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Perspective: the highly accomplished student rejections


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#101 Arcadia

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:08 PM

Affirmative action for so-called "underrepresented minorities". Even though one of these groups is now actually the majority of high school students in my state (54%) and more than double the percentage of Anglos so they're no longer truly a minority.


They are still considered as underrepresented minorities in STEM.
"Twelve percent of UC’s STEM graduates are underrepresented minorities (African American, American Indian, and Hispanic/Latino), up from 9 percent in 2000. This percentage has remained lower (about 8 percent) and essentially flat at UC’s peer institutions." https://www.universi...degree-pipeline
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#102 JanetC

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:10 PM

Yes. I'm glad for this thread and others that are so informative. Knowledge is power, right?

BUT I AM SO UNBELIEVABLY STRESSED about how to guide my kids (jrs this year) in choosing the right schools to apply to and then will they even get into any of them???!!!?

When I went to college I applied to two schools, got into both, and it was so much more affordable.


If your list is Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton, you're in trouble. But take a look at this year's acceptance and decision lists. There are a lot of other schools out there that this year's seniors are happy to be heading off to.

College search and admissions is humbling. You have to realize your kid (in most cases) isn't all that special, and apply to schools at and below their actual level, not the level you wish they were. Most schools are actually pretty predictable as to whether or not you'll be admitted. You just need grades and test scores. Financial aid is more predictable than it used to be thanks to net price calculators and College Scorecard. Only a few schools have really low acceptance rates. They are of course the big names, but there are a lot of good schools with do-able admissions criteria.
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#103 creekland

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 07:09 PM

I do partially blame my district's public high school counselor for not being clear. The person told my friend's child to take AP Spanish because it would likely give a good score according to the high school's past score trends. The same person also told the student to pick a sport and pick a music/fine arts ECA to look more well rounded. So the child is in the school tennis team to have a sport and then in low key recitals just to have a music ECA. The only thing pointy for this child is her writing as she has won writing contests consistently over the years since middle school. Everything else was started at 9th grade and at a normal level.

The private schools here do brag about Ivy acceptance and selective schools acceptance because that is the best way to get parents to enrol their kids. So many schools and parents are just playing the college admission game.
For example from Basis Independent
"Our seniors did phenomenally well with the University of California school system. We had three students accepted to both Berkeley and UCLA. UC San Diego expressed the most love for BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students with an amazing 8 acceptances!
Three seniors were offered admission to Ivy League schools this year – one to Yale University and two to Cornell University." http://blog.basisind...ege-acceptances

From Harker for class of 2014, 2015, 2016
I just quoted the Ivy League and the colleges that my neighbors fancy. Full list here https://www.harker.o...ege-acceptances
"Brown University 21
Columbia University 28
Cornell University 59
Dartmouth College 18
Harvard University 17
University of Pennsylvania 27
Princeton University 19
Yale University 23

Stanford University 42
California Institute of Technology 36
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 35
University of California, Berkeley 176
University of California, Los Angeles 133
University of California, San Diego 175
University of California, Santa Barbara 170"

 

Ah, this is probably why folks have differing thoughts about ECs.  Some schools groom for college and those will "suggest" ECs for students expecting them to pick something to be able to check boxes.

 

The school I work at (statistically average in the US) does not do this.  Kids who are in ECs are there because they want to be - almost always anyway.  Many don't even start thinking about college until junior year and in any given year, maybe one will head to a Top 20 school.  In a good year, maybe three.  In an average year, three might head to Penn State (main campus).  Most head to regular state colleges or similar level schools.  Our graduating class is usually in the low 300s.

 

I expect the gal from the linked thread went to a school more like mine.  She was top or near top.  Getting rejected came as a surprise since she had so much going for her locally.  She didn't realize how many kids just like her - or better - are out there.  It's tough to know they're there if you don't see them.  Kids at my school think getting a 600 on an SAT section is super good.  It is - relatively.  It's not when looking at upper level schools.  They think kids getting 700s are super rare.  Not when you have a wider, national view.


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#104 creekland

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 07:15 PM

Yes. I'm glad for this thread and others that are so informative. Knowledge is power, right?

 

BUT I AM SO UNBELIEVABLY STRESSED about how to guide my kids (jrs this year) in choosing the right schools to apply to and then will they even get into any of them???!!!?

 

When I went to college I applied to two schools, got into both, and it was so much more affordable.

 

Honestly, unless you are looking at Top 50 schools, it's not that difficult.  Have your kids taken the SAT/ACT to know where their stats are?  That's your first clue when looking at colleges.  Next is type (LAC, research, CC, etc).  Then you can start looking at contenders with your financial situation in mind.

 

Kids at my average public high school get into colleges every year - most with multiple acceptances - most with financial aid (merit or need based) too.  Not many get college for free, so don't get hopes high for that even with top stats.  It can happen, but... it's not likely.  Even free tuition will leave other fees and things to be paid (plus room & board if living on campus).


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#105 Arcadia

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 07:43 PM

Ah, this is probably why folks have differing thoughts about ECs. Some schools groom for college and those will "suggest" ECs for students expecting them to pick something to be able to check boxes.

My district has 8th graders doing their tentative 4 year plan in spring and that is quite common practice in my region. Like the profile.doc I linked upthread, the counselor wants to have something to write about so it unintentionally becomes a check the box conversation.

The private school counselors of the schools we visited talked about having genuine passions and being unique because no one is going to standout academic-wise in an academic powerhouse region. There is no point in trying to convey a well rounded image if academic scores are "great", to go for the pointy instead. If the child is genuinely well rounded and I do know some neighbors kids who are well rounded undergrads in selective colleges, then that's a different issue because it is not trying to fit that well rounded mould on purpose.

I am annoyed for my friend who is a really kind person that the amount and quality of advice is so different between our average public school and a not expensive private high school. I'm actually tempted to tell her to pay for a good consultant because they can financially afford it. They would fall under the full pay category.

