How accurate is

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Discus: College Search and Selection: June 2004 Archive: How accurate is
By Silverstar (Silverstar) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 12:45 am: Edit

How accurate is's "Counselor-O-Matic" search engine? I answered the questions as honestly as I could, but the results I got seemed a rather inconsistent with my preconceived notions..(e.g. I have around 1400 and 3.5, yet this search engine listed berkeley and ucla as two of my 'match' schools, whereas I initially thought those two would be practically impossible for me) Anyway, it seems rather inaccurate. This leads me to question the accuracy of other information listed on the site, for example their college rankings..

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 01:11 am: Edit

"Counselor-O-Matic" needs its own counselor. For some unknown reason it's gone from okay to close to worthless over the past 18 months.

You should take any ratings/rankings with a grain of salt, though with a few exceptions the PR selectivity and academic ratings are at least in the ballpark. US News selectivity ranking may be marginally more accurate.

By Silverstar (Silverstar) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

yeah thats what I thought. Some of their "selectivity ratings" seem a bit off too. I haven't looked up what makes up the criteria for generating them, but whereas some schools (e.g. the ivy leagues) seem to have accurate selectivity ratings of 98/99, other schools like Parsons school of design had a selectivity rating of 50-something although I know it is extremely difficult to get in; you definitely need a KILLER portfolio even though your SATs, etc need not be that high.

By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 12:51 pm: Edit

I found the Counselor-o-matic chiefly useful for suggesting schools for our consideration. I did not give much weight to whether they were indicated as reaches, matches or safeties. We did visit and apply to several schools that we otherwise would not have thought of.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 12:56 pm: Edit

A 1400/3.5 is a decent lottery ticket to UCLA and Berkeley, so to that extent, it's a "match." Problem is that "match" doesn't necessarily mean "good odds of getting in."

Reid, I think the demographics of applications are screwing things up, invalidating predictions that would have been reasonable even a few years ago.

By Kluge (Kluge) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit

I'd expect that a mechanical process like c-o-m would have trouble at the extremes (like Berkeley and UCLA), but it doesn't even seem to be rational at more "middle of the road" schools. One example which stood out to me while looking at schools for my "regular" son:

UC Riverside: 79% acceptance rate, with average freshman stats of 3.4 gpa and 1057 SAT - PR "admissions selectivity rating" of 80.

San Diego State: 50% acceptance rate, average freshman stats of 3.5 gpa and 1071 SAT - PR selectivity rating of 59.

Given that, I'm trying to figure out what the PR "admissions selectivity rating" rates...

By Enarang (Enarang) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Yeah I don't believe Princeton Review's selectivty rating is very accurate because they don't take into account the direction in which the selectivity of the school is heading. The selectivity at some schools seems a bit low while at others its too high.

By Wackicracka (Wackicracka) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Neither Princeton Review or College Board list ALL the majors. I always check to see if they offer my major, and the major is never listed. However, I go to the schools site and check out there majors, and they have it listed! These sites could steer me away from a potential college by not listing my major on the info page. So always check the colleges site before making judgements! That was the lesson I learned!

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