The Princeton Review COUNSELOR-O-MATIC: WTF!?!?





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Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: The Princeton Review COUNSELOR-O-MATIC: WTF!?!?
By Edwebdev (Edwebdev) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 04:34 pm: Edit

The Princeton Review Counselor-O-Matic, as everybody surely knows, is a handy dandy little novelty where you plug in your info, and get a list of reaches, matches, and safeties in return. A good resource for starting off, the C-O-M is known for giving back results that are usually more than a little nice, and somewhat inaccurate. Recently, however, its selectivity ratings have soared, telling me (and I'm sure a few other people) that the only colleges that are matches/safeties are ones you've never heard of, the rest being assigned selectivities in the high 90s and designated as reaches. Anyone with comments regrading this phenomenon, or the C-O-M in general, please post them here.

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 04:40 pm: Edit

ME TOO! Everything that was once a match is now a reach, including some that I feel pretty confident about getting into. My safeties are pretty much things like "East Hellengone College". Something's up with PR.

By Jaredthegreat (Jaredthegreat) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit

...You're right. It used to call Lehigh my safety, now it's calling it a reach...It's even calling WPI a reach....Leave it to Princeton Review to screw up everything...

By Tiesrule (Tiesrule) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 05:01 pm: Edit

same for me. it used to be quite nice and unrealistic w/ schools, but now the lists are a lot different and have gotten longer.

By Anthem429 (Anthem429) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 05:30 pm: Edit

Same here. It told me that my state school (University of MD - College Park) was a reach for me and that it had a selectivity rating of 97. A few months ago they were around 85.

By 80drofnats (80drofnats) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 07:45 pm: Edit

Its basically completely unreliable, it bases everything on GPA and a little SAT and doesn't take into account about 75% of wbat admission is based on.

By Kabir88 (Kabir88) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:22 pm: Edit

I tested it with a 2.5 GPA with a 1000 SAT score
and then I switched the score to 1600 and kept the 2.5 (this is with all the other customizations)
and it yielded the same results, just with a couple crappy places added.
Its the worst thing I have ever seen......
anyone who wonders if this is a good measure of what college is for you, it is not.
DO NOT USE THIS.

By Kabir88 (Kabir88) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

I just retested it after a while.

This time I put 1600, 4.0 maxed out everything I could....
made it sound like I was the perfect student.

These are the yielded results
Good Match: Rice and Emory

Safety: NorthEastern, Lehigh, Northern Arizona, Murray State University....

wtf is this haha? so bad

By Stanfordman99 (Stanfordman99) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:46 pm: Edit

It told me that Columbia, Rice, Claremont Mckenna and Duke were my match schools. Harvard, MIT, and Caltech were my reach schools. All in all, it worked......at least for me.

By Kabir88 (Kabir88) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:53 pm: Edit

you are in the minority....

fact is....I don't think they can handle complex submissions....
this is a preset thing, so you can't think that they programmed the thing to match everything correctly for every variant that goes into these things.

By Neobez (Neobez) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 10:15 pm: Edit

Yeah I think no one should follow the counselor-o-matic. . .I just use princeton review to look up some stats and keep track of schools I'm interested in.

By Jcm525 (Jcm525) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 10:27 pm: Edit

It gave me no reach schools. Hmm. That's not right.

By Jcas323 (Jcas323) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 10:33 pm: Edit

I think it's more for telling you a few schools that are a good fit (not neccessarily score-wise) for you. I found that a lot of the schools it listed, no matter what part they were in (saftey, match, reach)were schools I really liked when I visited. So, with respect for choosing schools in a certain region that have the activies and size you want, it works well.

By Aliasmatrix (Aliasmatrix) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:40 am: Edit

yeah, COUNSELOR-O-MATIC has gone from an optimistic website that makes students feel good about themselves to this pesimistic and non reliable tool that scares the crap out of students.

By Kfc4u (Kfc4u) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

provided with this thread, i re-did my counselor-o-matic and it turned out okay still. it didnt provide me with any reach schools, but the matches that it gave me were berkeley, ucla, and usc, all 3 which i got accepted to (i go to ucla). and for safeties it gave me cal poly and pacific, both which i got accepted to as well. so its still working...

By Theguy000 (Theguy000) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 07:24 pm: Edit

It told me that csu Chico was a reach... ouch that hurts.

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 07:58 pm: Edit

I'll attest to the fact that this thing has gone nuts. It said CPO-Pomona was a reach for me and that Sac State was a match. Ooook.

By Ivyboy05 (Ivyboy05) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 08:17 pm: Edit

It told me to just give up on college now and to start begging on the streets...

By Adidasty (Adidasty) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 10:31 pm: Edit

Dude they just gave me Caltech as a match.......

By Madameinsanity (Madameinsanity) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:22 am: Edit

I found the ol' counselor-o-matic useful.. except for the fact that I didn't have ANY reach schools.. lol..

By College722 (College722) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:09 am: Edit

It didn't give me any reach schools either.

My match schools were Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UPenn, and MIT.

My safety schools were Duke, Dartmouth, Columbia, CIT, and Brown

By Vermicelli (Vermicelli) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

try www.collegedata.com

By Neelesh (Neelesh) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 02:29 pm: Edit

yea. i had a post in chances, and for my saftey,match,reach schools, i used the PR thing, and i had a lot of people tell me that most of my match schools were reaches, and that some of my reaches were like higher than mount everest....

i wish there was a site like PR, but gave more realistic chances..collegedata.com is ok,but it is not the same as PR, and not quite as good, although it does give more realistic observations.

