How much do alumni parents count for?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: December 2002 Archive: How much do alumni parents count for?
By Rasterburn on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 09:49 pm: Edit

Ok, I'm a child of two Dartmouth alum, my mom graduated summa, phi beta kappa.
Currently a junior
I scored 1540 on sats, when I retake em I wouldn't be surprised if I got a 1600. I am currently attending a magnate boarding school, which I hear is a real plus. 225 on psats which I just got back, so I should end up being a finalist. Overall pretty good grades, spent first two years at a real liberal artsy school, spending junior+senior at this math and science magnate school. Should have plenty of AP's(PhysicsB and C, History, Chem, APCS, etc etc) by the time I graduate.

What are my chances at dartmouth? What about other schools such as columbia, carnagie mellon, princeton?

By humpty dumpty on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 09:59 pm: Edit

Congrats on what looks like being on track to accomplish your goals. Can't help but comment that it's pretty cocky to presume that your score is going to go up 60 points year over year. If you check out the college board website, you'll discover that for those people in your range retaking the SAT, indeed for 33% of them, their scores did go up by more than 40 points. But then for another 41% of them the score went DOWN by at least 40 points.

Good luck....

By Rasterburn on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 10:02 pm: Edit

Well, a guy in the year ahead of me that came from my previous school to this school went from 1510 to 1600. I know it sounds cocky(=D), but stasticaly, going to the school raises most scores ~100 points. It's just some really heavy immersion that will help. Of course it's not guarenteed, but it won't be surprising.

By humpty dumpty on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 05:41 pm: Edit

Well, of course I would expect to hear anecdotal stories of score improvement. Do you really think that all the people that took the SAT a second time and scored lower are going to tell you? I don't disagree with you that for that group of folks who scored around 1200, that they can anticipate an improvement by immersive studying.

I just think that it's not a sure thing, and the idea that everybody's score goes up by 100 points is simply not realistic. Only about 16% of repeat test takers towards the higher end of the range had a 100 point improvment, but 17% had a score decline. Statistically it really looks like a very symmetric bell curve for retakers; some do better and some do worse. If prep could dramatically improve scores you'd expect at least a few percent more bias towards the upper end, but it's quite the opposite. At the high end of the range, more people do worse than better.

Still, college board stats do indicate that the median score tends to drift upwards by a small amount for those that retake the test 5 or more times, so clearly it is possible to acquire some skills improvement. I don't, however, think that somebody that has already succeeded in getting a 1540 (a score that most people will never achieve) is going to learn a great deal from one of these courses.

I'd love to hear how it turns out for you (and I genuinely hope that your right), but I am skeptical. Did you previously take the test without any preparation? If so, then your score is indeed all the more impressive and perhaps some prep will help you fill in the holes you missed before your last try.

By Me12345 (Me12345) on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 07:56 pm: Edit

It doesn't matter if your score raises to 1600. You're probably already in. Being a double legacy with those SAT's and AP's, and also National Merit Semifinalist. That'll get you in. But do you have EC's?

By jo on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 08:03 pm: Edit

I think your "stats" are very good and match up well with previously admitted classes. Being a legacy will also help you, but it's not going to "get you in" if the rest of your application doesn't back you up.

The worse thing you can do is give your application less than your full effort on account of being a legacy.

Good luck!

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