I have gotten blunt non-PC (politically correct) free advice/feedback from consultants that are part of talent search programs. I asked them what would be helpful for my kids who are middle class full pay asians who don't like sports when it comes to high school choice and college applications, whether overseas universities would be a better fit.

Edited by Arcadia, 27 April 2017 - 08:52 PM.

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#106 Crimson Wife

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 07:44 PM

I have zero problem with affirmative action for low-income and first-generation college students. Students affluent enough to afford Harker ($45.8k/yr) do NOT need any further leg up based on their families' race or ethnicity. They should be competing with everyone else in the general admissions pool.


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#107 daijobu

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 08:35 PM

I absolutely agree that geographic distributions play a role, but one can be from one of those states mentioned (or others in fly over country) but still not be "bottom of the heap" compared to those from CA or the Northeast. 

 

I don't know.  When I tell someone where I went to school, I like to say "I attended <name school> but only because I was from <flyover state>."  Often, if they also attended a name school, they will also cite their flyover state of origin as justification.  

 

This was before the internet, so less true than now, but when I landed at my name school, I was woefully underqualified.  I had never heard of Westinghouse (precursor to ISEF), it never occurred to me to start my own math club, and I never volunteered for anything.  I was way, way less accomplished than my peers.  I can only assume I was admitted because of my underrepresented state origin.  

 

I like to say that if you want to get into a name school, move to a state with lots of I's and O's.  


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#108 matrips

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:11 PM

I don't know. When I tell someone where I went to school, I like to say "I attended <name school> but only because I was from <flyover state>." Often, if they also attended a name school, they will also cite their flyover state of origin as justification.

This was before the internet, so less true than now, but when I landed at my name school, I was woefully underqualified. I had never heard of Westinghouse (precursor to ISEF), it never occurred to me to start my own math club, and I never volunteered for anything. I was way, way less accomplished than my peers. I can only assume I was admitted because of my underrepresented state origin.

I like to say that if you want to get into a name school, move to a state with lots of I's and O's.


I think things have just changed drastically since we all went to school. It's gotten crazy. I just looked at the top 50 list, and all five of the schools I applied to (and won various scholarships to) are on it; I guess I had a warped view of what a safety school was. But I'm not sure I'd get into any of them today. I couldn't compete with these kids. My grades and SATS were maybe good enough, but looking at the EC comments, no way. Nothing that would stand out at all. But back then, they seemed fine.

This topic has been been both an eye-opener and a stress reliever for me. As my kids get closer to high school, I've been thinking about college and what do they need EC wise and such. I'm just going to let my kids pursue what they enjoy and go deeper with it if they want, instead of spreading them thin worrying about what colleges are looking for. They don't need that stress. And neither do I. Maybe what they enjoy will be something unique and stand out the year they apply, maybe it won't, but it doesn't seem worth it to jump through moving hoops.
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#109 Heigh Ho

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 04:07 AM

Agreed. I've often wondered what being all-county, etc., really means for orchestra. If it is a sport such as swimming, then I know that that being on the all-county team is a nice honor; you get your picture in the paper with a little bio; it's fun. BUT, it really says nothing about your actual success in the sport. High school swimming is not where the action is. Club swimming is what matters. I have a friend whose HS junior is a cellist. Sure, he plays with his high school orchestra and gets all-region and that sort of thing, but he also auditioned for, and won, a spot with the Atlanta Symphony's Youth Orchestra. He spends summers at music camps I've only heard of because of that "From the Top" program on public radio. His cello-playing ability is the level that I would think will stand out on his college apps, but it has nothing to do with his being named all-district. And there's nothing wrong with playing cello "only" well enough to be all-county! I don't mean that at all. I do mean, though, that if standing out is your goal, that's not enough.

All county in music is the same as making the section playoffs in a sport....the student has achieved at a certain level and has qualified to be ranked amongst others in the county also achieving at that level. Its quite possible that no one studying an unpopular instrument will qualify. Its also possible that one has the minimum proficiency but does not have the minimum grade level or rank high enough at one's school to audition.

The sheer volume of students who study music seems to mean that there are many who have enough profiency to successfully audition for conservatory, but didn't make it to All State. We have had students in my district enlist and join military ensembles, as well others get into music performing majors without achieving All State. What they have done is improved well beyond their high school ensemble via youth orchestra, competitive marching bands and gigs,etc where they can get the oppportunity to develop. The colleges read this as a person who has study skills, is teachable, can work with others, works hard with purpose, understands excellence, shows leadership, etc. as well as can contribute musically on campus and in the surrounding community at at least the level of proficiency of a freshman music major.

Edited by Heigh Ho, 28 April 2017 - 05:07 AM.

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#110 SeaConquest

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:16 PM

I have zero problem with affirmative action for low-income and first-generation college students. Students affluent enough to afford Harker ($45.8k/yr) do NOT need any further leg up based on their families' race or ethnicity. They should be competing with everyone else in the general admissions pool.

A fair number of URMs attend schools like Harker on scholarship, though.

My kids are a long way off from college, but like Lewelma, I am glad that we have a non-US college system to fall back on (my husband is French-Canadian, so the kids would get in-province tuition rates at McGill). The Canadian system seems so old-fashioned compared to the complexity of the competitive US college admissions game. Not that McGill/U Toronto/U British Columbia are a sure thing, but they harken back to how college admissions were 30 years ago, before our kids had to become superhuman machines to break the top 10.

Edited by SeaConquest, 29 April 2017 - 01:18 PM.

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#111 wapiti

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:30 PM

I saw an article today on CC, stats from Notre Dame.  http://ndsmcobserver...ame-class-2021/  19,565 applicants for 3600 spots.  I thought of this thread.
 

Director of admissions Bob Mundy said the department narrowed down the strong applicant pool — which included 7,500 applicants in the top one percent of the nation based on test scores and grades, of which only about one in three applicants was admitted — by searching for the right “match” with the University.

 
“Some would call that reading for fit,” Mundy said. “Where, again, you’ve got these 7,500 really talented students, but sort of project forward — what’s [this student] going to look like when she’s a student here? … What kind of Notre Dame citizen is she going to be?
 
