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Discus: What Are My Chances?: March 2003 Archive: •*THE BOTTOM LINE ON COLLEGE ADMISSIONS*•
By B18c1cx (B18c1cx) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 11:39 pm: Edit

The bottom line is that most of the colleges/universities we apply to have complete control of our destiny. Most of the schools feel that they are established enough that they DO NOT have to enroll the most impressive student body, but a student body that suits their liking at the time. A decade or two ago, all minorities were judged with the same criteria. Now the "right" thing to do is enroll a diverse student body. Like I was saying, they do not have to enroll the most impressive student body, which explains just about every mystery on this forum. Haveing slightly higher stats with little leadership potential is an obvious disadvantage right now. In my own admissions experience, I have seen lower stats beat out higher stats with a simple charm at an interview or a dedication a certain aspect of your life. I personally believe that higher slightly higher stats are almost irrelevant. As long as you are within the range of SATs, SAT2s, and have a solid grades you stand a just as good a chance just as the next applicant does. The rest of their descision is based on leadership qualities/charm.

Please post what you think since it seems that so many people here strive for that 4.4 gpa/1600sat and are beat out in admissions by a lesser competitor who plays a sport or has a passion.

By Kacey9290 (Kacey9290) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 09:49 am: Edit

actually, I agree with you. I knew this guy once who had practically perfect stats and didn't get into most of the universities he applied to, simply because he didn't "shine" in one aspect or another. (He sort of spooked a lot of ppl from applying to the colleges he applied to, cuz if he didn't get in, who would?)
I think the stats are dominating too much of our lives. One of my friends is taking the SATI for the fifth time and his score is around a 1350. Its rather ludicrous how our whole lives are reduced to numbers.
The point is, I'm looking around and I see these people with almost perfect stats applying to these wonderful colleges and I wonder what my chances are. My stats aren't bad, but they aren't good. may be what I'm saying is just sour grapes.

however, I sincerely do not believe that colleges only look at these numbers. I think they use the SATs and the GPAs to screen out students so that they have a smaller pool of students to consider. However, when it comes down to deciding who comes, I think that the numbers cease to be significant and the essays and reccomendation letters, and resumes start to count. I also think that it is important to show colleges that u have a passion for something, some sort of direction in life other than getting perfect scores. Then, I hope, they'll consider the applicant as a person, rather than a statistic.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 11:59 am: Edit

That's a nifty take: the numbers define the pool, whereupon choices are made from a more holistic point of view...at least with respect to the incoming class as a whole, which I assume will have its share of pure grade-and-score grubbers.

By Kalitiha (Kalitiha) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 12:53 pm: Edit

I think you're right about this point. It would definitely explain why I've been seeing people be rejected from MIT with almost perfect stats. Given that, what are we as applicants to do when the application gives us so little room to shine? Most of my applications did not include room for all of my ECs, most of which I'm pretty passionate about.....though some are a little diffused. And, my personal pet peeve of the moment, a 500 word essay restricts the writer to the barest detail, making them unable to write really passionately because that will take them over the limit. Then, you see essays all of the time that ignored the limit....obviously it's difficult to create a level playing field. Not every applicant is given an equal chance to "shine".

In terms of narrowing the applicant pool with numbers, it seems like many of us are doing that for the school. Most people don't even bother to apply to an Ivy League school if they have a low GPA or SAT scores, unless they are Olympic athletes, celebrities, or something similar. It's almost like each of us makes the competition harder for ourselves because only those of us with highly competitive stats dare to apply. We psych ourselves out, and the applicant pool becomes even more competitive. Based on some of the posters around here, I would say that it even begins to resemble a shark pool.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 05:26 pm: Edit

I've got to say, Kalitiha [your screen name is easier once I parsed it correctly :)], the 500-word limit is something most people who routinely deal with bureaucracies would regard that as advisory rather than absolute...sorta like speed limits and those funny little white lines on the freeway.

(I guess road metaphors are on my mind because of going along while my daughter gets her practice driving in. She knows the rules...now she's learning about when you *can* break them and, more importantly, when you *have* to break them, e.g., "Honey, if you've got room and there's not car in the blind spot, swerve _way_ out into the next lane to avoid that bicyclist because he may have to swerve himself if the person in that parked car opens her door," etc.

By Sar (Sar) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 07:37 pm: Edit

I'm not absolutely sure about this, but I think ultimately, our successes are our own. Some prefer to define success as attending a prestigious university. Others define it as being able to provide for the family.

It seems, today, an increasing number of young people and their families are defining success as gaining admission to the most competitive programs around, since all that competition must mean it is a guarantee for personal success and public prestige. Children's lives are planned at birth--"you will go to HYP." But how long does the prestige last? If it is ill-gotten or mis-gotten, how successful are they, really? I think this issue contributes to the current college admissions policies: academically bright students who were being admitted simply deflated once they were in, and I hear that someone from Harvard became a hobo and is still rambling on the streets today.

Colleges give teens somewhere to weather their years of adolescence, a sanction providing them with somewhere to turn when they have nowhere else--
Okay sorry I'm waxing long here. bye now.

By Kalitiha (Kalitiha) on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 11:20 pm: Edit

Sar: I disagree. College is not the place to weather your years of adolescence. A mature student will have left much of adolescence behind. It is, however, the place to grow as a young adult and to form the person you would like to become. Also, the place to party and be drunk for at least 30 weekends a year for 4 years.

Thedad: What do you mean about parsing my name? It means "Good Luck" in Greek, or it's as near a spelling as I could make up, with my own twist in pronunciation.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 01:34 am: Edit

KT, I disagree with you from the far side of the curve...most people in their mid-20's still have some vestiges of their adolescence. (Talk to a lot of women and they say their 40-year-old husbands still-- but I digress.) Losing adolescence is a gradual process than can ebb and flow.