By Paulhomework (Paulhomework) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:03 pm: Edit

Apparently I'm so good I don't have any reach schools. And ofcourse Caltech, MIT, Stanford, and all of the ivies are good matches for me!!

Yeah right!

By Jjsmom (Jjsmom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Ever look at prstats.com? Interesting data there from which you can draw your own conclusions regarding safeties/matches/reaches.

By Poison_Ivy (Poison_Ivy) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 08:57 am: Edit

I love COM ever since last year. Now... LOL

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:36 am: Edit

Everything on the internet bearing the name 'Princeton Review' can be likened to a steaming ceramic pot of cowdung.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit

lmao

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:59 am: Edit

Does anyone know whether or not PR's GPA statistics are weighted or unweighted? Are they self-reported or what?

By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:02 am: Edit

There is a formula on the site to recalculate-they are unweighted

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit

Where could I find this formula?

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

Also, it can't possibly be unweighted. Berkeley reports an average GPA of 4.14, and UCLA reports an average GPA of godonlyknows. William and Mary (I think) reports 4.0.

By Genova (Genova) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:03 pm: Edit

"COUNSELOR-O-MATIC has gone from an optimistic website that makes students feel good about themselves to this pesimistic and non reliable tool that scares the crap out of students."

Agreed. C-O-M informed me that The University of Maryland, College Park is a Reach for me, which I highly doubt. Unless, of course, they've become incredibly selective over the past three years. I mean, really, a Reach?-- my sister was accepted there with less than a 3.0 GPA and I'm well over that.

What a waste of time.

By Kousuke (Kousuke) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit

it doesnt seem to be making things too harsh for me. HYPSMC are still matches for me. what happened for me was that safeties became matches and my matches stayed as matches. so i still have no reaches and only a few safeties. its just as optomistic as always.

By Calidan (Calidan) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:19 pm: Edit

Gordon College, Muhlenberg College, Steven's Institute of Technology, Stonehill College, Messiah College, Bennington College, Allegheny College... these are just some of the colleges that grace my list of "reaches." I haven't heard of any of them!

I looked up some, and they have like 70 percent admission rates, sub 1000 average SATs, and low 3 average GPAs!

I have a 1410, 3.8, and am looking at places more along the lines of Georgetown for my reaches.

Something is seriously wrong with PR.

I'm kind of insulted.

By Sammo (Sammo) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit

yea dude...

wit my 1430 SAT and 4.3, my safeties were schools such as Boston U, NYU, and Lehigh...and matches were Tufts, Emory, Rice, Cornell...and basically all ivy were reaches.

Now the matches are reaches and safeties are matches...and safeties are schools like Northeastern and som schools ive never even heard before...

I used to depend a lot on Princeton Review...but until they do something about it...I probably wont use it.

By Chicagojen (Chicagojen) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

ok how come I got a 31 on my ACT and Fordham is a reach?? I was really freaking out until I came here. My reaches are now my former safeties. This place is seriously messed up. I'm just hoping that this is a computer glitch and the people over @ PR haven't gone insane!

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 11:49 pm: Edit

It's not a glitch. I emailed them a very adamant email. Since counselor-o-matic works based on the selectivity ratings..

By Marlgirl (Marlgirl) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

northeastern safety... match: lehigh, vassar, brandeis, tufts, u chicago, williams, cornel, cal... reach: northwestern, barnard (HA), caltech, brown, swarthmore, stanford, webb institute (what the hell is that?), Franklin W Olin College of Engineering... interesting...

By Clacro18 (Clacro18) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 05:52 am: Edit

THANK GOD IM NOT THE ONLY ONE TO NOTICE! When I first began my college search, I had determined whether a school was safety, match, or reach by those princeton review results. I knew that it was possibly being a little generous, however it made me feel a little less stressed. I tried it out again just a bit ago, and those schools that were once my safeties are now my match/reaches. 1420/3.7 uw/excellent ECs. Im applying to Duke, Rice, Emory... my safeties are Tulane and UF. On my updated list, however, it says that UF is a match, Emory and Tulane are reaches... I felt my heart jump into my throat when I read that. I've never even HEARD of the schools they listed as safeties.

By Daisyheadmayzie (Daisyheadmayzie) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit

A lot of my former C-O-M safeties (which I had never heard of) are now my reaches, and my safeties are a new set of colleges I've never heard of.

Sometimes, the best college for a person may be one they've never heard of, but this is ridiculous. My GPA and board scores are almost twice as much as the average at these schools.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit

If you have a 31 ACT, Fordham is not a reach...Counselor-O-Matic has gone from a little screwy to full blown ridiculous.

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 05:07 am: Edit

I'd prefer to have a little bit of optimism rather than the new onset of pessimism that the College-O-Matic so graciously provides.

By Metfan8501 (Metfan8501) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:46 pm: Edit

I was really scared about this! SUNY Binghamton went from a safety to reach for me, and I was freaked out by this! I now have schools such as Barry University, Villa Julie College and Grand Valley State University as safeties... none of which I heard of. My matches were Ithica, Temple, Albany and Seton Hall when before they were Penn State, Miami (FL), Northeastern, and Syracuse. My reaches went from schools such as Brandeis and NYU to Michigan State, Northeastern and SUNY Stony Brook.

After getting those results, I thought I had to start the whole college search process over again!

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:25 pm: Edit

My results came back ok:

Safeties: Nothing I have heard of
Matches: Same as Safeties except for NYU and Cornell
Reaches: Ivies, MIT, GTown


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