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Crimson Wife

Stanford Class of 2017 Acceptance Rate: 5.7%, Lowest Ever

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:scared: :scared: :scared:

 

The record low admit rate reflects a continued trend of increasing selectivity for Stanford. The University admitted 6.6 percent of applicants in 2012, 7.1 percent in 2011 and 7.2 percent in 2010.

 

On Thursday, several peer institutions also reported historically low admit rates. Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Princeton admitted 5.8, 6.72, 6.89 and 7.29 percent of applicants respectively.

 

 

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/03/31/class-of-2017-admit-rate-marks-record-low/

 

I shudder to think what it will take to get into a good school by the time my kids are high school seniors.

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That will depend on what they want to study and whom they want to study with, no?

 

 

I went to my state's engineering school. For my major, the dept was ranked 2nd in the U.S. I interned with MIT and Michigan students, and later my colleagues were from those schools and other very expensive private schools as well as other state schools. It really didn't matter, except to my pocketbook. We were all qualified and competent.

 

I think homeschoolers will have an edge over most highschoolers, as they have the opportunity to get an education that is denied to all but the high schoolers in the most affluent communities. In my area, for ex, Algebra 2 is the last math class before dual enrollment. If the family is not on free lunch or affluent, they likely won't put the kid in DE simply because of the funding issues -- it's death by a thousand cuts for their pocketbook to DE all the jr/sr year classes, instead of get a scholarship as a freshman at a lesser U.

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I shudder to think what it will take to get into a good school by the time my kids are high school seniors.

 

 

I think you have to reassess what a "good" school is. When my oldest was looking, we (dh & I) were more name-conscious. Oldest is graduating this spring, and he did well at a school with good name-recognition, but his experience there wasn't very personal at all. Lots of larger classes and lots of kids in his major meant that he really didn't get to know any of the profs very well.

 

Now with our next one, we are much more concerned about fit -- what the environment is like -- we are looking not only for challenging academics, but also schools with peers that our son will want to be around and professors that will take the time to get to know him and encourage him on his college path. With this new definition of what a "good" school is, we've found that there are a lot more options, and most of them aren't crazy selective like the top "name" schools are. We're confident that he'll get into his "best fit" schools, be happy at any of them, and get a great education.

 

Brenda

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Actually based on birth rates there is an ongoing drop in students available. The numbers will go down slowly. The only way that colleges will continue to get these high numbers of applications is to convince students to apply to more and more schools which is exactly what they need in the mid 80s when the same thing happened.

 

Here's a chart where you can look at the birthrates just make sure to subtract 18 years to look at students just turning 18 this year.

http://upload.wikime...e.1909.2003.png

 

You can see the "peak" was around 1990.

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Is there any reason not to look at overseas universities? There are plenty of "world class" ones. I saw the news about Stanford and Harvard acceptance numbers in Palo Alto weekly though. "Stanford accepted 2,210 out of 38,828 applicants. Harvard accepted 2,029 out of 35,023"

 

Actually based on birth rates there is an ongoing drop in students available. The numbers will go down slowly. The only way that colleges will continue to get these high numbers of applications is to convince students to apply to more and more schools which is exactly what they need in the mid 80s when the same thing happened.

 

 

The schools that OP quoted are taking international students as well so birth rates won't have an impact on them. Besides there are plenty of immigrant children around my area which would not affect the birth rate but would affect the competition to Stanford and UCB (assuming those are their pick)

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:scared: :scared: :scared:

 

 

 

http://www.stanfordd...rks-record-low/

 

I shudder to think what it will take to get into a good school by the time my kids are high school seniors.

 

I wouldn't worry about it. Stanford and HPY and other ivies are not the only good schools out there. As I've mentioned on this board previously, there have been studies showing no income difference between graduates of ivies and 1) students accepted to ivies but who did not attend and 2) students whose SATs were on par with those accepted but who were rejected or never applied in the first place.

 

There are many truly good colleges out there that are not nearly this selective.

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Are they admitting the same number of students as in the past? When I was in high school, those who were college-bound picked from one to three schools where you wanted to go and sent out just those applications. It seems to me that more students are applying to college in general and students are applying to more schools. If Stanford always admits approximately the same number of students, then it just means their applicant pool has grown significantly. I'm sure the competition is tough, but it could be the same students who got in years ago would be the same as who are getting in today.

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Actually based on birth rates there is an ongoing drop in students available. The numbers will go down slowly. The only way that colleges will continue to get these high numbers of applications is to convince students to apply to more and more schools which is exactly what they need in the mid 80s when the same thing happened.

 

Here's a chart where you can look at the birthrates just make sure to subtract 18 years to look at students just turning 18 this year.

http://upload.wikime...e.1909.2003.png

 

You can see the "peak" was around 1990.

 

 

But... back in 1990 there weren't as many international applicants. Now, each year, the number of internationals goes up, up, up at many schools (esp those ranked in the Top 50, but even others).

 

I don't see many acceptance rates going down in the near future unless the school is in some serious trouble staying afloat (and there are a few of these).

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Somebody mentioned to me about this few years ago that this generation is baby boomer's kids. So, you probably still have that affect. For the school I went, it was supposed to be almost a guarantee if you are a double legend. Now I heard that double legend kid and top of the graduation class can't get in my school. Crazy time

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But... back in 1990 there weren't as many international applicants. Now, each year, the number of internationals goes up, up, up at many schools (esp those ranked in the Top 50, but even others).

 

 

 

I agree this is a huge factor. And, also highly selective schools are drawing from a broader applicant pool (in terms of geography and also socioeconomic factors including income) than they once did. Many of us in the middle parts of the country can see a huge change from when we graduated from high school to now. Even most of the very top graduates of my high school only applied in state and now many look much more broadly at out of state colleges.

