giving f/a to out of staters!  

 

Reminds me of when (for her older dd) Haverford sent her f/a package that said she could afford more than double what fafsa told her - even after I warned her.  Her entire extended family has chipped in for that education.

 

I wish I could be a neon sign for parents to inform them to do their homework.

 

Now friend's daughter has state schools from which to choose.  Mom is more horrified than daughter that she will get an underwhelming education.  Sigh.  That's an entirely different thread.


Edited by lisabees, 26 April 2017 - 08:01 AM.

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#5 Luckymama

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:59 AM

Build the list from the safety school(s) on up!
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#6 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:26 AM

Build the list from the safety school(s) on up!


Best single sentence summation ever!
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#7 creekland

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:42 AM

That's a very good thread.  The advice on there was spot on from many.

 

A few years ago someone had posted a list like this:  (my apologies for not remembering who it was or which thread to look it up!!!)

 

 

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXOXXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXOXX

XXOXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXOX

XXXXXOXXXX

XXOXXXXXXX

 

Spot the "Os?"  That's the number of applicants accepted at a 6% acceptance rate school.  How likely are you to be one of those if you have "average" (for THAT school) stats and ECs?  Remember too, that several of those Os have hooks making the odds more unlikely for those without them. Plan accordingly. 

 

One should never apply to a school they don't care to attend.  It's a waste of time and money.  If it's Top 30 or Bust, be prepared with a Bust "Plan B," because it's pretty darn likely to happen.  Keep in mind that oodles of students enjoy their schools, even if they aren't at their top choice.


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#8 justasque

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:50 AM

In addition, I have to wonder how much interest the student showed her waitlisted colleges, and whether she told them she was applying to twelve other schools.  Those small-but-good liberal arts schools have to keep their yield up, and they really have no reason to admit someone who has not visited, gone to special programs for prospective students, and/or otherwise expressed serious interest, because that student is unlikely to actually attend.  They need to focus on accepting students who are very likely to enroll, which can actually mean waitlisting well-qualified students who seem likely to go elsewhere.  My dc's guidance counselor (private school) told the students not to answer any application questions that asked where else they were applying, for exactly that reason.  


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#9 Matryoshka

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:05 AM

Love your safety (and be honest about what's truly a safety) also goes to the middling-stats students.  A student I know is pretty average stats-wise, and he didn't apply to any tippy-top schools - in that way he was realistic. In-state, he applied to our state flagship and the next-biggest one, and a bunch of out-of-state publics.  But he didn't get in to either of the in-state options.  He didn't apply to any 2nd-tier in-state schools for backup.  So now his only options are out-of-state publics that cost almost as much as privates, and while he got in, no financial aid there.  A safety isn't just a school you get in to, it's a school you get in to AND can afford.

 

I personally think he should try a year or two of CC while he figures things out (no, he doesn't  have a clear direction), but I don't think that's on the table.  Which is weird, because his own dad did the CC-to-state-flagship route (and then a more-prestigious grad school) quite successfully after his own not-stellar high school career. 


Edited by Matryoshka, 26 April 2017 - 09:06 AM.

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#10 JanetC

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:13 AM

My daughter's list is turning out to be very hollow in the middle.

Big state universities - safeties
Honors programs at the safety schools - matches
Reach schools

I have mixed feelings about this.

#11 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:16 AM

In addition, I have to wonder how much interest the student showed her waitlisted colleges, and whether she told them she was applying to twelve other schools. Those small-but-good liberal arts schools have to keep their yield up, and they really have no reason to admit someone who has not visited, gone to special programs for prospective students, and/or otherwise expressed serious interest, because that student is unlikely to actually attend. They need to focus on accepting students who are very likely to enroll, which can actually mean waitlisting well-qualified students who seem likely to go elsewhere. My dc's guidance counselor (private school) told the students not to answer any application questions that asked where else they were applying, for exactly that reason.

I think that is probably over simplifying the issue. I doubt most students respond to where they are applying.

If you look at the schools where the student was waitlisted, Vassar and Williams do not consider level of demonstrated interest. Middlebury considers it. Only Kenyon considers it important.

Fwiw, I have had kids get the largest scholarship amt offered or the 2nd largest scholarship offered at schools they did absolutely nothing other than apply that state the consider level of interest considered or important.