Several factors the department took into account in admitting students, Bishop said, were not quantifiable traits, such as leadership ability and desire to do good in the world.
 
Our attitude has been, ‘No, don’t overuse the numbers,’” he said. “So once you have a high enough number, we stop using the numbers [and] we look at the other attributes. So what other attributes? Well, there’s service to others, there’s leadership, there’s creativity [and] there’s kind of their motivation for their success.”

 

 
 
So, two-thirds of the students in the top 1% for scores and grades were rejected.  There may be a few nuggets in the article that some might find interesting regarding the other attributes.

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#112 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:42 PM

 

I saw an article today on CC, stats from Notre Dame.  http://ndsmcobserver...ame-class-2021/  19,565 applicants for 3600 spots.  I thought of this thread.
 

 
 
So, two-thirds of the students in the top 1% for scores and grades were rejected.  There may be a few nuggets in the article that some might find interesting regarding the other attributes.

 

 

Your quoted quote didn't post, but the comment about "the desire to do good in the world" goes directly to the heart of the links I posted earlier in this thread:

http://forums.welltr...ions/?p=7564882

 

It pays pay attention to what colleges are saying.  Those links reveal quite a bit about the shift in focus that some schools are looking for. I believe it 100% b/c the letters dd received specifically addressed those types of qualities.


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#113 wapiti

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:52 PM

The quoted guy goes on about that at the end of the article:
 

“We want you to be a force for good — not only being a high force, but a force for good,” Bishop said. “A lot of schools, their focus is on just getting you to be a high force for success, whether that’s as a scientist, a business person, a doctor, a politician, whatever. At Notre Dame, it’s for good.”

 

There was a tiny thing that might irk me for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, about the wait list, but I guess I would take this as a message, a signal about what one might do:

we look at how people respond to the adversity of being wait-listed, and we kind of reward the emotionally-skilled families [and] students where they showed character and they showed desire to be at Notre Dame.”

 


Edited by wapiti, 02 May 2017 - 03:54 PM.

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#114 Arcadia

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 04:32 PM

There was a tiny thing that might irk me for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, about the wait list, but I guess I would take this as a message, a signal about what one might do:


U of Notre Dame have the NDignite Connection program to advertise themselves to many middle school kids.

"How do I qualify for the NDignite Connection programs?
You need to have:
1) a recommendation and transcript from a school counselor or administrator, and
2) a grade point average that puts you in the top 5% of your class

We also consider the rigor of the courses you’ve taken as well as demonstrated peer leadership and self-motivation. Applicants should be in grades 6 or 7 at the time the application is submitted." http://oer.nd.edu/faqs/
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#115 Gratia271

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:57 PM

Okay, not from either of the two states mentioned but close to one of them.

Gotta say these sorts of generalizations get my goat a bit. I absolutely agree that geographic distributions play a role, but one can be from one of those states mentioned (or others in fly over country) but still not be "bottom of the heap" compared to those from CA or the Northeast. Idk what expectations necessarily are, but I don't think ten AP courses (would be 11 if BC Calculus counted as 2 courses if taken in one year) is all that lower than a typical applicant regardless of location.

Additionally, a state having a low qualifying score for NMSF does not mean that every student in that state achieved that recognition with a low score. Ds would have qualified with room to spare in any state in the nation with his score.

I understand what you are saying, but being from an underrepresented state does not mean one is accepted with lower stats/achievements, etc.

 

 

I agree! Like your DS, my DD would have too.  It borders on offensive to make these assumptions sometimes.  There are actually kids who get perfect scores and don't reside on the East Coast or the West Coast.  I have several :)
 


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#116 snowbeltmom

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:44 AM

 

I saw an article today on CC, stats from Notre Dame.  http://ndsmcobserver...ame-class-2021/  19,565 applicants for 3600 spots.  I thought of this thread.
 

 
 
So, two-thirds of the students in the top 1% for scores and grades were rejected.  There may be a few nuggets in the article that some might find interesting regarding the other attributes.

 

Our attitude has been, ‘No, don’t overuse the numbers,’” he said. “So once you have a high enough number, we stop using the numbers [and] we look at the other attributes. So what other attributes? Well, there’s service to others, there’s leadership, there’s creativity [and] there’s kind of their motivation for their success.”

 

Is it any wonder why 17 and 18 year olds take college rejections so personally?  Imo, if ND wanted to be more honest, it would have listed the other attributes aka "specialized buckets" that carry more weight in admissions than the soft attributes they listed in the article. 

 

These type of articles serve the colleges well:  It increases the number of applicants because it encourages students with low test scores to apply hoping that their personal attributes will compensate for their low test scores. 

 

 

 


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#117 regentrude

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:48 AM

There was a tiny thing that might irk me for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, about the wait list, but I guess I would take this as a message, a signal about what one might do:

 

That statement

"we look at how people respond to the adversity of being wait-listed, and we kind of reward the emotionally-skilled families [and] students where they showed character and they showed desire to be at Notre Dame.”

 

irks me, too.

We waitlist you to test your family's emotional skill and reward you if you respond positive to rejection? In any interpersonal relationship, this would be dysfunctional manipulative behavior.


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#118 Laura Corin

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:16 AM

That statement

"we look at how people respond to the adversity of being wait-listed, and we kind of reward the emotionally-skilled families [and] students where they showed character and they showed desire to be at Notre Dame.”

 

irks me, too.

We waitlist you to test your family's emotional skill and reward you if you respond positive to rejection? In any interpersonal relationship, this would be dysfunctional manipulative behavior.

 

It also favours applicants with stable supportive families over those who struggle out of adverse personal circumstances.
 


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#119 creekland

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:43 AM

 

Our attitude has been, ‘No, don’t overuse the numbers,’” he said. “So once you have a high enough number, we stop using the numbers [and] we look at the other attributes. So what other attributes? Well, there’s service to others, there’s leadership, there’s creativity [and] there’s kind of their motivation for their success.”

...