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But... back in 1990 there weren't as many international applicants. Now, each year, the number of internationals goes up, up, up at many schools (esp those ranked in the Top 50, but even others).

 

I don't see many acceptance rates going down in the near future unless the school is in some serious trouble staying afloat (and there are a few of these).

 

I'd want to see more information on % of over seas applicants over time. I suspect that while it may be going up it is not going up enough to offset this down turn in birth rates.

 

I'll stick by my overall point which is I think schools manipulate students to get them to over apply which makes the schools look better better because of high turn down rates. There are good solid sources inside college admissions that talk about this tactic evolving during the turn down at the end of the boomers in the early 80s. Schools likely have gotten better and better at this game while teenagers have not increased their skills in avoiding this manipulation.

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I think you have to reassess what a "good" school is. When my oldest was looking, we (dh & I) were more name-conscious. Oldest is graduating this spring, and he did well at a school with good name-recognition, but his experience there wasn't very personal at all. Lots of larger classes and lots of kids in his major meant that he really didn't get to know any of the profs very well.

 

Now with our next one, we are much more concerned about fit -- what the environment is like -- we are looking not only for challenging academics, but also schools with peers that our son will want to be around and professors that will take the time to get to know him and encourage him on his college path. With this new definition of what a "good" school is, we've found that there are a lot more options, and most of them aren't crazy selective like the top "name" schools are. We're confident that he'll get into his "best fit" schools, be happy at any of them, and get a great education.

 

Brenda

 

It has been my observation that as a greater and greater percentage of the population gets a bachelor's degree, there has been a greater and greater emphasis placed on the school where the degree is from. Back when my Baby Boomer parents graduated, just having a bachelor's at all was enough to set an individual apart in the job market. Now in many metro areas, a majority of young people are college grads so employers can afford to be much pickier.

 

My DH's employer, for example, only recruits at a handful of schools and if you graduate from any of the others (even from ones with really strong programs in your major), you are S.O.L. unless you've got the family connections to bypass the normal recruiting process. It isn't fair, but that's the reality given the tepid job market and the oversupply of new college grads.

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It has been my observation that as a greater and greater percentage of the population gets a bachelor's degree, there has been a greater and greater emphasis placed on the school where the degree is from. Back when my Baby Boomer parents graduated, just having a bachelor's at all was enough to set an individual apart in the job market. Now in many metro areas, a majority of young people are college grads so employers can afford to be much pickier.

 

My DH's employer, for example, only recruits at a handful of schools and if you graduate from any of the others (even from ones with really strong programs in your major), you are S.O.L. unless you've got the family connections to bypass the normal recruiting process. It isn't fair, but that's the reality given the tepid job market and the oversupply of new college grads.

 

 

But, except for investment banking and perhaps academia, there is no need to be in the Top 20 to have your college degree "acceptable." Schools in the Top 2 - 300 tend to be acceptable (even more if talking about heading to grad school or med school). I'd definitely shy away from online and for-profit places as a newly graduated high school student (not so much if I were already on the job and just needed a degree), and I'd head to schools well known for what I wanted, but unless heading to a really picky profession, the rest of us have far more options.

 

That said, engineers around here will do better having graduated from Penn State or Virginia Tech. Fortunately, neither are that difficult to get into - not easy, but not difficult.

 

I tend to recommend that students go to school in areas/regions they feel they'd want to live as many local employers have their "local" (within a couple of states) favorite schools. My oldest is likely to start (accounting) work in GA or TN (he goes to a school on the border). Middle is still thinking med school, so his choices won't matter so much. Youngest wants tropical - and is hoping to go to college in FL. None of the three need Top 20.

 

There have been many threads on College Confidential discussing whether "where you go" matters. For the vast majority, it doesn't. It's just local favorites that employers have for the most part. Those favorites may, or may not be - usually aren't - in the Top 20.

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I'd want to see more information on % of over seas applicants over time. I suspect that while it may be going up it is not going up enough to offset this down turn in birth rates.

 

I'll stick by my overall point which is I think schools manipulate students to get them to over apply which makes the schools look better better because of high turn down rates. There are good solid sources inside college admissions that talk about this tactic evolving during the turn down at the end of the boomers in the early 80s. Schools likely have gotten better and better at this game while teenagers have not increased their skills in avoiding this manipulation.

 

 

I agree that more students are applying to more places, but that also lowers yield at many places since they can only still choose one school to attend.

 

As to international applicants:

 

http://www.usnews.co...-to-us-colleges

 

http://thechoice.blo...ion-tally-2013/

 

From that second link:

 

This is the time of year in which The Choice gathers such admissions data from scores of colleges and universities around the country, in an effort to provide some sense of the admissions landscape. Of the more than 100 institutions we’ve asked — which include a range of public and private schools — many have reported an increase in early admissions applications and applications from international students, even if the school’s total application tally held steady over the previous year.

 

http://chronicle.com/article/International-Enrollments/129747/

 

This next link doesn't show internationals, but it has some great commentary overall about the number of high school grads overall and by state (once past the first part of the article):

 

Starting in 1990, colleges could anticipate annual increases in students completing high school. But after a peak of 3.4 million graduates in 2011, the trend line flattened out. By 2013-14, Wiche projects, the number of high-school graduates will stabilize, between 3.2 million and 3.3 million, until the next phase of sustained growth, from 2020-21 to 2026-27. During that time, the number of graduates will increase by about 70,000 (2 percent), a more gradual rise than the one seen over the last two decades.