Honestly, I think the process far more complicated. It goes to that "building a class" and what a student brings to the school. I think some aspects are predictable. You can read the profile of some students and not be surprised by the outcome. But others are far less predictable and you can only wonder what the discussion was about the student and the outcome.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 26 April 2017 - 09:18 AM.

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#12 JanetC

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:24 AM

I wonder since we don't post rejections or stats here whether it's easier to think maybe getting in to selective schools is easier than it really is?
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#13 OnMyOwn

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 11:05 AM

My dc's guidance counselor (private school) told the students not to answer any application questions that asked where else they were applying, for exactly that reason.


But don't you have to put that info on the common app?
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#14 wapiti

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 11:12 AM

I think it's important to recognize that having stats above the 75th percentile is no guarantee of admission at selective colleges, even ones with acceptance rates in the 20s or 30s.  While there may be a continuum of increasing likelihood for the high-stats student looking further down in rankings, for most top-50 schools there will be holistic evaluation, where students with stats above a certain bar will make it to the next cut, but beyond that, the evaluation turns to additional factors.

 

(Naviance provides limited clues and comes with boatloads of caveats, but it's still more helpful than nothing; it's too bad there isn't Naviance for homeschoolers.)


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#15 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 11:22 AM

But don't you have to put that info on the common app?


Think of the CA as a means of distributing all the college documents. The schools don't see a list of other addresses.

Where they could see other schools was on the FAFSA form. I think this will be blocked starting with the upcoming application cycle.
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#16 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 11:27 AM

I've been thinking about this a lot. It is one reason I posted the schools that turned my son down.

We talk about wanting to help out kids be competitive. Keep in mind that this only means that they are on the level with students who are accepted. Many qualified students will be turned down from schools where they were competitive applicants.

DS was accepted to some great schools. He was turned down by some great schools too.
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#17 Crimson Wife

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:02 PM

Sometimes I wonder whether these people surprised by how competitive admissions have become have been living under a rock. I've been hearing these kinds of stories since back when my youngest brother graduated high school in '03. Every year it just gets worse and worse.


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#18 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:48 PM

A few more thoughts on this.

 

There are indications in the CC post that she was a little starry-eyed in her applications.  It is hard not to be, when every college rep is telling you how wonderful their school is, email inbox and mail box are filled daily with advertisements telling you how special each school is and how you should be a part of their campus, and there is a general swell of excitement and competition around college apps.

 

It can feel like being accepted by one of the most selective school is evidence that you are a greater success in high school.  If you have done well in high school, it can feel like applying to top colleges is the natural next step.  It can be very hard to perceive how many top students there are nationally and how few spots there are in the top 25 universities relative to those top students.  

 

Turn down letters can feel like failures.  For many students, it may be one of the few things they have put their hands to that didn't turn out as they wanted.  That can make it feel like a real rejection and a judgement of their personal qualities.


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#19 plansrme

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:53 PM

I get so tired of reading this and similar laments on CC, and the part that I find said is, "But I had such good ECs!"  And their ECs are exactly what every other applicant has--French club, scholastic bowl and caving/hiking/summer league swim so I look athletic and, therefore, well-rounded.  I'm more and more convinced that ECs for the sake of having ECs, which is usually what scholastic bowl is (really?  your idea of a good time is scholastic bowl?  or French club?) are worthless.  Honor societies?  Worthless.  Service hours that are mandated by your school?  Relay for Life?  Also worthless (and I mean "worthless solely for purposes of getting into college").  If you're an adcom at a competitive school, doesn't every application have these exact same ECs?  How about taking one or two activities that you would do anyway and really punching up your involvement in and commitment to that activity?  Granted, if your primary activity is also one shared by a thousand other applicants, e.g., you are an equestrian applying to Vanderbilt, that doesn't help, either, but I just can't imagine any adcom sitting around saying, "Hey, guys, look:  Suzy was secretary of the French club!  That's the kind of leadership we need at Vanderbilt!"  And if your grades aren't setting you apart, and your ECs aren't, something else has to, whether that is a compelling personal story, unique essays (and this always makes me think of Elle's video essay from Legally Blonde--I actually think she was onto something) or something else that makes you stand out from the very, very gifted and accomplished crowd.


