Smashing message to everyone-reality check

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: November 2003 Archive: Smashing message to everyone-reality check
By Collegeapplier (Collegeapplier) on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 03:29 am: Edit

It doesn't matter whether you have a 1600 or a 930 SAT score.
Think you guys can get in everywhere just with a 5.9 gpa in a private school or fail in life because you have a 2.7? Well, you're wrong.
People on this site have some nerve saying that some people have "a big chance" and others have "no chance" to get into certain schools.
Who died and put you in charge?
Colleges don't just look at your extracurriculars, grades, ranks, and scores. They want to see a person. They want to see creativity, originality, and someone who truly wants to make a difference, someone who doesn't waste their time getting reassurance for their near-perfect grades or trying to scare everyone off with their stats. Colleges look for different personalities and abilities every year. There are no admissions guarantees. If you don't have personality, what sets you apart?
Please, don't rely too much on online insecurity fests and worrying over discussions that end up naming you useless. Try your hardest, and stop showing off! And for those that don't have the "credentials needed" for Harvard, who knows? Maybe you have that extra spark that your "genius" friend doesn't. Maybe your motivation and courage will shine through all of the other applications. The thing is, you just don't know. That's right. People on this website could actually be wrong in telling you that you "can't get in". Stay strong and do your best, and don't accept premature bad news. There's nothing less attractive than insecurity.

By Collegeapplier (Collegeapplier) on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 04:08 am: Edit


By Alextmw (Alextmw) on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 04:26 am: Edit

oh ok, thanks for clearing that up...

By Fishbone (Fishbone) on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 08:58 am: Edit

here here!!!

By Dkm (Dkm) on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 10:39 am: Edit

Collegeapplier...i am sorry to tell u that...nobody really gives a damn about ur personality..the adcoms only look at ur application for 5 min..they r not gonna try to make judgements about ur personality..they think like the ppl on these boards..they look at ur GPA, SAT scores, ur ECs...if its good..then u get in....anyway, ppl with 2.9 gpa mostly have low wage jobs none of them become nobel prize winning scientists or CEOs. thats just reality...i not any genius or anything..just an average guy...

By I1lmatics (I1lmatics) on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 12:36 pm: Edit

lol collegeapplier you need the reality check... the number one priority for all colleges is to raise/maintain their admission statistics because that is the biggest comparison factor between colleges. Look at the top25, stats set them apart from all the other colleges. Ultimately all colleges aspire to be considered one of the top 25 universities in america. So basically if you have the statistics to put that specific college where it wants to be, than you are 98% in the door. What gets people rejected (aside from those with terrible stats) is the fact that their may be an overwhelming number of students with those desired stats. At that point personalitiy/talents come into play.
Saying that colleges SHOULD look for personalities and such first is a nice thought, however the idea that they actually DO is so aloof from reality that you may need to drink a 12 pack just to come down from that high from watever it is that you are smoking.

And maybe in a few very rare cases colleges will accept someone with •••••• stats yet a very unique personality, however this in no way reflects the admission standards as a whole. They can afford only very few of these cases if they want their sat's to stay in xyz range with an abc gpa.. ect

By Minnieme1235 (Minnieme1235) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 02:32 am: Edit

Dkm, Albert Einstein did terrible in High school. And do u have specific statistics relating GPA and future earnings? Trust me, high school grades dont matter at all in the real world. When you interview for a job nobody will ever ask you for your high school grades.

By Quakerboy2 (Quakerboy2) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 03:16 am: Edit

Wow, how can there be people here who both disagree with collegeapplier and are still scared by the stories of the 1600/4.0 kid who didn't get in? Doesn't the fact that Harvard turns down multiple kinds of these people every year tell you anything? And if numbers are all that matter, why doesn't everybody have a computer do the admissions in 3 days anyway? (MIT does, but sentient computers are a different matter altogether ;)

CollegeApplier is right. Grades matter, but they won't get you in everywhere. Colleges want dedicated, intelligent, hardworking, creative people. The reason grades matter so much is that with perfect grades and scores, you are assured of 3 of these qualities. Now then, when was the last time you took a test and aimed for a 75%?

I am one of those people that CollegeApplier talked about. I am in that 2% minority at MIT that is not in the top 10% of their high school class. I did not win the regional math competitions, or even in my school. I did not take the SATs more than once.

I was not admitted because I would raise statistics. In fact, I might lower them in many instances. White male, less than perfect grades, how could I even consider MIT without an 800 math? Colleges do not run on statistics. If you believe that, you are sorely misled, and your admissions letters will probably reflect this.

I simply wrote my essays about how I was a leader, how I have initiative, drive, and passion about a few things in my life (and possibly the inability to spell these things). I had people who really knew me tell the committees that I deserved to go to any school I wanted. I spent time and effort on my essays, but I did not worry for a single minute about them.