 

http://chronicle.com/article/Wave-of-Diverse-College/136603/

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/03/30/10-college-admissions-trends-southern-schools-waitlist-more.html

 

(This last one was from 2011, but the same Top 10 could be used today - even the first one.)

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Do you think that this reflects a) people who have no hope of getting in applying anyway (excessively high expectations) or b ) people applying to lots of universities in order to get one offer? Or something else?

 

The UK has a compulsory common entrance system: you can apply to a maximum of five UK universities in any one year and have to choose to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge - not both (for crowd-control reasons as they interview all likely candidates).

 

Laura

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Is there any reason not to look at overseas universities? There are plenty of "world class" ones.

 

 

No reason, but also no reason that overseas world class universities will be easier to get into, especially as some other countries have highschoolers specialise early. For comparison, the exams that are the rough equivalents of APs in the UK are required for entrance to any university; they are not optional extras for top students.

 

ETA: Oxford accepted an average of 17% of applicants (the number of applicants is smaller than it would otherwise be because you can only apply to Oxford or Cambridge, not both).

 

Laura

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Do you think that this reflects a) people who have no hope of getting in applying anyway (excessively high expectations) or b ) people applying to lots of universities in order to get one offer? Or something else?

 

The UK has a compulsory common entrance system: you can apply to a maximum of five UK universities in any one year and have to choose to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge - not both (for crowd-control reasons as they interview all likely candidates).

 

Laura

 

 

The Common App has made it easier for students to apply to more schools, and as of now, the number isn't limited. There has been some talk about limiting the number (and a survey of counselors to see if they would like it), BUT, the vast majority do not apply to huge numbers of places so it's thought that limiting may not be worth the effort.

 

A general rule of thumb is that 10% of applicants to a school usually have "no realistic hope" with their stats. You could probably increase this a little bit for Ivy and other Top 10 schools, but most applicants are within the stats for the schools they choose to apply to. A big part of the "surprise" when one is rejected or waitlisted is due to students being "in the zone" so just assuming they will get in and others will not. It's a human trait to expect statistics to only apply to the other people out there. As the center of "our" world, we always think we will beat the odds (whether in college admissions, texting while driving, getting too little sleep, or any number of statistically questionable actions).

 

The lower acceptance rates at so many schools is likely encouraging more apps per student (trying for these schools) later though. It may decrease the variety of applicants as many will also decide it just isn't worth the effort to try when there are oodles of other good schools out there.

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It has been my observation that as a greater and greater percentage of the population gets a bachelor's degree, there has been a greater and greater emphasis placed on the school where the degree is from. Back when my Baby Boomer parents graduated, just having a bachelor's at all was enough to set an individual apart in the job market. Now in many metro areas, a majority of young people are college grads so employers can afford to be much pickier.

 

My DH's employer, for example, only recruits at a handful of schools and if you graduate from any of the others (even from ones with really strong programs in your major), you are S.O.L. unless you've got the family connections to bypass the normal recruiting process. It isn't fair, but that's the reality given the tepid job market and the oversupply of new college grads.

 

 

 

As someone else mentioned this may be dependent on what job you are pursuing as far as the importance of the school you received your degree from.

 

It also may depend on if you will need a masters in your particular job market.

 

My dh gets asked about this by parents with highschoolers interested in the engineering field. What school is best. His advice, focus more on getting into a good masters program.

 

He is a mechanical engineer, they will not even consider someone with only a bachelors.

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A general rule of thumb is that 10% of applicants to a school usually have "no realistic hope" with their stats. You could probably increase this a little bit for Ivy and other Top 10 schools, but most applicants are within the stats for the schools they choose to apply to. A big part of the "surprise" when one is rejected or waitlisted is due to students being "in the zone" so just assuming they will get in and others will not.

 

 

I'm not familiar with how the stats are compiled (and am interested because Calvin is toying with the idea of a US university). Do they represent the range of students admitted in previous years, or a typical student? UK stats are stated in terms of 'a typical offer', so people who won't at least reach that offer don't usually apply.

 

Laura

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As someone else mentioned this may be dependent on what job you are pursuing as far as the importance of the school you received your degree from.

 

It also may depend on if you will need a masters in your particular job market.

 

My dh gets asked about this by parents with highschoolers interested in the engineering field. What school is best. His advice, focus more on getting into a good masters program.

 

He is a mechanical engineer, they will not even consider someone with only a bachelors.

 

 

 

Yes and No. I am a mechanical engineer and worked and working in big size companies. What the all 3 companies I wordked/working will recruite B.S. Degree from top university and offer the kids to go on Master degree paid by the company with full salary. I think that is a sweet deal. For those program, you have to be in top universities or you will have to have a big company around the univeristy that does a lot research program together. Those companies has a list which school they will take.

But if you intend to finish graduate degree with no working between BS/MS. I will agree focus on a good school for MS.

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I'm not familiar with how the stats are compiled (and am interested because Calvin is toying with the idea of a US university). Do they represent the range of students admitted in previous years, or a typical student? UK stats are stated in terms of 'a typical offer', so people who won't at least reach that offer don't usually apply.

 

Laura

 

 

The stats most kids look at are the 25 - 75% test scores meaning, of the students who attend the school, 50% scored within that range. 25% were higher. 25% were lower (lower students almost always have some sort of "hook" to have gotten admitted).

 

You have to be careful, because schools tend to accept more with higher stats than lower stats - some with those higher stats opt to go elsewhere, so don't show up in the "attending" students stats. Those with lower stats are often thrilled to get in and attend the "best" school that let them in (leading some to high debt). It skews the numbers a little. Guidance counselors I know recommend being in the top 50% of stats for a "match" at a not so selective school. Being in the top 25% is also good, but not a guarantee. At very selective schools, it's not a guarantee at all. It's "normal."