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#20 creekland

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 01:00 PM

Sometimes I wonder whether these people surprised by how competitive admissions have become have been living under a rock. I've been hearing these kinds of stories since back when my youngest brother graduated high school in '03. Every year it just gets worse and worse.

 

Many people are unaware of how competitive things truly are.  Especially when one has been top or near top in their school, they'll naturally think they deserve to move on.  After all, they've already beaten all the competition they've faced so why wouldn't that continue?

 

What they fail to realize is just how many schools there are - and top kids are at all of them.  For some, even being at the top locally means they are merely mid-pack nationally.

 

It's quite honestly tough to see the larger picture just from stories.  One always feel the stories apply to others, not them.  Truthfully, that's also why I wasn't there to stop middle son from being misled by his pre-med advisers.  It's a Top 30 school with a med school of its own.  Surely they have decent pre-med advising!  Stories about bad advisers only apply to others!!!  Yet reality shows that one of the tippy top students from this Top 30 school - not just by my reckoning, but also by his academic award (one of a dozen in a University of 6300+) and his Res Life award (one of about 15 with various qualifications differing from his), and his top MCAT score/GPA , and being their most recommended applicant - didn't get into med school... barely even got 2 interviews.  Why?  When asking schools that rejected him (no interview), he found out he was given incorrect (totally false!) information so essentially didn't apply (aside from the $3000 spent).

 

It happens.  And he's not the only one.  We're much wiser now... and sharing so others can glean from our experience... but in reality, learning from stories is tough compared to feeling the fire IRL.


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#21 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 01:13 PM

LOL!! I can see it now--bikini videos appearing all over ZeeMee!

I don't really blame the kids on CC for thinking that that is what they need to do. It was the prescription for success at one point in time. I think the landscape has changed and the guidance kids aiming for competitive schools receive is lagging. They don't understand the concept of focused, meaningful pursuits.

I think I posted this before, but here are a couple of links about the "pact" for a new "caring" focus.

https://m.youtube.co...tIXVHIfmVikFUgQ
http://learningengli...ns/3197142.html
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#22 teachermom2834

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:00 PM

Sometimes I wonder whether these people surprised by how competitive admissions have become have been living under a rock. I've been hearing these kinds of stories since back when my youngest brother graduated high school in '03. Every year it just gets worse and worse.


I don't know. I have watched the same families go down this path with subsequent children and you would think they would have learned it after the first time through, but no.

I think it is a couple things. One I see is that parents seem to think if they apply to enough schools something will hit. Like apply to 20 schools with a 5% acceptance rate and surely one will accept the student. Obviously it doesn't work that way but it seems some otherwise very bright people are looking at it that way.

Another thing is that these kids have been told from Kindergarten that they are special and gifted and so much smarter than anyone else. It is hard for these parents to believe that there are tens of thousands of students just as special. In my area alot of kids do Duke Tip. That seems to set the parents on a path of thinking in terms of their students being elite.

I think I look at my kids a little more critically (honestly?) because they don't have a school career full of awards and 4.0 GPAs and high honor roll recognition.
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#23 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:04 PM

I find myself wondering about the counsel she and her family got.

It seems overly optimistic to think that the grandfather connection was going to be meaningful. I also wondered a little about her mentioning being National Merit Commended. It does mean she had a great SAT score. But it is a score met or exceeded by many students.

I wonder if she felt like she was applying to a set of schools that were reasonable because they were not Harvard/Yale/Princeton. But the schools she was grieving are small schools that can only accept so many freshmen.

I really don't love the news stories about students accepted by all of the Ivies. It makes it seem like that hat trick is a worthy goal. But why should it be?
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#24 madteaparty