As for your name...I had been mentally swallowing it as one word until I realized that, of course, I knew who you are by another name and the "Kali" + "Tiha" became clear to me...was going to have to check up on "Tiha"...thanks. (I still need to respond to some e-mail that's now buried...you wouldn't believe how much I get per day.)

"tiha" was morphologically close enought to "ikta" that I said "Duh" to myself.

By B18c1cx (B18c1cx) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 09:44 pm: Edit

Thedad - I just recently enrolled at Franklin & Marshall college. I was just wondering what you thought about the school. I visited and LOVED the school. My grandfather went and eventually taught there as well. The kids are very cool. I have family in the area and based my decision on that and that it was the only school I was offered a considerable scholarship at. It's academic rating is a 93 which seems good compared to the other top schools in the top345 book. What do you know/think about the college? btw, I was also accepted to rutgers, bucknell, and macalester. Anyone else who has any input please offer your opinion.

By Creatorcat (Creatorcat) on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 02:36 am: Edit

B18c1cx : I have 2 friends (they're siblings) in Bucknell and Franklin&Marshall, so if these inside stories mean anything to you, I'm glad! :)

Bucknell seems like an ok place. My friend, she's a girl, had great fun in freshman year... Now she's more like- when you actually GET TO KNOW all the people in your class, you realize it's not all about fun and parties, you need real friends, and most people aroud you are either dumb enough that they don't deserve your true attention, or they're superficial, full of cliches etc. So she's not really satsfied with the people. Also, Lewisburg is kinda like "Bucknell & Walmart" little town... Not much fun going on there, which, if matched with no current fun at the uni, creates a bit of a depressive situation. But I've heard that there is almost always some campus event, so that's an extremely helpful solution for days of boredom. NYC is kinda near, right, but often studies or work prevent you from taking a trip... Which brings me to Bucknell's academics- I've never heard a single complaint from my friend, about anything- the faculty, the curriculum, the atmosphere in the classes, so I assume the academics are really respectable. She's majoring economics. As long as you study hard, you'll get support from teachers and good grades. And there is time to party there.
By the way, she' on full tuition & room finaid there, as an international student, which is awesome.

As for Frankin&Marshall, I'd put an emphasis on great academics. My friend's about to graduate this May and he's very very satisfied with what he's learned there, what opportunities he's had, with the teachers that are superb and the amazing personal development he's experienced. He was studying maths and also comp sci, I think, but I know he'll prolly be doing grad studies in applied maths. His gpa was around 3.7, but in all the major courses, he had 3.9 or very close to 4.0. He's now waiting for responses from grad schools. So it's a really good libarts college for passionate study with great internship opportunities.
But the college life..... I don't know if you're male or female... but my friend's private life experiece was.. Uhm, what private life!? What experiece!? According to him, there's a great lack of interesting/cute girls. My friend is a very cute guy, but from what I've seen, he's lowered his standards for girls soooo much while at FandM. OR, at many times, he's complainig about 'no girls in sight'. Not that he's looking for supermodels, but we all know what 'at least decent' means. On the other hand, all of this is from a male point of view. I'm sure girls can find a great guy there, assuming that you're female. :)
Like Lewisburg, I hear Lancaster is also a really small town. But there's always something to do on campus, or to study, so I guess that's not really a problem- if usburban surroundings are what you're looking for, than it's fine.
As for all the other students, during these 4 years, he (as all do, I think) narrowed his choice of friends from class down to a few people that he truly cares about and vice-versa. And he's pretty happy with that. It's a normal thing.
All in all, FandM is very strong academically, and that's what I'd appreciate and go for, but if you expect fun, I don't think there'll be much.
He was also receiving the full-tuition and room need based finaid for all 4 years, so I understand they're pretty generous, making themselves affordable.

Good luck at FandM and I hope I was somewhat helpful!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 03:04 am: Edit

B18, I know nothing about F&M except what I read in the book. A prof I know and some other folks are very high on Macalester but I can understand if you don't want to freeze your nards off.

I think my views on F&M are going to be very idiosyncratic: even when I was a student, I wasn't into alcohol as a primary form of entertainment; Lancaster, PA, sound like the kind of place that I'd be bored out of my skull at; it's Greek dominated, which wasn't my scene (see also, alcohol focus); and it's about as whitebread a school as you can find...I sorta react to that because I live in a very cosmopolitan place and like it. F&M is also so small--less than 1,900 students--that I'd find it claustrophobic.

None of which means that *any* of that should apply to you and your decision. Need to figure out what criteria are important to *you* and go with it...good luck.

By B18c1cx (B18c1cx) on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 07:41 pm: Edit

Thank you very much guys!

Creatorcat, I am male. I have heard that there is trouble finding cute girls, and I have already been warned that there are very few. Honestly I feel a strong connection to f&m (my grandfather as I said above and my little cousins go to f&m academy) and liked the other guys there. They seemed like they have fun (they make fun for themselves), while taking academics very seriously. Macalester is a totally different part of the country which (unlike alot of people on this forum) is a downside to me. I want to major in business and minor in something very interesting to me. F&M offers alot of cool minors. As long as there is some social activity (parties/get togethers) I will be fine socially.

Bucknell seemed too superficial when I was there. There is alot of emphasis on looks. Which doesn't completely bother me too much, except there are way too many ppl like that at my HS. F&M has higher academic ratings in the few college books that I've looked at, which makes me leean towards it. I think I made the right decision.

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