 

For anyone considering very selective schools it's helpful to go to that college forum on college confidential and see the reports of Accepted, Waitlisted, and Denied students to get a feel for just how random it can be.

 

Even at the not-quite-as-selective schools there is no guarantee with just good stats (like U Rochester - they only accepted 31% of their applicants last year - and the number supposedly went down this year since applications were up 8+%). A student's mom just posted that their kid had a HIGH ACT (perfect math score) and still just got waitlisted. He had really nice looking ECs too. The guess on the thread is that he interviewed poorly...

 

One can never know for sure except at the schools where acceptance rates are higher. Look at both stats and acceptance rates.

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One can never know for sure except at the schools where acceptance rates are higher. Look at both stats and acceptance rates.

 

 

Thanks for that - Calvin would need considerable merit aid to be able to attend a US university, because the UK is so much cheaper for residents, but he's wondering about it. He might instead go for a course that gives his three years here and one year as an exchange student in the US.

 

Thanks again

 

Laura

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Are they admitting the same number of students as in the past? When I was in high school, those who were college-bound picked from one to three schools where you wanted to go and sent out just those applications. It seems to me that more students are applying to college in general and students are applying to more schools. If Stanford always admits approximately the same number of students, then it just means their applicant pool has grown significantly. I'm sure the competition is tough, but it could be the same students who got in years ago would be the same as who are getting in today.

 

 

First thing we learned in statistics class -- how statistics are misused. Think of it logically -- the school will need to keep its incoming new student numbers up, or it will go out of business. Therefore, if the acceptance rate is low, then the overall population of applicants is quite large.

 

Many people apply to Stanford and other "prestigious" schools as a wild card -- they don't hold out hope they will be accepted, but they can at least say they applied. It's another chance to name-drop.

 

And the points others posted about what constitutes a good school are important, as well. Yes, it's impressive to say you graduated in the top 25% of a class at an Ivy League school. But it's more impressive to say you were in the top 5% (or top of your class) at a lesser-known school that really knows its business.

 

Basically, articles and headlines like this seem pointless to me, since they tell us nothing of real use. They are just written to inflame and excite, and gain more readers for the news organization and reporter.

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Do you think that this reflects a) people who have no hope of getting in applying anyway (excessively high expectations) or b ) people applying to lots of universities in order to get one offer? Or something else?

 

The UK has a compulsory common entrance system: you can apply to a maximum of five UK universities in any one year and have to choose to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge - not both (for crowd-control reasons as they interview all likely candidates).

 

Laura

 

 

As to your part a) above...when we visited Stanford in the summer of 2012 the admissions rep told the group during the information session that of the 33,000+ applicants who applied in that most recent admissions cycle (this info would be a year old now), 80% were "academically qualified." Stanford seems to be less driven by numbers than some, however, and there are overall numbers for matriculated students seems to reflect that.

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Laura - My son was looking considerably lower down than Stanford. His cousin is looking at ivy leagues (Princeton, Yale, etc.). They both took the same approach of applying to many colleges. They both had the statistics to go to the colleges to which they applied, but my son is unusual even for a homeschooler and thought not everyone would want him and his cousin knows that the ivies have many more qualified applicants than seats and is applying to many in the hopes that he will appeal to one of them and be accepted. The same principle applies to both students. I suspect they aren't the only ones approaching this like a dice game - the more rolls, the more likely they are to get that lucky number. I suspect that the whole thing is a positive feedback loop - students know that they have to get lucky so they apply to lots of colleges so they have to get even luckier so they apply to even more colleges so... And then there is the problem that in the US, there are several popular ranking lists and a low acceptance rate is part of what makes a college place high on the list. For what it is worth, this situation existed when I myself was applying to college, but to a much lesser degree. A student might apply to two schools and a safety. The cousin was advised to apply to 9 - 3 safeties, 3 middle ones, and 3 reach schools. Since the reach schools are really not reach schools for him, statistics-wise, he will apply to 2 or 3 safeties and 6 ivy or near-ivy schools. There is a lot of talk about having a "hook", something other than statistics that will make you interesting enough to be picked from among all those whose who are statistically qualified. Your son would has a hook, several of them.

 

Nan

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Your son would has a hook, several of them.

 

Nan

 

 

Thank you, Nan. I don't know what a hook looks like, in US terms. He's very bright, but those applying to the universities he would be interested in are going to be. Apart from that: he grew up in Asia, was home educated for seven years, has dual UK/US nationality, speaks Chinese, plays bass guitar (for fun - he's not a great musician or anything) and writes poetry. The only part of that that is measurable is his placing in a national poetry competition. Could one construct a hook out of any of that?

 

Top universities in the UK are much more interested in your specialised focus (the poetry competition will be a differentiator for him, as he's applying for English) rather than broad background.

 

Thanks

 

Laura

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he grew up in Asia, was home educated for seven years, has dual UK/US nationality, speaks Chinese, plays bass guitar (for fun - he's not a great musician or anything) and writes poetry. The only part of that that is measurable is his placing in a national poetry competition. Could one construct a hook out of any of that?

 

 

Everything you just wrote is a hook for US admissions. They are looking to build a class that is diverse and talented academically. There won't be much competition for what he'd bring to the table in diversity (diversity is NOT just race and gender). I suspect he'd get in to many places due to his academics AND what he brings to the table/class in experiences.