These type of articles serve the colleges well:  It increases the number of applicants because it encourages students with low test scores to apply hoping that their personal attributes will compensate for their low test scores. 

 

 

:iagree:  Many students totally overlook the part that says "once you have a high enough number."  Having that number is a baseline, not optional.  It just doesn't have to be Top 1%.  If a student's stats are down in that bottom 50 or 25% stat-wise, they'd better have a really, really good story and competition there is fierce - far lower odds than the Top 1% had.  In the 7500 applicants who were in that Top 1%, they accepted roughly 2475 of them if one third made it.  This leaves 12,000 students competing for the rest of the 1100 acceptance spots - not terribly good odds TBH.  How much do you want to bet the Top 2 or 3% got the majority of those?

 

Google tells me their freshman class size is around 2000 students, so their yield isn't very high, esp if they also have to go to their wait list.  I suspect many they accept have better offers elsewhere (finances or prestige).  They very likely could be going for those "lesser stat" students knowing they're more likely to attend, because WOW, they got in.

 

http://ndtoday.alumn...der=1&pgid=5921

 

(Note that many of the bragging points about who got accepted are pretty identical - a good way for the school to boast and increase applicants.  Many schools do it.)


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#120 Gratia271

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:08 PM

:iagree:  Many students totally overlook the part that says "once you have a high enough number."  Having that number is a baseline, not optional.  It just doesn't have to be Top 1%.  If a student's stats are down in that bottom 50 or 25% stat-wise, they'd better have a really, really good story and competition there is fierce - far lower odds than the Top 1% had.  In the 7500 applicants who were in that Top 1%, they accepted roughly 2475 of them if one third made it.  This leaves 12,000 students competing for the rest of the 1100 acceptance spots - not terribly good odds TBH.  How much do you want to bet the Top 2 or 3% got the majority of those?

 

 

You also have to take into account all of the athletes admitted to ND without the academic stats.  It's widely known about ND. With the relatively low number of academic spots, that is a not so insignificant factor. At the same time, if you have a Div1 athlete, it may be just what is needed to get one of those spots. :)


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#121 snowbeltmom

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:47 PM

You also have to take into account all of the athletes admitted to ND without the academic stats.  It's widely known about ND. With the relatively low number of academic spots, that is a not so insignificant factor. At the same time, if you have a Div1 athlete, it may be just what is needed to get one of those spots. :)

 

Yep.  My son has a friend that he was hoping to play his college sport with.  When my son's friend got in contact with my son's future coach, the coach told the friend that there was no way he would be able to recruit him because his test scores and gpa were too low and there was no way admissions would approve him.  He is heading to ND in the fall...
 


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#122 Gratia271

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:58 PM

Yep.  My son has a friend that he was hoping to play his college sport with.  When my son's friend got in contact with my son's future coach, the coach told the friend that there was no way he would be able to recruit him because his test scores and gpa were too low and there was no way admissions would approve him.  He is heading to ND in the fall...
 

 

TMI


Edited by Gratia271, 06 May 2017 - 05:41 AM.


#123 JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:26 AM

FWIW---

 

We were at a college admissions event this week and ds spoke with the head of admissions for a state college.  This gentleman pointed out that they specifically like to see Boys'/Girls' State as an EC with their applicants.  He said, in essence, that this EC stands apart because it combines an application/interview process with a prior selection/recommendation by faculty at your school.  This state school places a strong emphasis on leadership in both applicants and their own programs; admissions considers this particular EC a great find on an application.

 

Yes, homeschoolers can apply to be part of this program. 



#124 Sneezyone

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:09 AM

U of Notre Dame have the NDignite Connection program to advertise themselves to many middle school kids.

"How do I qualify for the NDignite Connection programs?
You need to have:
1) a recommendation and transcript from a school counselor or administrator, and
2) a grade point average that puts you in the top 5% of your class

We also consider the rigor of the courses you’ve taken as well as demonstrated peer leadership and self-motivation. Applicants should be in grades 6 or 7 at the time the application is submitted." http://oer.nd.edu/faqs/


This is interesting. I'll consider it for DD next year, thanks. I wonder how a 7th grader is supposed to figure out class rank tho. It's not usually listed on their transcripts/report cards.🤔

#125 Arcadia

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:32 AM

I wonder how a 7th grader is supposed to figure out class rank tho. It's not usually listed on their transcripts/report cards.🤔


The school administrator and/or guidance counselor has the class rank. Middle school students here have a middle school GPA so it is very easy to get a class (cohort) rank as the grades are all stored online so teachers can key in and parents can see their child's grades.

My kids grades when they were at a k-8 public school was online/computerized so the school secretary can print my kids kindergarten report cards at any time and include class (cohort) rank if they want to.
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#126 SJ.

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:44 AM

This is interesting. I'll consider it for DD next year, thanks. I wonder how a 7th grader is supposed to figure out class rank tho. It's not usually listed on their transcripts/report cards.🤔


And, what about a homeschooled 7th grader?

#127 Arcadia

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 10:35 AM

And, what about a homeschooled 7th grader?


Class rank: 1/1 :lol:

They want a middle school transcript so they are looking at coursework too. Their requirements are so very similar to what local private high schools want from applicants that it doesn't strike me as out of the ordinary.
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#128 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:05 AM

U of Notre Dame have the NDignite Connection program to advertise themselves to many middle school kids.

"How do I qualify for the NDignite Connection programs?
You need to have:
1) a recommendation and transcript from a school counselor or administrator, and
2) a grade point average that puts you in the top 5% of your class

We also consider the rigor of the courses you’ve taken as well as demonstrated peer leadership and self-motivation. Applicants should be in grades 6 or 7 at the time the application is submitted." http://oer.nd.edu/faqs/


Am I the only one who looked at those sample assignments and thought, "People would actually enroll in something like that?" Seriously, no way, from my perspective. My kids don't need assignments for those ideas. That is our family life and conversation.
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#129 madteaparty

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:21 AM

Am I the only one who looked at those sample assignments and thought, "People would actually enroll in something like that?" Seriously, no way, from my perspective. My kids don't need assignments for those ideas. That is our family life and conversation.

