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Princeton 2 Inside The Admission Office April 07
 

Princeton 2 Inside The Admission Office April 07

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    Princeton 2 Inside The Admission Office April 07 Princeton 2 Inside The Admission Office April 07 Presentation Transcript

    • Inside the Admission Office: How Colleges Decide Who to Admit Don Betterton Betterton College Planning [email_address]
    • Types of Colleges (4200 total)
      • In the U.S. there is a higher education opportunity for every level of
      • student interest and ability. My categories:
      • Register and attend (1900)
      • Routine enrollment process
      • Specialty schools (300)
      • Admit on interest and talent
      • Meet basic standards (1500)
        • Admit more than 75% of applicants
      • Competitive (400)
        • Admit from 40% to 75% of applicants
      • Selective (100)
        • Admit fewer than 40% of applicants
    • Competitive and Selective
      • 5-year grad rate:
        • 50% or more for publics
        • 80% or more for privates
      • 50% or more of freshmen have SAT over 1200,
      • ACT over 24
      • 3.5 average high school GPA
      • 1/3 or more from top 10% of h.s. class
    • Competitive and Selective
      • Although these colleges make up only about
      • 25% of the 4-yr non-profit, much of the college-going
      • preparation and pressure is focused here.
      • They are the types of colleges where good admission planning is needed.
      • They tend to be more expensive and information about how to pay, with or without aid, is important.
    • Admission Recruiting Methods Create Unrealistic Expectations
      • It is hard to judge where a student stands because top colleges send We Want You messages even knowing full well they will only admit some of the students they encourage to apply.
      • This is an unusual buyer (student) seller (college) relationship.
    • What Would Wal-Mart Do If it Behaved Like a Top College?
      • Wal-Mart would mount an extensive advertising campaign that included:
        • Print ads (college catalog)
        • Internet ads (college Web site)
        • Send salesmen on the road (admission staff)
        • Invite potential buyers to tour the store (campus visits)
        • Have previous buyers seek out new customers (alumni recruiters)
        • Mount a large direct mail campaign (search lists)
        • Use techniques to get a better product review in Consumer Reports-style publications (U.S. News ratings)
    • What Next?
      • Wal-Mart’s outreach methods succeed at generating a very high demand for its product.
      • But,
        • It turns out that all along Wal-Mart only had enough product to sell to 1/3 of potential buyers.
        • Not only that, but Wal-Mart will decide who will be allowed to make a purchase. Roles are reversed. Wal-Mart becomes the buyer. The customer must now submit an application to “sell himself.”
    • And Next …
      • Excited by all the Wal-Mart advertising, the potential customer wants to judge how he compares to others who are also interested in being selected, and asks,
        • “What criteria do you use to choose those who will be allowed to buy your product?”
      • At this point, Mr. Walton responds,
        • “It depends.”
    • Welcome to the Admission Process at the Top Colleges
      • The current demand for a high quality college education results in the top schools becoming “selective.” They get to select who will be able to purchase their educational product.
      • If the student is striving to go to one of these colleges, it is important to understand this relationship between supply and demand.
    • Supply and Demand
      • Supply is steady.
        • While there are many more students seeking to attend college, the number of openings has remained about the same.
      • Demand is growing overall.
        • The number of high school grads has never been higher.
          • Now exceeds 3,000,000
        • The percent going to college is increasing.
          • From 45% to nearly 60% since 1980’s
      • The increase in demand is greatest for students wanting to attend a “good school.”
        • Yet, of 2000 4-year colleges, only about 500 select fewer than 3 of 4 applicants.
    • Perhaps this is the problem:
      • “It’s hard for kids to get into colleges because they only want to go to colleges that are hard to get into.”
    • What to Do
      • When you are among a great many who want to purchase the education of a top college, it pays to know its selection standards.
      • This knowledge can help in 2 ways:
        • It can help you prepare, both inside and outside the classroom, to meet those standards
          • Courses, grades
          • Achievements, activities
        • It can help you make a realistic college list
    • Life Isn’t Easy in Admissions
      • While admission offices make it hard on themselves because of their drive to generate more applications, it does create a problem.
      • There are more and more students to evaluate, but it is increasingly hard to choose among them.