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Do you think that this reflects a) people who have no hope of getting in applying anyway (excessively high expectations) or b ) people applying to lots of universities in order to get one offer? Or something else?

 

The UK has a compulsory common entrance system: you can apply to a maximum of five UK universities in any one year and have to choose to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge - not both (for crowd-control reasons as they interview all likely candidates).

 

Laura

 

It is both. High school students apply to safe choice and to places they hope to get in as there is no limit. Some are not sure which one they prefer the most and just apply to all their shortlisted (less than 5) choices.

 

Did you see this for Calvin? It is for University of Oxford

http://www.admission...ng-cat-2013.pdf

http://www.admission.../cat/about-cat/

 

Does the apply to Oxford or Cambridge apply to foreigners too? I have nieces and nephews sitting for 'O' levels this year and Imperial College is another favourite.

No reason, but also no reason that overseas world class universities will be easier to get into, especially as some other countries have highschoolers specialise early. For comparison, the exams that are the rough equivalents of APs in the UK are required for entrance to any university; they are not optional extras for top students.

 

The overseas universities comment was with regardless to OP worrying about getting into a good school when there are many fishes in the pond and her oldest is ten.

My home country's university would be just as hard to get in as Stanford but the fees would be very affordable since it is a flat rate and not income based. My country allow 5 combinations of university-faculty on the university joint admission exercise. So I can put first choice uni1, engineering, second choice uni2, engineering, third choice, uni1, computer engineering and so on up to five choices. So far we are not enticed by the unversity system here and hubby is more and more against B&M schools here now :(

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Laura - Those are all hooks, with the possible exception of the bass playing. (They don't need to be quantifiable but it is nice if there is some sort of evidence to back them up. Speaking Chinese is evidence that he grew up in China, for example.) The question is whether those particular hooks would be of interest to the particular schools in which he is interested. If he is interested in the ivies, then my complete-guess would be that many of the other applicants are going to have hooks very like those. If he is interested in one of the small good-but-not-ivy liberal arts colleges, then my complete-guess would be that he would be applying with many more ordinary students and those particular hooks put together with good test scores would make him particularly interesting. I also would guess that since he has dual citizenship, he wouldn't have to bother with visas? US colleges like a certain amount of diversity. A foreigner who is guarenteed not to have visa problems might be rather attractive? I don't know. As I said, I am just guessing, going by which people I happen to know went where.

 

Nan

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Does the apply to Oxford or Cambridge apply to foreigners too? I have nieces and nephews sitting for 'O' levels this year and Imperial College is another favourite.

 

 

It depends whether the university insists that the foreigner go through the UCAS common entrance process. If you use UCAS, then the system rejects the choice of both Oxford and Cambridge. I would suggest that people contact the university directly to see what the rules are for overseas students.

 

Calvin doesn't like the idea of Imperial because he doesn't want to be in London. He's a small town lad.

 

Laura

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Laura - Those are all hooks, with the possible exception of the bass playing. (They don't need to be quantifiable but it is nice if there is some sort of evidence to back them up. Speaking Chinese is evidence that he grew up in China, for example.) The question is whether those particular hooks would be of interest to the particular schools in which he is interested. If he is interested in the ivies, then my complete-guess would be that many of the other applicants are going to have hooks very like those.

 

 

Unlikely to be Ivies: we have too much money for hardship grants and too little to pay full fees.

 

Laura

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I wouldn't worry about it. Stanford and HPY and other ivies are not the only good schools out there. As I've mentioned on this board previously, there have been studies showing no income difference between graduates of ivies and 1) students accepted to ivies but who did not attend and 2) students whose SATs were on par with those accepted but who were rejected or never applied in the first place.

 

There are many truly good colleges out there that are not nearly this selective.

 

Yup. There is little to the name when my DH hires. He finds the Big Name grads to come with a sense of entitlement and thinking they get a bigger paycheck since they have a certain name on their diplomas. Ummm....sorry. It doesn't work that way.

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It depends whether the university insists that the foreigner go through the UCAS common entrance process. If you use UCAS, then the system rejects the choice of both Oxford and Cambridge. I would suggest that people contact the university directly to see what the rules are for overseas students.

 

 

Thanks. If they are still interested two years down the road, they'll contact the international admissions office and go to British Council (which has a help desk in the library for UK universities application) for advice, I've taken a look at UCAS website and it isn't clear. They are all urbanites and being a graduate of Imperial College would get them a high paying job back home. Same for Cambridge and Oxford. It is the old boys club mentality.

 

Best of luck to Calvin.

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Thanks. If they are still interested two years down the road, they'll contact the international admissions office and go to British Council (which has a help desk in the library for UK universities application) for advice, I've taken a look at UCAS website and it isn't clear. They are all urbanites and being a graduate of Imperial College would get them a high paying job back home. Same for Cambridge and Oxford. It is the old boys club mentality.

 

Best of luck to Calvin.

 

Do you mind my asking what exams they are taking after O levels? I've heard that A levels are hard for sciences if you home educate, but can be doable for arts.

 

Laura

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Do you mind my asking what exams they are taking after O levels? I've heard that A levels are hard for sciences if you home educate, but can be doable for arts.

 

Laura

 

 

They are in secondary school now and will be in junior college for their A levels. High chance they will opt for Math, Biology, Physics and Chemistry for their A levels at H3/A levels to keep all paths open. They will take General Paper and Chinese at H1/AO/AS level.

For private candidates or homeschoolers there are a few private schools with labs that are equipped to A level standards. The homeschoolers/adult learners can do their labs there on a hourly rate basis. Or they can take their science classes there.