I thought the same.is this some sort of training for their education students or something like that?

#130 chiguirre

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:38 AM

Am I the only one who looked at those sample assignments and thought, "People would actually enroll in something like that?" Seriously, no way, from my perspective. My kids don't need assignments for those ideas. That is our family life and conversation.

 

 

I thought the same.is this some sort of training for their education students or something like that?

 

Thirdsies. Those topics sound like the parts of GSA Journeys that girls (and leaders) dread the most. They're important topics but they have to occur organically. You can't just "discuss" emotional intelligence or resilience, you need to model it in real world situations.


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#131 Arcadia

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:38 AM

Am I the only one who looked at those sample assignments and thought, "People would actually enroll in something like that?" Seriously, no way, from my perspective. My kids don't need assignments for those ideas. That is our family life and conversation.


My kid looked at the brochure and wasn't impressed so we didn't even look at the specifics. Their COA is just as bad as our local private universities before adding airfare costs so it is not even enticing for us (parents).

#132 FaithManor

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

I really think that it is vitally important that if thy safety is close enough to have a regular relationship with, it might be wise to take middle schoolers plus high school freshman and sophomores for cultural and academic activities before the "where to go to college talk" begins. Fostering a bond with the safety is not a bad thing.

Our financial safety for the kids offered free concerts, plays, musicals, board game nights, astronomy nights, math game night, you name it. All of it free to the community and run by students, staff, and faculty. These events were great fun for our kids, and the added bonus was that they developed a friendship with their safety long before they had to make that fateful decision.

For dd, she got into her number 1, as did elder ds but the safety was actually more accommodating of his bad leg issues than any of the other schools on his list. Due to not being disappointed with choosing the safety, he has blossomed and carved out many neat opportunities for himself.

Ds the middle also would have been happy to attend his safety, but squeaked out a just barely big enough scholarship to make his top choice affordable.

Youngest may end up at the safety because he is really having a hard time choosing between math, physics, aerospace, robotics, or aviation. Since the freshman year prerequisite tend to be the same for all of these - calc one, college physics, college writing, health and wellness, a history class - he may actually end up starting there at the lower cost, getting his feet wet in college life, while doing more research about his options. He will be the first potential transfer student we have in the family, but that is A okay with us, and frankly, with three boys in college at once that year, the cost savings might be a relief. Eldest ds will graduate that year, so if youngest wants to go elsewhere sophomore year, it will be financially easier to manage. This is also my first child who did not know early into the process what he wanted to major in so the path probably needs to be different.

Build that happy relationship with the safety early on if you can.

Edited by FaithManor, 04 May 2017 - 06:18 PM.

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#133 Attolia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:50 AM

I have read but not really commented on this thread.

 

I love the comment "Love thy safety".  

 

I also liked Creekland's comment about baseline.  You have to hit a certain threshold in test scores, EC's, GPA, and essay just to be looked at but even the ones they like - they can't take them all.  

 

DD had both a disadvantage and a hook.  Disadvantage - she is a white, non-athlete, female.  It is supposedly the most disadvantaged group to get into tippy tops.  She also had a hook, she is first generation.  DD did not get into Duke only because she is first generation.  They have mountains of first gens applying.  Since she met their requirements, first generation may have then helped her though, especially in light of the fact that overall she is in a category with way too many applicants.  I have had a few people act like because dd was first generation she didn't really meet Duke's standards.  DD had a 35 ACT, a perfect GPA, loads of AP's with 5's, awesome EC's, multiple writing awards, and her essay was stellar (so much that her admissions counselor wrote her a personal note asking her to consider creative writing as a minor).  Duke didn't compromise to take her.  At the same time, being first generation may have made her stand out, yes.   ETA:  And it should have!  I have no idea how to write a college level paper.  I can barely write a decent post here  :lol:   DD burned the midnight oil figuring this all out herself because she is super motivated.  She would come to me with questions and I would just shrug my shoulders because I have no clue.  How did she learn to write?  She would spend her free time reading blogs written by writers and researching the particulars on her own.  She searched out writing competitions on her own and submitted work to them.  The girl is uber motivated.  I don't have the educational groundwork to really help her.


Edited by Attolia, 05 May 2017 - 08:58 AM.

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#134 JanetC

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:32 AM

I'm sorry, Attolia. That is crazy that people are second-guessing your DDs accomplishments.

You have every right to be proud, and I'm sorry others are raining on her parade.
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#135 EKS

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:51 AM

:iagree:  Many students totally overlook the part that says "once you have a high enough number."  Having that number is a baseline, not optional.  

 

Exactly--the number keeps your application from immediately going in the garbage can.


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#136 Attolia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:00 AM

I'm sorry, Attolia. That is crazy that people are second-guessing your DDs accomplishments.

You have every right to be proud, and I'm sorry others are raining on her parade.

 

 

Thank you, Janet.  It is only a few people.  It only irks me when it is someone who says that a "hook" is why dd got in and their dd didn't, but their dd simply didn't have the application my dd did.  If that makes sense?  I know this child, her tests scores were lower, her AP's were less and 3's-4's, etc.  She was a good applicant, yes!  But to say that the only difference between girl #1 and girl #2 was that one was first generation is peeving to me.  Rant over  :lol:

 

I have the same feeling for minorities.  I had a friend with a son who graduated a few years ago and he got into two ivies.  I heard several people say it was only because he was black.  Whatta what?  ok, maybe his race made him stand out some but I knew this kid's stats and he had just as good of a GPA, test scores, and EC's as any white kid out there. An extremely hard worker!!!  He shouldn't have been treated as if the schools compromised in taking him.  Did it help him stand out?  It may or may not have?  Were his stats just as competitive as theirs?  Yes, yes they were.


Edited by Attolia, 05 May 2017 - 10:17 AM.