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:13 PM

I get so tired of reading this and similar laments on CC, and the part that I find said is, "But I had such good ECs!" And their ECs are exactly what every other applicant has--French club, scholastic bowl and caving/hiking/summer league swim so I look athletic and, therefore, well-rounded. I'm more and more convinced that ECs for the sake of having ECs, which is usually what scholastic bowl is (really? your idea of a good time is scholastic bowl? or French club?) are worthless. Honor societies? Worthless. Service hours that are mandated by your school? Relay for Life? Also worthless (and I mean "worthless solely for purposes of getting into college"). If you're an adcom at a competitive school, doesn't every application have these exact same ECs? How about taking one or two activities that you would do anyway and really punching up your involvement in and commitment to that activity? Granted, if your primary activity is also one shared by a thousand other applicants, e.g., you are an equestrian applying to Vanderbilt, that doesn't help, either, but I just can't imagine any adcom sitting around saying, "Hey, guys, look: Suzy was secretary of the French club! That's the kind of leadership we need at Vanderbilt!" And if your grades aren't setting you apart, and your ECs aren't, something else has to, whether that is a compelling personal story, unique essays (and this always makes me think of Elle's video essay from Legally Blonde--I actually think she was onto something) or something else that makes you stand out from the very, very gifted and accomplished crowd.

Preach. Someone listed somewhere "governor award for character"?! Is that a joke? Are they listing this "achievement" ironically?
I don't even know what half these things are. Seem like a colossal waste of time. I would be really disappointed in my kid making these absurd lists. Better to say "nothing. I do nothing but read and write and water my chickens all the day long. And they don't need much watering 😂". One adcom at one of these schools told me one year they received so many essays about kids being lifeguards and saving lives. He noted that, extrapolating from the essays, it seems we had a huge public health issue that summer.
I don't know whether the blame is with the kids, or with the parents, or with the schools for the almost kafkian state of the admission industry. Smh.

Edited by madteaparty, 26 April 2017 - 03:51 PM.

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#25 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:23 PM

I find myself wondering about the counsel she and her family got.

It seems overly optimistic to think that the grandfather connection was going to be meaningful. I also wondered a little about her mentioning being National Merit Commended. It does mean she had a great SAT score. But it is a score met or exceeded by many students.

I wonder if she felt like she was applying to a set of schools that were reasonable because they were not Harvard/Yale/Princeton. But the schools she was grieving are small schools that can only accept so many freshmen.

I really don't love the news stories about students accepted by all of the Ivies. It makes it seem like that hat trick is a worthy goal. But why should it be?

http://institutional...CDS-2015-16.pdf ACT 75% = 33
http://www.kenyon.ed...2015-2016-2.xls 75%= 32
https://provost.will...6_w_tuition.pdf 75%= 34

ETA: forgot Middlebury http://www.middlebur...v 5.21.2016.pdf 75%= 33
Based on just stats and nothing else, she should have been competitive with a 34 (35 superscore) and a 4.0 UW.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 26 April 2017 - 02:31 PM.

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#26 Margaret in CO

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:46 PM

Yeah, I've seen way too many students and parents that think a list of 20 5% acceptance rate schools is going to work. Nope, you need to go take another stats class. Dd had two of those lottery schools, and we knew that that's exactly what they were. And she passed her DoDMERB and had her Nominations to the academies, but alas, no Appointments. She got in everywhere else she applied, with good money, and is excited for her first choice. She's still hoping for NROTC this week, but if it doesn't happen, she'll take her AFROTC and be content. 

 

Here, I can see a lot of ridiculous applications because of poor counseling at the ps. We had a counselor who kept pushing one girl towards AFA. Um, she has asthma! Not happening! And another with a peanut allergy. Again, no. And I watched a friend decide at the last minute to take a swim spot at a second-rate school that she'd never visited. A second-rate very expensive school that gave out no money. That lasted a year, left, then on to a second-rate CC, then on to the state U that she should have started at. Finally graduated, 2 years late, with a pile of debt. What were her parents thinking? 

 

In the immortal words of our swim coach: "Your mother lied; you're not special."


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#27 mumto2

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:46 PM

Every year the UK newspaper's are full of students with no offers or who didn't make grades through the UCAS system. Many are so determined for Oxbridge that they only apply to popular programs at those Uni's so you frequently hear of students with 5A's and better being accepted nowhere.

A friend's international application granddaughter used all of her choices for one top 5 school in various programs. Her IB score was good (within the range for all applied to programs) but no offers.

For student's in the UK the hard thing is exam scores are not released until a few days before most are due to leave for their first year of Uni so knowing a student who didn't get in at the last moment is really common. We do have something called clearing where students can apply for vacant seats in other programs where they have the grades.

