Selectivity ranking

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: Selectivity ranking
By Chrisy (Chrisy) on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 07:47 pm: Edit

how do you calculate the ranking for usnews student selectivity. the website says 10% from acceptance rate, 40% from HS standing, and 50% from SATs. so the composite scores for princeton and mit should be the same (both ranked #2 this year), but i can't seem to get it right. can anyone help me? thanks.

By Chrisy (Chrisy) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 11:52 am: Edit


By Annakat (Annakat) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 08:54 pm: Edit


it's a random and imperfect system, even with specified percentages for each component that were probably determined in a marketing meeting. who cares? aren't you in at amherst already? congratulations on that!

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 04:17 am: Edit

Here's the best way to measure selectivity.

Applications per available spot in the CLASS OF 2008. (This year)


Yale 15.4

Columbia College 14.3

Harvard 11.9

Dartmouth 11.5

Princeton 11.3

Brown 10.1

UPenn 7.40

Cornell University 6.09


Just for comparison:

Yale Law School: 22.6

Harvard Law School: 14.5

By Mafmaf22 (Mafmaf22) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 09:31 am: Edit

You are forgetting several more selective colleges in that list brownalum. WashU said it had over 20k applicants for 1350 spots which is equal to over 14.8 applications per spot, plus it was more cause they have over 20k and i just use 20k

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 05:25 pm: Edit

Applications for spot doesnt matter. Yale still has to accept around 50% more ppl than there are spots in the class, since their yield is around 66%. Harvard's yield is like 10% higher, and Stanford's is a little higher. The best way to look at selectivity is % accepted and yield together.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 08:47 pm: Edit

Jlg3d3, we are talking about the Class of 2008. I don't care about previous classes, because the numbers are obviously going to be different.

And applications per spot is a perfectly valid statistic to use in determining selectivity. I'm just pointing out what the FACTS are. Acceptance rate is much more easily manipulated - you just take more ED kids.

In other words, I don't agree with you. But we're all entitled to our opinions, right?

By Kelchersian (Kelchersian) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 09:34 pm: Edit

Applicants per spot is misleading and only shows one small side of selectivity. For instance, Columbia may have more applicants than Harvard, but they tend to be of a lesser academic standing than the majority of Harvard applicants. I'm surprised Yale is so high. How many applied? I know Harvard had the second largest applicant pool in their history this year.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

Yale received about 4,100 early applications, 19,700 total applications.

Harvard received about 3,900 early applications, 19,700 total applications.

Keep in mind that Yale is a much smaller school than Harvard.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 02:34 am: Edit

Yeah, but look at the herd mentality even on this board. I knew that Yale was going to be deluged as soon as I saw the #1 rating in [bleah!] US News.

By Dmitrypetrovna (Dmitrypetrovna) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 11:07 am: Edit

Yale opened up a floodgate in moving to early action from early decision. Harvard lost some in moving to single choice early action. I agree with Kelchersian that applicants per spot reveals only one small factor in selectivity.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit

applications per spot is a very bad way of looking at selectivity. If they had so many more applications, they wouldnt be behind Harvard Stanford and Princeton in acceptance rates. This year might be a little different though, but I doubt it would be that much different. Applications per spot doesnt show the quality of the applicants, or the difficulty to get in, as a school like Yale again has to accept 50% more than spots per class, while a school like Harvard or Stanford has to accept less ppl. According to applications per spot, UCLA and Washu are harder to get into than Princeton.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 03:32 pm: Edit

Jlg3d3, your post makes no sense, seeing that Yale's overall acceptance rate this year is projected to be far below that of Harvard, Stanford, or Princeton. Yale's early acceptance rate already was.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit

The acceptance rates have not come out yet. please post the links to show how many apps each schools got. I heard Yale had about 17k apps this year.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 04:50 pm: Edit

Bunmushroom, you can look up the numbers yourself on the internet. And Yale received 19,645 applications this year.

By Mini (Mini) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 10:15 pm: Edit

All could be misleading. Ivy League schools (according to an admissions officer I know) attract HUGE numbers of foreign applicants (as much as 15% of the total), far out of proportion to other U.S. schools, and never admit more than 2% of them.

When this is factored in, there are more than a few LACs that are more selective than most, if not all, of the Ivy schools.

By Tunan_Fish (Tunan_Fish) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 10:22 pm: Edit

It's too early to measure selectivity for this year. While Yale was deluged this year, as Brownalum says, let's wait and see the stats of the admitted students and compare the waitlist/reject ratio. Since Yale was this year's hot school, I have a feeling that many people who were underqualified applied there. If they come out with a low admit rate (which they will) and a high-quality class and a high yield, wonderful! But let's not rush to conclusions here.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 10:36 pm: Edit

Tunan_Fish, your "feeling" is completely unsupported by all available evidence.

By Kelchersian (Kelchersian) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

Brownalum, there's no need to be so antagonistic.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 12:11 am: Edit

Kelchersian, I just point out the straight facts. I'm not trying to antagonize anyone.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 02:21 am: Edit

Brownalum, what backup do you have to counter Tunanfish's remarks? At least at my school, more less qualified people applied than usual and I have heard from friends that the same has been true at their schools. No one actually knows the quality of the Yale pool except the admissions officers and they aren't about to tell anyone until this whole thing is over. Show me proof beyond Shaw saying "this year's applicant pool is the strongest we have ever seen" because you know he and almost every other adcom in the country says that every year.

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