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#137 Gratia271

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:17 AM

Thank you, Janet.  It is only a few people.  It only irks me when it is someone who says that is why dd got in and their dd didn't it, but their dd simply didn't have the application my dd did.  If that makes sense?  I know this child, her tests scores were lower, her AP's were less and 3's-4's, etc.  She was a good applicant, yes!  But to say that the only difference between girl #1 and girl #2 was that one was first generation is peeving to me.  Rant over  :lol:

 

I have the same feeling for minorities.  I had a friend with a son who graduated a few years ago and he got into two ivies.  I heard several people say it was only because he was black.  Whatta what?  ok, maybe his race made him stand out some but I knew this kid and he had just as good a GPA, test scores, and EC's as any white kid out there. An extremely hard worker!!!  He shouldn't have been treated as if the schools compromised in taking him.  Did it help him stand out?  It may or may not have?  Were his stats just as competitive as theirs?  Yes, yes they were.

I have followed this thread but not posted much, but here were my daughter's first words as I described this thread.  "No one is entitled to a seat at any school." 

 

Kuddos to your daughter for earning a spot there and for the school recognizing her amazing accomplishments.  My greatest happiness for you and your daughter as well as other students on these boards is that many have the privilege of going to their top choice!  And it is a privilege, in my opinion. Many kids can fill these spots, and I am darn sure your daughter earned her place with impressive credentials. :)

 


Edited by Gratia271, 05 May 2017 - 10:30 AM.

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#138 FaithManor

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:23 AM

And with a lot of top 100 schools, I hate to say it but zip code may matter. Schools like to stack their student body when possible with a diversity of regions. I am almost certain ds's acceptance to U of Michigan was location. I knew of some students of dh's co-workers whose resumes were better than ds's, however they were also from the same school district. Every one of them was rejected. Ds found out later he was the only applicant from our rural county which goes heavily either scrappy state university down the road, or Michigan State for the better students.

When middle ds applied to WMU, we found out they had not had an application from our tri county area in over a decade. The y seemed pretty thrilled to get him. In terms of cultural perspective, unique life experience, and creating a non homogenous student body, there will necessarily need to be more to the decision than just AP's, GPA, and EX's.

It goes the other way as well. As one admin from MIT said to me three years ago, "We are not interested in some 4H kid from a Podunk agricultural area no one has ever heard of before." I had called to ask some general admission questions for one of our boys, and the admin asked for our zip code. Clearly he typed it into Google maps or some demographic tracking program or something. It was obvious the conversation was over at that point.

So there are definitely some things that are just quirks of the college that no student can account for thus rejections should be taken with a grain of salt. The hard part is how personally our kids taking these rejections.
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#139 Attolia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:35 AM

My 2 cents, fwiw.

 

Many parents and students in my neck of the woods don't understand that for an unhooked applicant, the acceptance rate at these highly selective schools is actually significantly smaller than the published acceptance rate.

 

My takeaway after speaking with many coaches during my son's recruiting process is this: There are a variety of "buckets" that the admissions office wants to fill: recruited athlete, International Math/ Science kids, Music prodigies, 1st generation low income, URM, geographic diversity, legacy, etc.  If your file can be placed in one of the buckets, then your application will be competing only with other applicants that are in your same bucket.  

 

 

 

 

I am glad that you expand the buckets here.  So many people think kids have an advantage if they are legacy, minority, or first generation.  It isn't really an advantage, per se, as much as they have a quota to fill, just like they do with many, many other things (like athletics, math geniuses, and musicians).  They do like to fill slots and there are many slots to fill beyond those.   If you don't have something that makes you stand out above test scores and GPA, it is tough.

 

Someone rattled off to me that Duke takes a ton of first gens.  No, they actually don't.  10% or less of each class is first generation.  That isn't very large.  Especially when you consider that many of those first gens are also filling another minority quota too.


Edited by Attolia, 05 May 2017 - 11:02 AM.


#140 Attolia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:40 AM

I have followed this thread but not posted much, but here were my daughter's first words as I described this thread.  "No one is entitled to a seat at any school." 

 

 

 

Your dd is right.  I personally find that the people who get super upset and feel very entitled are mostly legacy.  I get it!  I really do, it is your alma mater.  You wanted your kid to go there.  It has been a long time dream.  The disappointment is real. 


Edited by Attolia, 05 May 2017 - 10:49 AM.

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#141 luuknam

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:51 AM

It goes the other way as well. As one admin from MIT said to me three years ago, "We are not interested in some 4H kid from a Podunk agricultural area no one has ever heard of before." I had called to ask some general admission questions for one of our boys, and the admin asked for our zip code. Clearly he typed it into Google maps or some demographic tracking program or something. It was obvious the conversation was over at that point.

 

 

Wow. Did your son apply anyway, hoping that admin was just some odd outlier, or did you just say "their bad, then they're just going to have to miss out on my awesome kid"?


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#142 Arcadia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:56 AM

It goes the other way as well. As one admin from MIT said to me three years ago, "We are not interested in some 4H kid from a Podunk agricultural area no one has ever heard of before." I had called to ask some general admission questions for one of our boys, and the admin asked for our zip code. Clearly he typed it into Google maps or some demographic tracking program or something. It was obvious the conversation was over at that point.


My area is a high probability full pay area. College tours staff indirectly said that is why they come for recruitment drives at certain public high schools.

So many people think kids have an advantage if they are legacy, minority, or first generation. It isn't really an advantage, per se, as much as they have a quota to fill, just like they do with many, many other things (like athletics, math geniuses, and musicians).

Someone rattled off to me that Duke takes a ton of first gens. No, they actually don't. between 5-8% of each class is first generation.

A few people whose kids are first generation college kids find that it was easier for their firstborn to get in than subsequent similar statistics children. It is a guessing game unfortunately so people "talk". Parents have outright said they think their firstborn got in over similar statistics peers because of first gen status. The good thing is no one knows on campus who is first generation, while URMs has said people look at them "funny" in local newspapers, thinking they got in through affirmative action. Some URMs mentioned collegemates questioned them about their high school score profile and were disbelieving about their very high scores. We have faced Asian stereotypes from public school teachers here so people in general will talk and sometimes it is just easier to ignore an acquaintance than to argue.