Homeschooling is a relatively new phenomenon in Singapore. However private candidates for O and A levels have been around for a long time and so there are established private schools for those. Compulsory education is up to age 15 (secondary three, 9th grade) and it used to be until primary six (12 years old). I have to file my boy's school name and details with Singapore's MOE because of the compulsory education act.

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And the points others posted about what constitutes a good school are important, as well. Yes, it's impressive to say you graduated in the top 25% of a class at an Ivy League school. But it's more impressive to say you were in the top 5% (or top of your class) at a lesser-known school that really knows its business.

 

 

Even being valedictorian of your class won't help you if your resume gets automatically denied by some computer algorithm by virtue of not listing the "right" school. There are often hundreds of applicants for each position these days and that allows employers to be super-picky.

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Thank you, Nan. I don't know what a hook looks like, in US terms. He's very bright, but those applying to the universities he would be interested in are going to be.

 

 

Elizabeth Wissner-Gross has a book on the subject called "What High Schools Don't Tell You". Though with the insane level of competition these days, even having a good "hook" (or several) may not be enough :-(

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Even being valedictorian of your class won't help you if your resume gets automatically denied by some computer algorithm by virtue of not listing the "right" school. There are often hundreds of applicants for each position these days and that allows employers to be super-picky.

 

No offense, but that sure doesn't sound like a field I'd want to be heading toward anyway...

 

There are oodles of decent paying jobs out there without needing to be in that race.

 

But then again, I suppose with one of my guys heading toward med school (definitely not a 'picky about your undergrad' field) and another heading toward Tropical Bio (top schools here aren't 'normal' top schools, but jobs can still be on the harder side to find), I guess it is a matter of guiding each student toward "their" path. If yours want to head to a place where they need a < 10% acceptance school to be one in hundreds who apply to a job - I'll root for them!

 

Fortunately, my oldest headed toward a field that is still doing well - accounting/business. Middle looks like he will do well with stats and ECs to get into med school IF he still wants it in a few years. That will leave youngest. We'll see. If nothing else, he'd probably be happy living the beach bum life and living under the boardwalk. ;)

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Even being valedictorian of your class won't help you if your resume gets automatically denied by some computer algorithm by virtue of not listing the "right" school. There are often hundreds of applicants for each position these days and that allows employers to be super-picky.

 

Every time I read your posts about college and the fierce competition for jobs where you live, I want to conduct a workshop for folks who live in a bubble entitled How to Help Your Kids Move Inland and Have the Life Few Can Afford in California. :tongue_smilie: There are many options, good options, outside of overpriced, overpopulated-with-the-overqualified markets.

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I'd want to see more information on % of overseas applicants over time. I suspect that while it may be going up it is not going up enough to offset this down turn in birth rates.

 

 

Not applicants data, but admissions has gone up for international students.

 

UCB went from 2406 (2003) to 4926 (2012)

MIT is more constant but increasing

2012 11832 (29.05%)

2011 11558 (27.41%)

2010 11341 (27.78%)

2003 10950 (25.7%)

1999 9709 (22.6%)

Harvard went from 2,818 (1999) to 4,007 (2009), 4188 (2012), 4,404 (2013)

Stanford went from 2,132 (28.2%, 1998) to 3,722 (22.24%, 2012)

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Unlikely to be Ivies: we have too much money for hardship grants and too little to pay full fees.

 

Laura

 

Some of the ivies have alumni that contribute heavily to their alma mater. As a result, some of them have much more money to give out in financial aid than some of the other private colleges (and most of the public ones). Each college decides individually how much need-based aid (hardship grants?) they will offer for each student, and how much merit aid (scholarship), and how much in loans. Loans come as subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans, ones that the student alone can take without a co-signer and ones that need a solvent adult to co-sign. Sometimes you will be offered more aid at a rich private college than at either a poorer private college or a public school. My son, without having tip-top SAT scores, received enough merit and need based aid from one college to put the price below that of our state college, despite the fact that the private college cost in the vicinity of $50,000/year and our state college costs about half that. (The numbers are the colleges' estimate of how much it will cost a student to attend for a year - room, board, tuition, and other expenses.) Colleges here also give a profile of a typical student. Often, if you go to the college website and click on admissions, there will be a section call "at a glance" or "just the facts". That will give the average high school gpa (grade point average, usually on a 0.0-4.0 scale, a 75% average being a 2.0) and SAT score of the first year students. This allows you to compare your student. The college also tries to give you some idea of what sort of student they want in the rest of the admissions section. Some would like students who have tried to make the world a better place. Others want students with experience working in groups. They all tend to sound the same but you can often ask people about a college and they can tell you what sort of students a college likes. I tried to give you a link for Amherst College's at-a-glance page but I was unsuccessful (just picking a random liberal arts college in my state). Most students at a college like Amherst College are probably in the top 10% of their high school class, have SAT scores in the 700's, have 5's on a number of AP tests (subject tests), and received mostly A's in their high school classes. For contrast, a typical student at my state university (not an especially high ranking one) probably has SAT's in the high 500s, a mix of A's and B's, might not have taken any AP classes, and is in the top quarter of his class. Here is the facts page: https://www.umass.edu/admissions/facts-and-figures/student-body-and-admissions-statistics I don't know if that is any help or not?

 

Nan

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:scared: :scared: :scared:

 

I shudder to think what it will take to get into a good school by the time my kids are high school seniors.

 

 

 

Think about the entering class of Stanford, Harvard, Yale, or Princeton or the other Ivies. A certain percentage of those students are "legacy" students. Dad, Aunts and Uncles, Grandpa, and great-grandpa all attended. The family gives the school lots of money AND the family will pay full sticker price for junior to attend. Another percentage goes to filling a certain need for the school -- they need a bassoonist for the orchestra, a linebacker for the football team, a pitcher for baseball. There are only a small percentage of spots left for the all those over-achievers who are applying to 10 or 20 different colleges. No wonder the small acceptance rates.

