Brandeis university rejection?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Brandeis university rejection?
By Grunty (Grunty) on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 02:15 pm: Edit

Man, this is the 1st outright rejection i've received, and its from Brandeis. I was considering it as a good match to semi-safety school. I got deferred from Pomona College, and waitlisted from WUSTL, and brandeis rejects me...
3.4 unweighted GPA, 1520 SATs, 800V 720 math2c, 770 bio, most challenging courseload my school offers (about 8 honors/AP in junior and senior). National merit finalist. Now i'm really scared. Is this an anomaly, or am i in trouble for some of the other "good bet" schools that i applied to, such as Boston College, Grinnel College, Rochester University? Can i email Brandeis and ask why i was rejected? I mean, they have an avg GPA of 3.5, and i'm sure ive taken more AP and have a higher SAT than most of their 3.5s.

By Anonmom (Anonmom) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 10:05 am: Edit

I'd say you applied primarily to reach and match schools. No school with an acceptance rate of considerably less than 50% can be considered anything like a "semi-safety" for anyone (Brandeis was around 40%, and may have been even less this year)--there are too many subjective factors that can come into play against you, depending on who you happen to be competing with in the applicant pool. This is something you have no control over (such as a geographic diversity issue, or what musical instrument you may play, or the quality of your recommendation letters), and this is why it's really important to include true safeties in the mix. Every year, a certain number of kids get entirely shut out because they neglected the "bottom end" of their college list.

What I can say is that a school like BU may favor you because of your high SAT score, but again it's hard to be sure how they chose to view you. Grinnell and Rochester are more selective than you might have thought; Rochester may also favor your scores in their decision though.

You can email Brandeis to ask them why you were rejected if you want, but it's unlikely to get you any real information. I once saw the Brandeis admissions dean on local Boston TV talking about just this subject. He said that when someone calls to ask why they were rejected, in most cases they pull the file, look at it, and have to reply that they don't know the real reason. There's rarely anything obvious in the file--most students look "acceptable" on paper. The dynamic that occurs around the admission committee table can't be recreated after the fact. It was probably just a situation where they were looking at you along with several other people, and on that particular day your application lost out to someone else's. There may have been something in someone else's background that they felt they needed more than what they saw in yours. It's tough to understand the subjectivity that goes into this process, but it's there nonetheless. And again, this is why researching true safeties can be the most important thing any kid does, yet it is what most kids, their parents and counselors, tend to neglect.

Good luck with the rest of your decisions. I hope that you do have a satisfactory safety in the mix that you just didn't chose to mention.

By Cruelfate (Cruelfate) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 04:34 pm: Edit

I think you are just over-quailified... seriously.

By Arthur (Arthur) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 06:28 pm: Edit

you better be over-qualified, lol, because your stats are damn similar to mine (same sat1, simlar sat2s - by the way, did you take writing?) and i am waiting to hear from more prestigious colleges than brandeis.

scares me.

By Grunty (Grunty) on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 12:38 am: Edit

hehe, i'm not sure if your joking or not cruelfate, but thanks for the replis guys. I'm so scared im gonna have to go to the hell that is UC Irvine now. arrr!

By Cruelfate (Cruelfate) on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 05:02 pm: Edit

No I wasn't joking at all... I got in to Brandeis the day before yesterday with slightly lower stats. I think they know that you are over-qualified and assume that there is a good chance that you wont be going. Actually, Brandeis even extended it's deadlines this year so it is curious as to why they didn't take you.
Hold in there!!! Brandeis isn't everything.

By Childe (Childe) on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 11:16 pm: Edit

From what i know, the average SAT score in Brandeis is way way lower than yours. Your GPA is your only pull-down...but still...
I agree with Cruelfate... they probably assume you won't join Brandeis anyway.

By Zulu (Zulu) on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 03:21 am: Edit

You're an Ivy-caliber student. All the colleges you've applied to will obviously assume, with those scores, that your unlikely to matriculate. In your situation, I'd appeal all rejections, which will serve to indicate your keenness to attend.

I read somewhere about successful appeals.

By Nymom (Nymom) on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 08:32 am: Edit

Zulu -- I disagree. A 3.4 GPA, even unweighted, is not "ivy caliber." Further, if Brandeis suspected that Grunty was using it as a safety, he would have been waitlisted(as with WUSTL), not rejected. Something in the application turned them off (esssays? ECs?). Grunty, if you really are interested, by all means call, or have your GC call.

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