Playing the Admission Game

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: April 2004 Archive: Playing the Admission Game
By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit


I'm trying to decide which school to apply early to and right now it's between Harvard, Princeton or Yale.

These are the schools that I feel will give me the best financial assistance because I am an international applicant.

Anyways, here's my question. I think that I'm a well qualified applicant and it's a toss up among those schools. However, I would like to know if applying early to one of those schools will increase my odds. Here's what I mean. This year only Princeton had ED, while all of the other schools had EA. Therefore, there was a decrease in applicants to Princeton. At my school, everyone who applied early to Princeton, got in (about five students). But all those who applied to Harvard or Yale got waitlisted. Except for two kids, but they had like 1000x legacy.

Anyways, if Princeton switches to EA next year, should we expect an increase in the applicants, because they have now gained the reputation of an "easier ivy". Therefore, should I apply to Harvard or Yale, because they will experience a drop in applicants. Or if Princeton remains ED, will there be an increase in application, because people will feel they have a better chance at Princeton. Or will people continue to think that a "single choice EA" is too confining.

I hope, I'm not confusing you all, but admission to me is like a game and I just have to make the right move.

P.S. I believe that I'm well qualified for those schools, I'm ranked 1 in my class, 1550+ SATs, I play two varsity sports well, student government, and tons of community service.

By Athlonmj (Athlonmj) on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 04:55 pm: Edit

In my opinion, you should apply to where you *want* to go best. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale can offer very different college experiences for you, and instead of picking where you will most likely get accepted into (because it's a crapshoot for all these schools, even with EA), figure out which college that best suits you and go from there.

By Qwert271 (Qwert271) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 08:14 pm: Edit

I had a similar question and I have just found this advice ^^^^^^ very helpful. Thanks

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 10:26 pm: Edit

Don't try gaming the system like that. You'll most likely fail.

The best way is to visit, overnight with a student, and determine a first choice for the Early period.

By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Yea, I wish it was that simple. But I am hopelessly destitute, well not really, but I definetly can not afford to fly into the United States just to visit a couple of schools. I doubt my parents could afford it.

I'm trying to base my decision on where I think I will have the most fun. Every single school on my list are schools that I actually see myself attending.

I'm just trying to use the system to work in my favour, so that I can attend one of the colleges of my choice.

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

Have you considered looking up various college's fly-in programs? I known Amherst and Stanford have such ones, but I don't know if they apply to internationals.

By Ohlookasquirrel (Ohlookasquirrel) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

Don't play admissions like a game.

It's sad that people care so much (I know, I know, maybe I shouldn't be at this board then). What school you go to doesn't even matter that much for where you come out in life, especially undergrad.

I know plenty of harvard college undergrads that did diddly squat, and I know plenty of people that went to less prestigious schools (far less prestigious, state schools for example) and ended up at harvard, yale, and princeton for grad school or did something amazing with their life.

Etc. etc.

Point is, apply early where you want to go the most; pick one of those schools because you really want THEM, not because you think they'll really want YOU in a certain year (too unpredictable, comes out better in the long run).

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