June 20, 2007
The party line that you'll get from most admission officials is "No." They'll tell you that, statistically, your chances of admission are about the same, whether you hail from Wyoming or Washington D.C., Nevada or New Jersey.
But we disagree. Granted, simply having an "Equality State" address alone won't be enough to earn you a fat letter from a hyper-selective school. BUT, if your grades, tests, and other accomplishments put you at least in the ballpark, then your location may be the "tip factor" that gets you through the Ivy gates.
So what about those statistically even chances? Well, sure ... perhaps the percentange of students accepted from Wyoming each year isn't very different than the percentage from, say, New York or New Jersey. But what the stats may NOT tell you is that the Northeastern applicant pool is typically so incredibly, mind-bogglingly strong that those candidates who made the cut in Wyoming might not have had the same killer SATs, GPAs, AP results, etc. that their East-Coast counterparts did.
Moreover, simply being "from the middle of nowhere" can be a hook as well. If you go to a tiny high school or one that rarely sends students to the Ivies, then you'll get some extra attention at admission-decision time, even if you live in a state that IS much represented in Ivy admission pools.
So, contrary to what you may hear from admission big-wigs, it CAN be a plus to be from the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, but just don't rely on geography to play too big a role in your admission outcomes.
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