 

But I agree with all who have responded in this thread. There are many excellent schools in this country, and you are going to do a disservice to your kids if you think only a name brand school is worthwhile. Besides, who knows what the job market will be like 10 years or so from now when your kids are graduating college? Perhaps certain industries won't be so name conscious. Perhaps your children will decide they'd rather go to a trade school so they can do something they love rather than worry about prestige.

 

Far more important to our family was to find a good college fit -- a quality education in an environment that supports and nurtures my young adult children. We homeschooled to provide our kids an education that suited them, why should college be any different? You'll find that many of the good midwestern LACs are filled with children of faculty from name brand universities -- they recognize the excellence that is there in those LACs, under the radar of the general public.

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Some of the ivies have alumni that contribute heavily to their alma mater. As a result, some of them have much more money to give out in financial aid than some of the other private colleges (and most of the public ones). Each college decides individually how much need-based aid (hardship grants?) they will offer for each student, and how much merit aid (scholarship), and how much in loans. Loans come as subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans, ones that the student alone can take without a co-signer and ones that need a solvent adult to co-sign. Sometimes you will be offered more aid at a rich private college than at either a poorer private college or a public school.

 

I agree that many students can do better financially at private schools (my two older boys both did and youngest is likely to as well - esp since we live in a state where public schools cost a bit). However, it should also be known that NONE of the Ivies and many of the tippy top schools (like MIT) do NOT give merit aid at all. Other colleges may not as well (Franklin & Marshall comes to mind). They give need-based aid only (and perhaps athletic scholarships? - I'm not up on those). Their need-based aid is usually more in the form of grants and work study rather than loans and some have a higher cut off for incomes to qualify for need based aid, but if heading there thinking of merit aid, it's not happening.

 

Run Net Price Calculators (available on college web sites) to get a feel for the price you'd be paying.

 

For us, we wanted merit aid, so didn't consider any school (including Ivies) that didn't offer any. My boys didn't feel shorted with their choices. Many of the Top 50 schools do offer nice merit aid (though competitive). While our income was LOW during the economic downturn (qualifying us for ample need-based aid), we had confidence that economic conditions would improve. I'm glad we made that decision. We would not be ready to be full pay for college since we used our savings.

 

If looking for merit aid, sift carefully before application time (or even visitation). Actually, one should do that if looking for need-based aid too as some schools (including many Ivies) are really good with it and others not so much.

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Even being valedictorian of your class won't help you if your resume gets automatically denied by some computer algorithm by virtue of not listing the "right" school. There are often hundreds of applicants for each position these days and that allows employers to be super-picky.

Private industry would never use a computer to pick an applicant. Dh is COO of a tech firm in DC and he scours over dozens of resumes weekly in search of someone who has the EXPERIENCE he needs and the correct training. He literally bypasses the school section. Makes no difference where they went to school if they can't do what he needs them to. These jobs pay 6 figures to start so we are not talking small time hiring here.

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However, it should also be known that NONE of the Ivies and many of the tippy top schools (like MIT) do [NOT] give merit aid at all. Other colleges may not as well (Franklin & Marshall comes to mind). They give need-based aid only (and perhaps athletic scholarships? - I'm not up on those). Their need-based aid is usually more in the form of grants and work study rather than loans and some have a higher cut off for incomes to qualify for need based aid, but if heading there thinking of merit aid, it's not happening.

 

 

This was my understanding too: because the Ivies assume that all students entering are highly meritorious, they only give needs-based aid.

 

For us, Oxford or Cambridge (if Calvin can get in) cost £9,000 (USD 14,000) per year in fees, and most courses last three rather than four years. We can't justify the cost of the Ivies in comparison, when Oxbridge hit the top of the world university rankings.

 

Laura

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Not applicants data, but admissions has gone up for international students.

 

UCB went from 2406 (2003) to 4926 (2012)

MIT is more constant but increasing

2012 11832 (29.05%)

2011 11558 (27.41%)

2010 11341 (27.78%)

2003 10950 (25.7%)

1999 9709 (22.6%)

Harvard went from 2,818 (1999) to 4,007 (2009), 4188 (2012), 4,404 (2013)

Stanford went from 2,132 (28.2%, 1998) to 3,722 (22.24%, 2012)

 

 

Thanks for posting this.

 

The Berkeley increase is large, but it does include both undergrads and graduate students and it is not for one year of admitted students but all enrolled students. Once you start dividing you get about 400 new students per year that are international for undergraduate admissions. Further there is an interesting note that there were 2200 international students in the 2012 summer session. Many schools are pretty open about allowing nonenrolled students take summer classes(graduates students often will do this) . So it is possible that the overall increase of 2500 over the 9 years is only an increase of 300 or so of enrolled students (further reduce that, since only 60% are undergraduates). So I can't really tell if this is a big increase or not.

 

The Harvard numbers look like they are going up but that is not the trend. There was a big jump of 10% increase in the 99/00 year, but after goes down in terms of % increase. There's even one year with a negative growth rate. Further, if you look at the second chart the % of students who are international on campus drops from 10% to 2% over the time period.

 

Which brings me to a new question: is there a cap on international students at exclusive schools? In the Harvard data it certainly looks like there was either a diminished number of applicants in that time period OR someone decided that there were too many international students, and reduced numbers of admitted international students. I doubt this would be published but it could still exist.