Safety schools and programs are important no matter where one is looking.
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#28 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:05 PM

http://institutional...CDS-2015-16.pdf ACT 75% = 33
http://www.kenyon.ed...2015-2016-2.xls 75%= 32
https://provost.will...6_w_tuition.pdf 75%= 34

ETA: forgot Middlebury http://www.middlebur...v 5.21.2016.pdf 75%= 33
Based on just stats and nothing else, she should have been competitive with a 34 (35 superscore) and a 4.0 UW.


Yes, but competitive means you are slugging away in the competition, not that it is a sure thing. I get the disappointment. It is the surprise that makes me shake my head.

DS1 had commended scores. That put him in the middle 50% at Carnegie Mellon. But that is average for CMU, not a hook.

#29 daijobu

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:14 PM

Was anyone else impressed that her list of activities included something called "caving?"  I wondered if it had something to do with exploring caves, but I had to look it up to make sure.  

 

That is probably the single most impressive thing on her list of ECs.  I mean, how many high school girls don a helmet on a regular basis, and lower themselves into some dark damp hole in the ground?   Yikes.  


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#30 GGardner

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:19 PM

I'm more and more convinced that ECs for the sake of having ECs, which is usually what scholastic bowl is (really?  your idea of a good time is scholastic bowl?  or French club?) are worthless.  Honor societies?  Worthless.  Service hours that are mandated by your school?  Relay for Life?  Also worthless (and I mean "worthless solely for purposes of getting into college").  If you're an adcom at a competitive school, doesn't every application have these exact same ECs?  How about taking one or two activities that you would do anyway and really punching up your involvement in and commitment to that activity?  Granted, if your primary activity is also one shared by a thousand other applicants, e.g., you are an equestrian applying to Vanderbilt, that doesn't help, either, but I just can't imagine any adcom sitting around saying, "Hey, guys, look:  Suzy was secretary of the French club!  That's the kind of leadership we need at Vanderbilt!"  

 

And if your grades aren't setting you apart, and your ECs aren't, something else has to, whether that is a compelling personal story, unique essays (and this always makes me think of Elle's video essay from Legally Blonde--I actually think she was onto something) or something else that makes you stand out from the very, very gifted and accomplished crowd.

 

With grade inflation being what it is, even grades aren't setting very many apart -- last year my local public hs had something like 10% of the graduating class with unweighted perfect gpas.

 

While I agree with you that most applicants to these schools have lots of the same ECs, and thus they aren't differentiating themselves, I wonder if having them is table stakes for getting in, even if they don't differentiate.


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#31 lewelma

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:35 PM

Can I just say that I'm feeling very lucky that ds has guaranteed admission to an honors program at a top Australian school. It is very nice to have admission based on grades only when you are a good grades type of kid.  DS is feeling good about reaching out to American elites knowing that his safety is fabulous.  I so appreciate the honest conversation on this board this year, because I have been talking up all the good stuff about ds's safety so that he is quite happy to go there.  

 


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#32 JanetC

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:42 PM

Why? When asking schools that rejected him (no interview), he found out he was given incorrect (totally false!) information so essentially didn't apply (aside from the $3000 spent).


Wait-- it costs 3 grand just to APPLY to med school?? That's insane.
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#33 Arcadia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:02 PM

Many people are unaware of how competitive things truly are. Especially when one has been top or near top in their school, they'll naturally think they deserve to move on. After all, they've already beaten all the competition they've faced so why wouldn't that continue?

My region/area is south of Crimson Wife. When I was discussing high schools for DS12 with a guidance counselor, her first comment was that my area produces a lot of Intel Science Talent Search finalist and winners. Her second comment was that my area has very high academics statistics/profiles and many are going to a certain private school hoping to increase their child's chance of getting into an Ivy, Stanford, Caltech, Harvey Mudd, UCB and UCLA.

The academic profile of the top students of my local public high schools would be near the bottom of a neighboring public high school. The "lower academic tier" nearby private high schools are doing better since they can be selective in admissions.

A few mothers in another city were surprised that there are 6th graders taking SAT and ACT for talent search. Their kids are taking for the first time at the end of 11th grade. The proctors on the other hand are experienced in talent search testing.