Duke webpage is saying 10% of students is 1st generation.
"Around 10 percent of Duke's approximately 6,400 undergraduates are first-generation students, but not all of them will be considered for the program. Certain first-generation applicants accepted to Duke needing high or full financial aid will be considered as potential Washington Duke scholars upon admission based on characteristics such as their socioeconomic status, parents' education level, high school and number of advanced placement courses." http://www.dukechron...ration-students

A non-Duke webpage is quoting the same 10% figure http://www.imfirst.o...y/#.WQyfhFRlCfA

ETA:
Duke TIP has an award ceremony this month at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium . We aren't attending since the date is between the end of AP exams and the SAT June date. It is a long domestic flight for us.

Edited by Arcadia, 05 May 2017 - 11:03 AM.

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#143 Attolia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:01 AM

 
My area is a high probability full pay area. College tours staff indirectly said that is why they come for recruitment drives at certain public high schools.
A few people whose kids are first generation college kids find that it was easier for their firstborn to get in than subsequent similar statistics children. It is a guessing game unfortunately so people "talk". Parents have outright said they think their firstborn got in over similar statistics peers because of first gen status. The good thing is no one knows on campus who is first generation, while URMs has said people look at them "funny" in local newspapers, thinking they got in through affirmative action. Some URMs mentioned collegemates questioned them about their high school score profile and were disbelieving about their very high scores. We have faced Asian stereotypes from public school teachers here so people in general will talk and sometimes it is just easier to ignore an acquaintance than to argue.

Duke webpage is saying 10% of students is 1st generation.
"Around 10 percent of Duke's approximately 6,400 undergraduates are first-generation students, but not all of them will be considered for the program. Certain first-generation applicants accepted to Duke needing high or full financial aid will be considered as potential Washington Duke scholars upon admission based on characteristics such as their socioeconomic status, parents' education level, high school and number of advanced placement courses." http://www.dukechron...ration-students

A non-Duke webpage is quoting the same 10% figure http://www.imfirst.o...y/#.WQyfhFRlCfA

 

 

I have wondered about the subsequent children thing.  I'll be curious to see with dd#2 who will also be high stats.  

 

I must have looked at an old number, I will change that.  Thanks for the correction.  10% is still not high though, when you consider minorities cross into that.  I don't think it is high anyway.

 

I agree, minorities have it truly unfair.  I hate when I see a hardworking kid with high stats be treated like race is what got him there and not his hard work, grades, EC's, or test scores.  It just breaks my heart.



#144 Arcadia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:10 AM

I have wondered about the subsequent children thing. I'll be curious to see with dd#2 who will also be high stats.

For those of our friends with more than two children, the sons were affected more than the daughters for STEM direct admissions but since no one gets an answer for why they are rejected, it is ultimately a guessing game. (ETA: similar great scores for AP Calc BC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics C and similar leadership positions in ECAs)

A friend's DD#1 opt not to go to college. His DD#2 is graduating high school soon and he is delaying graduating from college which he is doing part time so she will be first gen status. He would have gotten his bachelors in engineering when his DS#3 (youngest, 5th grade) enters high school.

Edited by Arcadia, 05 May 2017 - 11:58 AM.


#145 Gratia271

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:10 AM

Your dd is right.  I personally find that the people who get super upset and feel very entitled are mostly legacy.  I get it!  I really do, it is your alma mater.  You wanted your kid to go there.  It has been a long time dream.  The disappointment is real. 

 

I know some of these people IRL and have begun to gently guide them toward some more recently realities since they attended school 20 years+ ago.  It is so important for people to be realistic and to chuck this "I deserve/my kid deserves X" mentality.  I might add the ad hominem attacks hurled at others is bigoted and ignorant. 

 

I think it's important for parents and students alike to realize that highly accomplished students in one respect may not be accomplished in the areas the schools are looking for.  I think someone said up thread that schools are increasingly looking way beyond the academic statistics--- to character, personality, leadership.  Stats are baseline. These other items are features that can truly set equally high stat kids apart from the rest.  It did my daughter at many schools.  We met some real obnoxious kids and parents who were invited for interviews based on stats.  They were not extended the opportunities because the schools want something more than "smart" kids to represent their schools (obviously this is not the case across the board).  I think some schools pay very close attention to those essays and to the ECs that say more about your character and commitment to something greater than yourself than attendance at a few meetings. 

 

We have entitled, privileged kids in spades in this country.  Talk about needing some diversity!


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#146 snowbeltmom

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:27 PM

And with a lot of top 100 schools, I hate to say it but zip code may matter. Schools like to stack their student body when possible with a diversity of regions. I am almost certain ds's acceptance to U of Michigan was location. I knew of some students of dh's co-workers whose resumes were better than ds's, however they were also from the same school district. Every one of them was rejected. Ds found out later he was the only applicant from our rural county which goes heavily either scrappy state university down the road, or Michigan State for the better students.

When middle ds applied to WMU, we found out they had not had an application from our tri county area in over a decade. The y seemed pretty thrilled to get him. In terms of cultural perspective, unique life experience, and creating a non homogenous student body, there will necessarily need to be more to the decision than just AP's, GPA, and EX's.

It goes the other way as well. As one admin from MIT said to me three years ago, "We are not interested in some 4H kid from a Podunk agricultural area no one has ever heard of before." I had called to ask some general admission questions for one of our boys, and the admin asked for our zip code. Clearly he typed it into Google maps or some demographic tracking program or something. It was obvious the conversation was over at that point.

So there are definitely some things that are just quirks of the college that no student can account for thus rejections should be taken with a grain of salt. The hard part is how personally our kids taking these rejections.

I am surprised to read this and wouldn't let that comment discourage your son from applying.  My son is from a Podunk agricultural area surrounded by corn fields and cows.  Some of the neighborhood kids, when they found out where son was attending college, had never heard of it and asked where it was located. 