 

Further I should have been clearer that what I would like to see is the number on applications. My point is that rising application numbers is more driven by US students applying to more and more and more schools in response to marketing by those schools. Without knowing numbers of international applications, its hard to know if the rise in applications is due to international students or US students.

 

I still think that if US students have just added one more application to their overall total over the same time period that would dwarf these international numbers, but I could be wrong, the potential of international applications is certainly there.

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Private industry would never use a computer to pick an applicant. Dh is COO of a tech firm in DC and he scours over dozens of resumes weekly in search of someone who has the EXPERIENCE he needs and the correct training. He literally bypasses the school section. Makes no difference where they went to school if they can't do what he needs them to. These jobs pay 6 figures to start so we are not talking small time hiring here.

 

 

Some hiring managers are busy enough that they do give key work search terms to the HR person in an effort to cut the pile down to manageable.

 

I was given an interview at my last job b/c the HR person's husband was an engineer and she asked him for an opinion on the quality of my U. School name got me into the hiring manager's pile.

 

Most non-newhire tech jobs in this area are going to employee referrals and ex-military - all qualified of course. The placement people I've talked to lately all recommend working your network over cold call.

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Private industry would never use a computer to pick an applicant. Dh is COO of a tech firm in DC and he scours over dozens of resumes weekly in search of someone who has the EXPERIENCE he needs and the correct training. He literally bypasses the school section. Makes no difference where they went to school if they can't do what he needs them to. These jobs pay 6 figures to start so we are not talking small time hiring here.

 

 

I think this may be a case where the anecdotal evidence does not match the overall evidence. If you search for "computer screening resume" at Google you get a huge number of hits and a lot of sites like these:

 

http://wallstreetjobreport.com/how-to-get-your-resume-past-computer-screening-tactics/

 

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/08/10/how-to-trick-the-automated-screening-process-and-get-your-resume/

 

It is also possible that your husband is only seeing the result of a computer and then maybe HR cull of candidates.

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I agree that many students can do better financially at private schools (my two older boys both did and youngest is likely to as well - esp since we live in a state where public schools cost a bit). However, it should also be known that NONE of the Ivies and many of the tippy top schools (like MIT) do NOT give merit aid at all. Other colleges may not as well (Franklin & Marshall comes to mind). They give need-based aid only (and perhaps athletic scholarships? - I'm not up on those). Their need-based aid is usually more in the form of grants and work study rather than loans and some have a higher cut off for incomes to qualify for need based aid, but if heading there thinking of merit aid, it's not happening.

 

 

 

This is true, and when our oldest dd was applying, we encouraged her to look at whether or not a school offered merit aid when she applied. Of the schools on her list, only Harvard didn't offer merit aid. And, other than Emory, where she got a full scholarship, guess what school ended up costing the least? Harvard! Don't just look at whether schools offer merit aid; look at how much they offer. My dd got one nice-sounding "scholarship" that turned out to be a $3000 grant to do summer research. Well, thanks, but that's not a lot of help! So don't discount the top schools because they don't offer merit aid. Their financial aid offers are very generous, even for families that are solidly middle class.

 

The admission rates are low, it's true, but some kids do get in! My kids are white, with college educated parents who can't come close to paying. They are legacies at Yale (where dh went to grad school), but of three who applied there, only two have gotten in. In fact, Yale sends a letter to legacy parents telling them their kids get no preferential treatment. My kids haven't started a charity or gone to the Olympics. In fact, ds18 had NO significant community service at all. What do they have? Amazing test scores, a record of incredibly hard work in high school, great recommendations (we use the CC for that), an internship senior year, and some kind of national award (ISEF, Siemens, USAMO, etc.). Oh, and they were homeschooled! We encouraged our kids not to set their hearts on the top schools, but to have other great schools they'd be happy at, but we also encouraged them to try for the best, and so far four have gotten in. So it is possible. =)

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However, it should also be known that NONE of the Ivies and many of the tippy top schools (like MIT) do NOT give merit aid at all. Other colleges may not as well (Franklin & Marshall comes to mind). They give need-based aid only (and perhaps athletic scholarships? - I'm not up on those). Their need-based aid is usually more in the form of grants and work study rather than loans and some have a higher cut off for incomes to qualify for need based aid, but if heading there thinking of merit aid, it's not happening.

 

Run Net Price Calculators (available on college web sites) to get a feel for the price you'd be paying.

 

For us, we wanted merit aid, so didn't consider any school (including Ivies) that didn't offer any. My boys didn't feel shorted with their choices. Many of the Top 50 schools do offer nice merit aid (though competitive). While our income was LOW during the economic downturn (qualifying us for ample need-based aid), we had confidence that economic conditions would improve. I'm glad we made that decision. We would not be ready to be full pay for college since we used our savings.

 

If looking for merit aid, sift carefully before application time (or even visitation). Actually, one should do that if looking for need-based aid too as some schools (including many Ivies) are really good with it and others not so much.

 

Many of the better colleges do need-based only. As Creekland said, the amount of aid for the higher incomes can be higher when the school is wealthier. That is why there is a calculator on many of the colleges' websites. I am not, by any means, pushing the ivies or other internationally known universities. I am just saying that if you are interested in a college, it might be worth applying to see what happens, or at least trying out the calculators. I never thought we were "poor" enough to qualify for need-based grants despite not being able to pay almost the almost 60k/yr bill for a private school outright, even with our savings, but apparently I was wrong, judging by the amount of needs-based aid my son received (in addition to the merit aid). There was a discussion here similar to this one, again having to do with Stanford, just recently.

 

Laura - That price is, indeed, going to be hard to beat.

 

Nan

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