A few parents of high schoolers were surprised at all the younger kids taking the AMC12 at a university test site. They didn't know AMC exams existed until a friend with kids in another school told them about it.

A friend's son was 2nd in academic rank in his public high school cohort but his academic profile wasn't as strong as kids in competitive public high schools less than 10miles away. He was rejected from the top UCs and got into UCSC. His older sibling has much better academic statistics even though she wasn't in the top academic ranks in her private high school and got into Stanford. My friend was well aware that his son's 2nd in rank in his public school (big fish small pond) wasn't as good as his daughter's good but not top ranking in private school (big fish middle size pond). His daughter's private high school counselors also have a much lighter workload as they take care of less students.

What you (general) know depends on your social circle and the school's guidance counselors.

Edited by Arcadia, 26 April 2017 - 09:42 PM.

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#34 daijobu

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:03 PM

even got 2 interviews.  Why?  When asking schools that rejected him (no interview), he found out he was given incorrect (totally false!) information so essentially didn't apply (aside from the $3000 spent).

 

 

 

I'm sorry for what sounds like an awful experience.  Could you elaborate a bit on what incorrect information he received from his advisors?  



#35 daijobu

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:08 PM

A few mothers in another city were surprised that there are 6th graders taking SAT and ACT for talent search. Their kids are taking for the first time at the end of 11th grade. The proctors on the other hand are experienced in talent search testing.

A few parents of high schoolers were surprised at all the younger kids taking the AMC12 at a university test site. They didn't know AMC exams existed until a friend with kids in another school told them about it.
 

 

In my area, we had 3 homeschoolers in MIDDLE SCHOOL qualify for AIME.  AIME!    


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#36 JoJosMom

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:21 PM

Was anyone else impressed that her list of activities included something called "caving?"  I wondered if it had something to do with exploring caves, but I had to look it up to make sure.  

 

That is probably the single most impressive thing on her list of ECs.  I mean, how many high school girls don a helmet on a regular basis, and lower themselves into some dark damp hole in the ground?   Yikes.  

 

Hmm...and I had a different thought.  Because were it I looking at the application, I would have said, "Oh, look.  A crazy girl."

 

Caving. :svengo:


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#37 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:22 PM

My region/area is south of Crimson Wife. When I was discussing high schools for DS12 with a guidance counselor, her first comment was that my area produces a lot of Intel Science Talent Search finalist and winners. Her second comment was that my area has very high academics statistics/profiles and many are going to a certain private school hoping to increase their child's chance of getting into an Ivy, Stanford, Caltech, Harvey Mudd, UCB and UCLA.

The academic profile of the top students of my local public high schools would be near the bottom of a neighboring public high school. The "lower academic tier" nearby private high schools are doing better since they can be selective in admissions.

A few mothers in another city were surprised that there are 6th graders taking SAT and ACT for talent search. Their kids are taking for the first time at the end of 11th grade. The proctors on the other hand are experienced in talent search testing.

A few parents of high schoolers were surprised at all the younger kids taking the AMC12 at a university test site. They didn't know AMC exams existed until a friend with kids in another school told them about it.

A friend's son was 2nd in academic rank in his public high school cohort but his academic profile wasn't as strong as kids in competitive public high schools less than 10miles away. He was rejected from the top UCs and got into UCSC. His older sibling has much better academic statistics even though she wasn't in the top academic ranks in her private high school and got into Stanford. My friend was well aware that his son's 2nd in rank in his public school (big fish small pond) wasn't as good as his daughter's good but not top ranking in private school (big fish middle size pond). His daughter's private high school counselors also have a much lighter workload as they take care of less students.

What you (general) know depends on your social circle and the school's guidance counselors.

 

And what admissions expects of kids out of that district is not going to be the same as a kid from the middle of Mississippi or South Dakota.  The top kids in those states (and others) may be bottom of the heap compared other applicants but top of the heap for their region.  And, they will be accepted over the top kids, but not tippy top kids, from areas like yours.

 

People complain about the unfair top 1% by state for NMSF, but,really, admissions often replicates the exact same sort of scenario.  Geographic region can play a role.  Be a compelling student from a typically under represented state and your odds of admission may increase (like all things, depends on the school).


Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 26 April 2017 - 05:25 PM.

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#38 JoJosMom

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:24 PM

In my area, we had 3 homeschoolers in MIDDLE SCHOOL qualify for AIME.  AIME!    

 


:huh:

 

Holy cow.

 

I have to say, I am shocked at the level of prep that some very young kids go through.  DD got a glimpse at the math competition world through Math Counts last year (8th grade.)  And now, the mailing lists she's on!  I had no idea. 



#39 Arcadia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:27 PM

In my area, we had 3 homeschoolers in MIDDLE SCHOOL qualify for AIME. AIME!

I think I saw more than 3 at Stanford besides my DS12.

ETA:
He didn't score well but enjoyed the experience enough to ask for math summer camp to try to score better next year. He generally enjoys tests.

Edited by Arcadia, 26 April 2017 - 09:42 PM.

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#40 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:33 PM

I feel really bad for my friend's son.  He attends a magnet school where there is a ton of pressure to get into top-tier universities.  His "safety" was still a stretch for most people.  Unfortunately, he didn't choose any real safeties and didn't get accepted any where.  His twin sister got a slew of acceptances.  His girlfriend is going to Harvard.  


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#41 Arcadia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:33 PM

And what admissions expects of kids out of that district is not going to be the same as a kid from the middle of Mississippi or South Dakota.


That is what the guidance counselor told me too. The "taking the most rigorous course offered" expectations is going to be much higher for students from my area than for students in for example a traditional farming community in California.

Edited by Arcadia, 26 April 2017 - 09:42 PM.


#42 Heigh Ho

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:16 PM

That is what the guidance counselor told me too. The "taking the most rigorous course offered" expectations is going to be much higher for students from my area than for students in for example a traditional farming community in California.


And the principals and school board know it. That's why my district doesn't offer AP STEM. Better chance of earning a national award or of ranking highly in class standing if you don't have to compete in math or science locally...all your free time can go to your ec.

#43 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:18 PM

Hmm...and I had a different thought.  Because were it I looking at the application, I would have said, "Oh, look.  A crazy girl."

 

Caving. :svengo:

 

:laugh:



#44 Arcadia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:29 PM

Hmm...and I had a different thought. Because were it I looking at the application, I would have said, "Oh, look. A crazy girl."

Caving. :svengo:

I actually wanted to try rappelling at the California chasms. However it cost $72 just to try. So I would be thinking how affluent the girl is instead.

"Rappel – (ages 12 and up – parent or legal guardian must be present to sign the waiver) $72.00
REPEAT Rappel – show rappel card (ages 12 and up – parent or legal guardian must be present to sign the waiver) $47.50"
Link to photos of people rappelling at the chasm http://caverntours.c...moaning-cavern/

ETA:
Outward Bound School camp was offered subsidized/free to all 9th graders in the secondary school I attended though. So caving won't be unusual.

Edited by Arcadia, 26 April 2017 - 09:43 PM.


#45 Lilaclady

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:32 PM


I really don't love the news stories about students accepted by all of the Ivies. It makes it seem like that hat trick is a worthy goal. But why should it be?

I think this is big pet peeve of mine.


I have a family member who is always brandishing these types of new stories around and thinks it is just easy to get accepted at those schools. I look at those kids and I am not sure they know what they are doing as the schools are so different.
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#46 Garga

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:36 PM

What's with the hating on caving?  It sounds like fun!


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#47 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:54 PM

What's with the hating on caving?  It sounds like fun!

 

Just don't watch The Descent right before you go...



#48 swimmermom3

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:56 PM

We have so many positive stories of amazing acceptances, awards, and scholarships on this forum that when I read this thread this morning, I thought I should share it here bc it is the very real counter-example of what a very large group of top students face. The results thread on here can skew perspective and make it seem like those admissions results are the norm. They really aren't.

http://talk.collegec...cisions-p1.html

The best advice we can offer our kids is to apply to schools they can see themselves attending. It cannot be emphasized enough that they need to really like the school that they know will accept them and that they can afford. That way, even if they are rejected from the rest of the schools they apply to, they have a school they will be happy to attend.

The student in the thread I linked had great options even amg the rejections, but there are students that back themselves into a corner by only throwing in a junk application to a not well-thought-out safety school bc they have zero intention of attending and then don't even have that poster's choices.