Grades? They are only one measure. If you deserve to go to these schools, I promise that your grades will not hold you back.

By Dkm (Dkm) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 10:00 am: Edit

Albert Einstein...was one in a million...i am talking about the real world...there r of course exceptions..but in the job market ur gonna in..grades and acedemic achievement r pratically the only thing that counts...and any most ppl in harvard have 4.0 GPA/1600..only few of those get rejected...nobody really gives a damn about ur personality or other sparks u may have later in ur life...

By Dkm (Dkm) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 10:04 am: Edit

Minnieme1235...good high grades get u into a good university...and the starting salary for a ivy graduate is $90,000 and from a moderate state skool u average starting salary is about 30, 000..this is common knowledge..dont ask me to prove it...this is really how the world works..u guys r in a diffrent world right now..

By The_Slc_Bug (The_Slc_Bug) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 10:13 am: Edit

It's funny, Dkm. With the grammar and attitude you show here ("numbers matter, not personality"), you won't get hired for many jobs after college-- even if you went to an Ivy League school. Sure, I guess the "numbers matter more than anything" mentality might get you some job in the cut-throat, inhumane corporate world. But for those of us in the humanities and social sciences, it's different. I've got professors here with a B.A. from Harvard (my writing teacher, for example), and UMASS Amherst (anthropology). They both have very successful careers in the academic world.

Plus, grad school matters more than anything, and you don't need a Top 25 school to get yourself in.

By Dkm (Dkm) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 11:42 am: Edit

The_Slc_Bug...english is my 3rd language anyway..u try writing in some foregin language.i dont understand y ppl make fun grammar here..its just sad..i know i got get anywhere big..anyway u need good grades to get to a grad skool..if u dont get them in high skool then its unlikely u will ever get them..if u look at the CEOs and ppl who hold top positions they r always graduates of top skools and they most likely all had straight A's in high skool...

plus humanites is what ppl who suck do (in my skool anyway)..its so easy...its was so easy i dropped it.. except for economics..the smart ones do sciences and maths...anyway i was just telling u how i c the real world, y do u have to take offense and start making fun of the guy...

By Alextmw (Alextmw) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 11:55 am: Edit

Dkm, it's that you downplay the importance of essays AND that you write like that. And yes, many of us can write in another language.

Your second paragraph is just the most ignorant thing I've ever read.

By Dolleykins (Dolleykins) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 12:00 pm: Edit

Collegeapplier, i don't understand why u're on this site in the first place, this site is ment for kids to share their scores and see what others think of their chances to get. IF the whole college evaluation process was based on just your essay, it wouldn't be fair either, i know plenty of ppl who are having english teachers litteraly write their essays for them. GPA and SAT scores do matter, at least GPA should.. i've worked damn hard for years. same thing with ec's. but they really don't have time to evaluate your personality. on the other had, yes 1600s don't get u in everywhere, but they will def. get u in somewhere nice, "oh damn i didn't get into harvard.. but i did get into princetom"

By Smac86 (Smac86) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 12:14 pm: Edit

Frankly, I agree with Collegeapplier to an extent. I think we're all taking this college thingy in a very black-and-white approach, which sadly, it isn't.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 12:55 pm: Edit

It's gray, it's all gray. To that extent, CA is right. However, CA is wrong with the notion that grades/stats don't matter. It's more of a probablistic thing, not deterministic, something along the lines of for 20 people with sub-par grades/scores, one of them will get in. Moreover, there are floors below which the the high-end schools won't go and the closer you are to that floor, the more compensating factors you need and then it's not guaranteed...merely a chance. The fact that someone with this profile is successful does not warrant extending the success to a generalized rule.

I1lmatics has it largely right, as near as I can tell, that the high-end colleges use personal factors more intensely when trying to sort out *which* of the highly qualified applicants they want to extend an offer to. A hard job when, as the adcom reps say, 70-90 percent of the applicants who apply to a given school are qualified to do the work.

By Kwyjibo86 (Kwyjibo86) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 06:29 pm: Edit

everything is such a crapshoot.
just work hard and don't worry - everything will be ok...

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 07:08 pm: Edit

Kudos to Collegeapplier and all those who share his sentiments!

By Innsayneidiot (Innsayneidiot) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 10:02 pm: Edit

a 400 point difference in SAT scores might not determine your success in life, but it goes a long way in determining acceptance into college. harvard isn't going to jump up and down with excitement over a 1050 SAT score. sure, there are exceptions for athletes, super child geniuses, etc. but if you're a normal kid with decent ECs and a 1050 SAT score and a 2.5 GPA... your chances at HYP are pretty slim.