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#147 creekland

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:37 PM

DD burned the midnight oil figuring this all out herself because she is super motivated.  She would come to me with questions and I would just shrug my shoulders because I have no clue.  How did she learn to write?  She would spend her free time reading blogs written by writers and researching the particulars on her own.  She searched out writing competitions on her own and submitted work to them.  The girl is uber motivated.  I don't have the educational groundwork to really help her.

 

Honestly?  That's what got her in and scholarships (knowing she met the baseline, of course).  Self-driven kids do well and colleges know that.  They want that "type" on their campus as they are likely to do well after graduation too - being a positive beacon for their school.  If that drive showed through in her essays and interviews (I'm sure it did), there's no surprise to me that she did as well as she did at so many places.

 

And with a lot of top 100 schools, I hate to say it but zip code may matter. Schools like to stack their student body when possible with a diversity of regions. I am almost certain ds's acceptance to U of Michigan was location. I knew of some students of dh's co-workers whose resumes were better than ds's, however they were also from the same school district. Every one of them was rejected. Ds found out later he was the only applicant from our rural county which goes heavily either scrappy state university down the road, or Michigan State for the better students.

When middle ds applied to WMU, we found out they had not had an application from our tri county area in over a decade. The y seemed pretty thrilled to get him. In terms of cultural perspective, unique life experience, and creating a non homogenous student body, there will necessarily need to be more to the decision than just AP's, GPA, and EX's.

It goes the other way as well. As one admin from MIT said to me three years ago, "We are not interested in some 4H kid from a Podunk agricultural area no one has ever heard of before." I had called to ask some general admission questions for one of our boys, and the admin asked for our zip code. Clearly he typed it into Google maps or some demographic tracking program or something. It was obvious the conversation was over at that point.

 

Zip code definitely matters when schools want geographic diversity (most schools do - even within a state).

 

Yikes on the MIT thing though.  I wish you had pursued that as I think you and he misunderstood each other.  He was thinking of kids from my rural high school who literally haven't done much.  They think they are awesome ('cause they've won local things) and have no idea how much gap there is between top level here and top level there.  However, a student who has done so much more (like Attolia's or yours or even once in a while from our school - self driven still to do more) IS what they are looking for - esp from a zip code that is underrepresented.  One top gal from our school - very tippy top in all ways - got into so many places most with full rides and won national scholarship competitions, etc.  Those kids are just so uncommon and the former are very common, so I can see the adcom trying to not get your hopes up thinking y'all were "common."


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#148 snowbeltmom

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 01:08 PM

I am glad that you expand the buckets here.  So many people think kids have an advantage if they are legacy, minority, or first generation.  It isn't really an advantage, per se, as much as they have a quota to fill, just like they do with many, many other things (like athletics, math geniuses, and musicians).  They do like to fill slots and there are many slots to fill beyond those.   If you don't have something that makes you stand out above test scores and GPA, it is tough.

 

Someone rattled off to me that Duke takes a ton of first gens.  No, they actually don't.  10% or less of each class is first generation.  That isn't very large.  Especially when you consider that many of those first gens are also filling another minority quota too.

These "bucket" categories were given to me by various coaches that we spoke with. 

 

Being in one of these specialized buckets does give a student an advantage in admission, imo.  My son had an Ivy coach tell him that with his academic profile, he stood a good chance of being admitted without the coach support, but in order to guarantee he would be admitted, my son needed to accept the coach's offer.  He also had another Ivy coach tell him that he would be in high demand in the Ivy league because his high stats would enable the coach to recruit a stronger athlete with lower stats that would never stand a chance of being admitted without the hook.  That being said, the Ivy League and the high academic Div III schools have very high standards, so "lower stats" is a relative term and the stats are still high, but there are definite advantages to being in a specialized bucket.


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#149 Attolia

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 01:48 PM

These "bucket" categories were given to me by various coaches that we spoke with. 

 

Being in one of these specialized buckets does give a student an advantage in admission, imo.  My son had an Ivy coach tell him that with his academic profile, he stood a good chance of being admitted without the coach support, but in order to guarantee he would be admitted, my son needed to accept the coach's offer.  He also had another Ivy coach tell him that he would be in high demand in the Ivy league because his high stats would enable the coach to recruit a stronger athlete with lower stats that would never stand a chance of being admitted without the hook.  That being said, the Ivy League and the high academic Div III schools have very high standards, so "lower stats" is a relative term and the stats are still high, but there are definite advantages to being in a specialized bucket.

 

 

 

We know all about this.  DD has a friend going to Duke as well.  National ranked athlete (being sought after by Yale and Harvard as well).  He has a 28 ACT.  Not the super low stats you see at some schools, but much lower than the Duke norm.  He was told that he needed to get to that score to sign on.  He worked very hard and he did it.  


Edited by Attolia, 05 May 2017 - 01:49 PM.

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#150 tiuzzol2

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:34 AM

Finally read through the entire thread here.  Seems to me that there are two problems, first that the SATs and ACTs are not distinguishing better in the top 10%ile.  If someone has a 34 on the ACTs (isn't 36 the max?) and can't get into top schools, can you really blame them for thinking they were "great" or  is it that the ACTs are not doing what they need to to convey that this person is *not* near the top of the pack?  Shouldn't the top 10 %ile points be separated into a number of their own maybe...(Does that make sense? 90%ile =34, 91%ile=35, ... 99%ile=45)

 

Second, if there's this much demand for great schools from truly great students these second rate schools should start becoming "ivy's"  or put another way, if Yale is rejecting 90% of qualified students, why not create a second Yale somewhere else in the country?

 

So either, grades are inflated and SATs and ACT scores are inflated OR, there should be more top-notch schools opening up to fill in the gap to pick up these brilliant kids.  

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like Stanford is  one of those schools that used to be average and has been able to push itself into Ivy status by virtue of the Bay Area growing up around it and giving them the visibility and population to become choosy about their students.  Why aren't there other schools doing the same?


Edited by tiuzzol2, 14 May 2017 - 12:09 PM.