    • Consider:
      • There is academic “Bunching”
      • Increased enrollment in hard courses
        • Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate
        • College courses in high school, summer enrichment
      • Distinctions are blurred
        • Grade inflation (3.4 average h.s. GPA)
        • Multiple valedictorians, other honors
        • SAT recentering, take the highest score, subject tests, ACT strategy
        • Test prep courses
    • And
      • There is personal “Polishing”
      • Students are more savvy about building a resume with activities and accomplishments, strategizing the essay, using summer for extra college prep
      • High schools feel the pressure -- reluctant to lessen student chances – inflation in teacher and counselor recs
    • To Complicate Matters Further ..
      • College admission offices have a split personality
        • They are a meritocracy
          • Admit the best
        • They also practice “institutional engineering”
          • Admit to meet other objectives
      • The result is not one, but two admissions processes at top colleges
        • One for “regular” applicants
        • One for “special” applicants
      • This is where confusion increases and predictability decreases.
    • What To Do
      • The most common reason a good student does not get admitted to a top college is that he is in the Regular category and doesn’t realize the admission standards for him are well above the published averages.
      • In fact, there may not be that many average admits.
          • A public university – 700 SAT out-of-state, 500 SAT in-state
      • In making college list, and estimating chances, important to know if you are a Regular or Special .
    • Special Categories
      • The 4 most common Special categories are:
        • Listed athlete (+30%)
        • Underrepresented minority (where not restricted by legislation) (+28%)
        • Legacy (+20%)
        • Early applicant (+20%)
      • One that is growing in popularity:
        • Disadvantaged, low income, first generation college
    • Other Special Categories
      • These tend to vary a great deal by institution.
        • In-state, out-of-state
        • Expressed interest
        • Special institutional need – female engineer, cello player, Latin scholar
        • Donors and other forms of service
        • Misc – president and trustee lists, faculty child, etc
    • Special Categories
      • Examples:
        • Level 1
          • Recruited Division I Athletes
        • Level II
          • Affirmative action minorities (depending)
          • Non-scholarship athletes
          • State residents for publics
        • Level III
          • Legacies
          • Early Decision
          • Low income, disadvantaged background (may be level II)
          • Special institutional needs not formal – classics, dancer, tuba
          • Donors, President’s list (may be level II)
          • Faculty children
        • Level IV
          • Geography
          • Expressed interest
          • Other: sib enrolled, full pay
    • Special Strategies
      • Minority -- find out if they give a preference
      • Legacy -- apply to college parents attended (Check grad school, grandparents, service)
      • Athlete – apply to colleges where you will be listed by coach
      • Apply early – E.D., E.A.
      • Disadvantaged – ask admission rep
      • Other --
    • College List Making Advice
      • Regular – compare yourself to the top 75% of the academic profile
      • Special
        • Minority: 25 th - 50 th percentile
        • Listed athlete: the coach will tell you what your chances are. Div I and II scholarship athletes have minimum standards.
        • Legacy and E.D.: 40 th - 50 th percentile
    • An Admission Exercise
      • Top colleges rate applicants on academic and personal scales.
      • Because they have to sort through so many apps, they use a number system.
      • Assume you are an admission officer and you are rating your student.
      • This system is 1 (low) to 8 (high) on both academic and personal.