By Collegeguy (Collegeguy) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 11:22 pm: Edit


They got it right on. We can worry all we want about Grades, ECs, etc., but we all know the cases of 1600s getting rejected with perfect everything else. Colleges want people, not stats. Of course, the two posters were refering to the Ivies, Stanford, and MIT. For most other schools, having the grades and scores will do the trick.

By Alextmw (Alextmw) on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 11:36 pm: Edit

well I think Collegeappliers original 'it doesnt matter if youre 1600 or 930' was a bit much...

but yeah, i agree with the basic idea. i should, with my grades, haha.

By I1lmatics (I1lmatics) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 12:35 am: Edit

1600s get rejected from havard yes that is true.. but overall they still have a 30% acceptance rate or so.. compared to the 8% acceptance rate of the normal applicant.. significantly differnt.. now take into consideration the kids with the subpar stats.. you are pratically lookin at a 1% acceptance rate

enough said

personal factors are used to separate the qualified from the qualified except in extremely rare cases

By Dkm (Dkm) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 05:06 am: Edit

look..ppl..if u dont go to a good colege the chances r ur not gonna start off with a well paid job. anyway someone who worked hard and earned a 1500+ sat and a 4.0 gpa should have sucess in life..y would a person who flunked out of skool anf got SAT 1020 and 2.0 GPA, but developed their personality deserve anything...thats doesnt really make sense...

By Alextmw (Alextmw) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 08:41 am: Edit

I'll bet you're a real nice person.

By Yli24 (Yli24) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 11:25 am: Edit

ok. i agree. good job lol. i think you're the first person in this board to think that way, and it's refreshing.

i know this guy who got a 1600 on his SATs, went to a ritzy private school, full scores on everything, but didn't get into Harvard, Brown, or any other Ivy.
he was seriously thinking of attending some SUNY school, but then his classmates would make fun of him to no end. - it's a snobby private school.

but that just proves it. grades AREN'T everything. it counts for SOMETHING, but it's not everything.

By Yli24 (Yli24) on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 11:27 am: Edit

it's a lottery system...if you want to break it down like that.

By Collegeapplier (Collegeapplier) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 08:37 pm: Edit

hmmm... interesting, verrrry interesting. I'm delighted to see that I caused so much pandemonium. Looks like our fate depends on whether that admissions officer has had his coffee or not... good luck everyone!

By Wahoos (Wahoos) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 09:06 pm: Edit

I agree 100% with collegeapplier. What college you went to and how well you did in school only means so much. Look at it from another perspective. You're interviewing two people for one open job slot. One went to Princeton, the other one went to a mediocre college. The Princeton grad is smart, but not devoted and hard working. The regular college grad has one of the best personalities for the workplace and you think would really benefit your company. More likely than not they're gonna pick the ordinary person over the ivy grad. I can tell you that if you are hard working, you can get any job you aim for. Going to a good college gives you an edge, but that only shows so much. Being "smart" doesn't get you anywhere.

By Jangro (Jangro) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 10:00 pm: Edit

Post deleted for profanity and abuse. Poster banned.

--Moderator Obiwan

By Minibrit (Minibrit) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 04:32 pm: Edit

colleges look for personality?....guess I'm not going to college...

And to think, all my hard work gone to waste.

By Belugas_64 (Belugas_64) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 06:44 pm: Edit

Collegeapplier is right, though I think everyone wants a second or third opinion on how one's chances looks. It really boosts confidence in oneself.

Jangro, shut up, your insulting comments are of no help. I really think SATs are no measure of one's ability to work. You have to work for a GPA, as GPA rewards those students who stay after class to ask a teacher for questions, or spends those extra hours reviewing for tests, or gives up those weekends doing homework. The hard truth is, the SATs don't. The SAT I is all reasoning, and tests what one already knows. You can't work harder for a higher SAT I test score. At least the SAT II is achievement, so those people who do work hard are rewarded.

Keep the SAT IIs, maybe. But the SAT I are just total crap.

By Metz (Metz) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 07:03 pm: Edit

Collegeappier may be right about some stuff, but you have to be an idiot to not think GPA/SATs matter a LOT for competative colleges. In "A is for Admission" which was written by a Dartmouth adcom, she says that grades/sats make up 80% of the decision.

Also, the personality thing is pure BS. Why do you think the interview is one of the smallest factors of the college admission process (unless ofcourse you're one of the few people to do amazingly well or poorly). Lots of top schools don't give alumni interviews to every applicant.

Belugas, I have to say I disagree. The top schools want people with good GPAs and SATs. Honestly, if you are an Ivy and can pick from ANY students, would you pick kids with great gpas/low sats or kids with great gpas/high sats. That's what it really comes down too. Colleges very much feel that SATs relate to your academic aptitude/intelligence. I don't think it's crazy that they value these aspects.