 

Last year, my son's university had its lowest acceptance rate ever at roughly 26%.  This year there were fewer applicants and they are back up to 29 - 30%.  We were checking on College Confidential while waiting to hear if ds had been accepted. It was terrifying to see the stats on students who had been wait-listed. However, for nearly all of them the school was their safety; they were waiting for the letter from an Ivy.  The school has a reputation for wait-listing those students because they would rather have slightly lower stats and students who genuinely want to be there.

 

There are many really good schools for my son who is bright, but not a superstar. I think the position of "near-superstar" has to be incredibly difficult. There are only so many top slots.
 


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#49 creekland

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:01 PM

Wait-- it costs 3 grand just to APPLY to med school?? That's insane.

 

Not for one med school.  Like many, he applied to 20 (or thought he had anyway!).  There's the initial application fee and almost all schools have a fee for their secondary (where you fill out more info each one requests).  Since his MCAT and GPA are so high, he got automatic secondaries from pretty much everywhere - and sent them in - without knowing he didn't have some basics most schools want (sigh).

 

I'm sorry for what sounds like an awful experience.  Could you elaborate a bit on what incorrect information he received from his advisors?  

 

1)  He was told he was a terrific candidate for MSTP - a super competitive program.  He was told his research was unique and would attract admissions.

 

In reality, he's researching how kids acquire language - not a medical deal really.  It's a Brain and Cognitive subject.  MSTP schools want to see prior medical related research.  In addition, my guy has only been on his topic for one year and two summers (having been on other things prior).  Med schools told him they want a minimum of two years in the same study.  This one was the biggie that never got him even looked at for interviews according to feedback.

 

2)  He was told if he wasn't accepted for MSTP, schools would automatically consider him for plain ole med school, so he figured that was his Plan B.  That's true at the school he attends (where he's on the Waitlist for med school), but NOT true in most of the places he applied - hence - he never applied to med schools at those places.  Even at those that do consider for med school, the med school folks were likely to have looked at his stats (not necessarily noticing the research part) and assume he'd get MSTP, so would look for more likely to attend candidates.

 

If he'd known those two key FACTS, he'd have adjusted his applications accordingly - and according to real medical people, be happily attending med school this fall.

 

But there's still 3) He was told it doesn't matter when you submit secondaries - anytime is fine.  In reality schools like to see interest and part of showing interest is having those secondaries submitted within a couple of weeks of getting them.  He didn't even have everything he needed from his school within a couple of weeks for some of the schools...

 

That's minor though - still annoying.  All of the "real" info came from med school admissions feedback.

 

In the end, he got 2 interviews - from his own school where he's done so well and from a school they helped get MSTP (probably a formality for them to invite someone to interview from his school TBH).  His own school rejected him from MSTP and put him on the wait list for med school.  The other interview led to a wait list as well (again, we're thinking formality since it's MSTP, but who knows).  We don't know how those will turn out, but like any waitlist, we're not holding our breath.

 

Upon checking the credentials of his Pre-Med advisers (in hindsight - after being blindsided by the real info he received in feedback), he saw that absolutely none of them have anything medical in their experience - they weren't even pre-med themselves in college.  They seem to be just grads who needed jobs.  Who knows where they're getting their info from.  One wants to yell at them to go across the street and talk to the med school admissions at their own school to get REAL info to pass on... esp since he's not the only one who was told incorrect info.

 

It'll mean another year off for him (Take 5 being his first) - not very pleasing - but not the end of the world either.  We were prepared to hire an outside consultant, but the doctors he's shadowed were as aghast at what happened as we were and have taken him under their wing giving advice and info for this year's apps.  We trust their info!  It's also helped him feel this is the right course for him.  When all he was getting was rejection after rejection (without even getting interviews at most places), it definitely made him question himself.  Fortunately, folks suggested he ask for feedback and he got it - helping us all realize what had happened (sigh).  It's frustrating, but beats him thinking it was him!


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#50 creekland

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:03 PM

What's with the hating on caving?  It sounds like fun!

 

'Tis... or at least this gal thinks so.  It's been a few years since we've been in one though - not counting the commercial caverns, of course.


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