    • ACADEMIC RATING TABLE None None None School County State Region Intern/ National Acad Awards Courses ACT SAT Rank GPA Average 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 C- C C+ B/B- B+ A- A A+ 2.0-2.3 2.4-2.8 2.5-3.0 3.1-3.4 3.5-3.6 3.7-3.8 3.9 4.0 up Top 1/2 33% 25% 20% 10-15% 6-9% 3-5% 1-2% 400-470 480-540 550-590 600-640 650-670 680-700 710-740 750-800 16-19 20-22 23-25 26-28 29-30 31-32 33-34 35-36 Routine Some Pre-Coll All Pre-College Honors 1,2 AP Honors 3 AP 4 AP IB or All AP
    • Personal Ratings
      • The personal rating assigned to an applicant is based on a combination of attributes in different areas. They typically include:
          • Achievement
          • Talent
          • Leadership/positions of responsibility
          • How you are revealed in the application
          • Service to others
          • Overcoming obstacles
          • Personal attributes
      • Personal attributes primarily come from school and teacher reports and required interviews. The categories are:
      • Respect accorded by faculty, class participation, academic achievement, intellectual promise, writing quality, creativity, work habits, maturity, motivation, leadership, integrity, reaction to setbacks, concern for others, self-confidence, initiative, and independence
    • PERSONAL RATINGS Achievement/Talent/Leadership: None Personal Characteristics: Some questions Essay: negative impression Service/Obstacles: none/ none 1 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: Nothing stands out Personal Characteristics: Below average Essay: doesn’t add anything Service/Obstacles: none/ none 2 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: Average class/minor talent/ minor roles at best Personal Characteristics: Average Essay: fair Service/Obstacles: Only what’s required/ none 3 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: Minor school, good class/ typical talent/ occasional leader Personal Characteristics: Good Essay: typical Service/Obstacles: Typical contribution/ none 4 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: Major school/ above average talent/ solid leader Personal Characteristics: Very good Essay: adds to application Service/Obstacles: Well meaning contribution/ none 5 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: County, league-wide/ strong talent/ admirable leadership qualities Personal Characteristics: Excellent. Top 10% Essay: impresses reader Service/Obstacles: Well beyond typical service/ some obstacles 6 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: Regional, state/ unusual talent/ very strong leader Personal Characteristics: Outstanding, top 5% Essay: passed around admission office Service/Obstacles: Significant role in important service/ quite difficult road 7 Achievement/Talent/Leadership: International, national/ rare talent/ extraordinary leader Personal Characteristics: ”One of few in career.” Essay: will appear in “How to Write Essays” book Service/Obstacles: Extraordinary contribution, major effect/ overcame severe obstacles 8
      • 8
      PERSONAL/ACADEMIC COMBINED Personal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Acad
    • Minimally competitive 6 St Josephs, Vermont, UNH, UMass, Catholic, Susquehanna, Clarkson, NJ Tech, Hofstra, Purdue, Colorado 7 SUNY Buffalo, Minnesota, Rowan, Clark, Ithaca, Quinnipiac, Drew, St Lawrence, VMI, BYU, St Lawrence, Wooster 8 UConn, Rutgers, Ohio State, Penn State, Delaware, Syracuse, Loyola, Northeastern, Fordham, Providence, Fairfield, Skidmore, Babson 9 SUNY Binghamton, Wisconsin, Illinois, F&M, TCNJ, RPI, American, Villanova, BU, Smith, Holy Cross, Stevens, Lafayette, Gettysburg, Union 10 Michigan, UNC, Maryland, Wake Forest, BC, NYU, GW, Colgate, Oberlin, Colby, Hamilton, Bates, Bucknell, Trinity, Richmond, Conn College 11 UVA, William & Mary, Cal, UCLA, USC, Cornell, JHU, NW, Vandy, ND, G’twn, Claremont-McKenna, Middlebury, Carleton, Wesleyan, Haverford, Chicago, Emory, Carnegie-Mellon, Bowdoin, Vassar, Davidson, W&L 12 Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Penn, Duke, Wash U, Rice, Amherst, Williams 13 HYP, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech 14
    • Specials
      • The rating system is a constant. The definition of an Academic 6 or a Personal 5 does not change.
      • What does change is who, at a given rating, gets admitted, and who doesn’t.
      • Strong specials, i.e. minorities and athletes might move up 2 levels, legacy and E.D. 1 level. (For example, a listed “10” athlete has a chance at a “12” college.)
    • How To Improve Your Chances
      • Make a realistic list, 3-5-2. Be enthusiastic about match schools.
      • Take good courses
      • Plan test taking strategy, including ACT
      • Add colleges where you might be a Special
      • Look at personal side. Avoid resume fillers, try to distinguish yourself. The “2 strong” profile is appealing.
      • Pay attention to teacher recs, essay, evaluative interview
      • Below top level expressed interest can be important
      • Essay – answer the question, make it about you, show attractive quality, endearing flaw better than bragging, something you care about
    • Conclusion
      • Plan ahead to present the best version of who you are, not a makeover. Look for polish, not plastic surgery.
      • Don’t try to become a different person for the sake of college admission.
      • Have a number of “strike zone” colleges that you will be pleased to attend.
      • Finding a college that fulfills your academic potential and is a good fit personally is more important then attending the “better” school.