By Healthy_Body (Healthy_Body) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 07:21 pm: Edit

I don't really have an opinion but...

Doing well in school is not a good indicator of future financial success. Have you ever read "The Millionaire Mind"? That's what Dr. Stanley says at least.

By Mehere (Mehere) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 09:48 pm: Edit

I have two opinions to offer:
first of all, grades/scores are like money: there is something money can't buy, but without money, you can't buy anything. Without good grades+scores it is very hard to get into the top schools, but even with 5.0+1600 it is still hard, but relatively easier(30% compared to 8%).

Second of all, there are 20,000+ students applying to Harvard every year. At least 5,000 of them have over 4.0 weighted grades and over 1500 SATs. But Harvard only accepts ~1600 students every year. So, eliminating the really smart, the really special, and the really dumb, there are likely going to be 5000 students competing for 500 spots. At that time, personality is the most important factor to set one apart from another.

By Healthy_Body (Healthy_Body) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:06 pm: Edit

Whoaaaaa. That makes sense!! Personality, I assume would be "determined" from not acting like a doofus at your interview, your teacher recommendations, and your fabulous, exciting, and personal essays?

Having the scores gets you past the "cutoff", but it won't get you in for sure. The other aspects of your applications will set you apart and in combination with your good scores, will get you in. Eh?

By Callofthewind (Callofthewind) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:48 pm: Edit

You know what, I remember watching this 60 minutes special on college admissions. And they showed the Georgetown Admissions Officers at work. I was really surprised by what I saw, it was kind of sad. The first thing that surprised me was that there was a student member who was part of the decision making. And the person that really pissed me off was this blonde admissions officer. Here is what the discussion was to the best of my recollection:
Characters: Ad officer1-old guy
Ad officer2-brunette haired woman
Ad officer3-blonde
Ad officer4-student

Ad officer1:Okay, let's begin. Here is applicant 357, 18 year old Asian female, SAT score: 1540, GPA: 4.0. (They all pass around her folder and give her a score from 1 to 10) It's clear to me that she is one of the most academically qualified students. She does a lot of volunteer work, I would give her a 9/10.

Ad officer2: Yes, I agree, she is very motivated and excels at her studies. 8/10

Ad officer3: Just because she has high test scores and takes the hardest classes and has a 4.0, doesn't mean she will succeed at our school. I give her a 3/10.

Ad officer4: Hrm.... I think she would make a good contribution to the school, but not good enough. 6/10

Verdict: The applicant is rejected.

Ad officer1: Next applicant no 358, 18 year old African-American female, SAT score: 1320, GPA: 3.4, comes from an affluent family. She doesn't seem to be as academically qualified as the other applicants, and she doesnt have many outof school activities, I give her a 7/10.

Ad officer2: Ditto, 7/10

Ad officer3: WOW, like shes so REALISTIC, WOW, she'll definitley succeed, shes so smart! incredible! 10/10

Ad officer4: Being African American, she'll add cultural diversity to our university. 10/10

Verdict: Acceptance

Conclusion: There's the admissions process in a nutshell.

So long for now!!

By Wrathofgod64 (Wrathofgod64) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:27 am: Edit

hold up callofthewind, did they look at these people's essays?

By Encomium (Encomium) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 02:51 am: Edit

I'm sure colleges would like to see some of your personality, but it's pretty difficult to get that from 20 minutes of an application reading...really...they can't find out much except from recs. Interviews are minimal. Most likely they aren't going to know much about your personality unless it's really BAD.

By Belugas_64 (Belugas_64) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 02:10 pm: Edit

OK Metz, what I'm trying to say is, it's just too bad that schools care so much about SATs. Yes they do care about SATs, and that's too bad. You're right, I'm not saying you're wrong about SATs and GPAs not being a big part of the decision, it's just that I wish they would just kill the SAT I. The SAT IIs are even a stretch, really, I wish it came down to the APs. But it doesn't. Colleges do in fact look at GPAs and SAT Is, and that's too bad.

What I'm saying about Collegeapplier being right is how no one can really say, "You're definetly getting in." I live in Montgomery County in Maryland, so we keep joking about how we're going to sabotage each other by forcing each other to go to Montgomery College. Yes, if any one of us applied to Montgomery College, we can definetly say that, "You're definetly getting in." But when it starts getting into serious colleges that rank high in USA Today or whatever rankings, then it's very difficult to say that someone is "definetly getting in" or "definetly not getting in". That's what I agree with him on. I just think that it's still better to get a few more opinions.

By Virgo007 (Virgo007) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 02:26 pm: Edit

Callofthewind- When was this 60 minutes special?!?!

By Minibrit (Minibrit) on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 08:14 pm: Edit

callofthewind....that made me cry. stupid blonds ggrrrr she was probably racist!!!!

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