Top School Admissions Rates

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chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:06 pm

I'm confused about how the binary distinction between "possible, but unlikely" and "impossible" isn't clear. There are times when it makes sense to play the lottery: when the money you'd spend on tickets in order to buy all the combinations is less then the money you'd win. From there, the odds get smaller. It's definitely less smart to apply this strategy when you're talking about 50/50 odds. And at the lower levels, it makes different amounts of sense for people in different circumstances to buy 20 tickets: people with $20 to blow are less stupid (in the sense that their cost/benefit ratio is different, and the choice ise more 'defensible') than someone with only $19 who has to go in debt for $1 and a very slim chance at a payoff.

But if there were just no winners, it never makes sense to play the lottery, even if you can buy up all the numbers. it's a guaranteed lose/lose. All I'm saying is that for some people, ANY shot at hys is worth some money, as slight as the odds might be. There could be someone out there that thinks that a .000001% chance is worth the app fee. however, take this same person, in the same circumstance, but change those odds to 0%, and EVEN THOUGH all else is equal, their cost/benefit analysis will never conclude that it's worth it.

My point is simply that, given that law apps for people below one or both medians, the cost/benefit analysis could theoretically justify an app regardless of how small the odds get depending on one's circumstance (say, if a really, really rich dude wanted to go to yale ONLY). However, once those odds are at zero, this completely changes.

BigZuck
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:35 pm

BigZuck wrote:Who cares?

chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:52 pm

I have the feeling that you're simply making a very public note that you don't care, but on the off chance that this is a serious question, anyone with a low GPA and a high LSAT score, OR the reverse, ought to care a great deal. Additionally, anyone who is under both 25ths for a given school, especially the top schools, ought to care since a lot of people send in apps thinking that, while they are well under medians, their PS, LOR, and mediocre-at-best softs can make up at least some of the difference and they might still have a slim, slim chance. If, however, it is literally impossible to get into a top school given a certain gpa, lsat score, or combo, many, many people will save themselves many, many total hours and app fees by having this information.

BigZuck
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:04 pm

Triptrip summed it up quite nicely, there have been many walls of texts written since then. For some people in a certain number range they are basically lighting money on fire but if they want to apply then they should knock themselves out. YOLO bro. I did that with Harvard and Stanford this cycle, lots of people do it, if you want to spend the time and money so there are no regrets then do it.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:31 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
Borg wrote:Does it strike anyone else as odd that any law school maintains a really low acceptance rate? If people were really paying attention and doing their research online, the lowest acceptance rate would be like 25%. It's probably pointless to apply to Yale or Stanford if you don't think you'd have at least a 50/50 chance at Harvard based on LSN. That leaves roughly 1100 qualified applicants for HYS. Moving down, you shouldn't apply to Columbia, Chicago, or NYU unless you are solidly in at MVBP. Same thing on down the line. It's amazing to me that these top schools have such low acceptance rates, because it means that there are just that many people who are applying to schools that they would never, ever have a chance at actually getting into.

That's terrible advice. I did not get in to Berk, Mich, Penn, Columbia, Chicago, or NYU, but I got in to Harvard. Cast your net far and wide; it's worth $100 for a 5% chance at any of HYSCCN.


You didn't get Berk or Columbia with a 175/4.0? Damn.



Obviously Berk and Columbia YP'd him

Just look at the Berk's medians.

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jvincent11
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby jvincent11 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:53 am

I have a 3.9+ and before my retake my highest LSAT score was 160. I received fee waivers from Harvard, Duke, and Northwestern. I knew had virtually no shot, but for $21 I said oh well.

goCats3
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby goCats3 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:08 pm

chrispyreddit wrote:I have the feeling that you're simply making a very public note that you don't care, but on the off chance that this is a serious question, anyone with a low GPA and a high LSAT score, OR the reverse, ought to care a great deal. Additionally, anyone who is under both 25ths for a given school, especially the top schools, ought to care since a lot of people send in apps thinking that, while they are well under medians, their PS, LOR, and mediocre-at-best softs can make up at least some of the difference and they might still have a slim, slim chance. If, however, it is literally impossible to get into a top school given a certain gpa, lsat score, or combo, many, many people will save themselves many, many total hours and app fees by having this information.


Chrispyreddit, I understand exactly what you're wondering/asking and couldn't agree more that this is something relevant for applying to those "reach schools." Your explanation made tons of sense and you had a good analogy too. Not sure why BigZuck either doesn't get it or doesn't care. Obviously if he applied to Harvard and Standard as a reach, then he doesn't think it's an absolute 0% chance but there could be a big difference between what he thinks (and others like him) and what is fact. As for what I think, I don't think we'll ever know which one it is, I can't imagine a school admitting there is absolutely NO chance they'll accept someone with X LSAT and X GPA.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby jetsfan1 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:35 pm

Chrispy, I get your argument, and from a rational standpoint it makes perfect sense. However, your analogy and logic are flawed. In your lottery example, it is definitively known by the player in the game that when there is no winner, his chance of success is 0%. Therefore, he doesn't apply. Makes sense so far.

The problem comes when this is applied to law school. Here, the applicant cannot rationally calculate his odds like the lotto player could. There are too many factors, and when softs come into play, they become subjective rather than empirically/numerically based. Therefore, there is no objective, definitive way to say the odds of "winning" the game are 0 for any applicant. And, since the odds can never be proven to be zero, this implies there is still a shot, however miniscule, for applicants below their medians. Thus, they apply- even if only for peace of mind, and you have your low acceptance rates.

chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:58 pm

hm... @jetsfan1.

thanks for the insight, your point is well taken. I see where you're coming from, but I would argue that we are both trying to make the same point and your response is considering things already talked about in my earier posts. Just to clarify: I have no idea what the odds are. I was simply wondering if they were ever definitely zero given a specific lsat/gpa combo. Your response implies that there is always a chance, which, if we assume is the case, no longer falls under the scope of my argument. I am trying to make the point that, just as with the lottery, IF we can show that the odds are zero, THEN applying becomes non-defensible. But I do appreciate the feedback.

See, the point I'm trying to make is that IF there's always a chance, then it MIGHT make sense to apply and the decision is individual. However, IF the odds ever get to absolute ZERO, there's no point in applying. Without either claiming that there either always a change or that there'a point of zero chance, I was wondering if there was any definitive answer one way or the other. I see why schools would be reluctant to admit it if there was a zero chance (although, if some member of an adcom sees this and wants to confirm, great!), but this is only one part of what might be necessary to arrive at an answer: the answer, AND the answer to the original question posed in this thread, could be gotten by someone positively showing that (for example) a non URM, k-JD, 2.0 GPA, 150 LSAT applicant with no softs whatsoever got into yale. Is this unlikely? Of course. But focusing on whether or not there's a zero chance is NOT the best way to get the answer.

Practically, however, this isn't likely to happen, but we can still get more data based on what's out there. Taking yale, for example, we can look at the non-urm k-jd with no softs and the lowest numbers and have that be the known threshold for admittance. This will change given more data through the years, but there's still a number of years of past data that is incomplete. I have LSN as a resource, but that's pretty much all. Given that this is self-reported, I can't know how accurate this data is. A lot of my posts were spent trying to show WHY this data is important for splitters, reverse splitters, low scorers, etc, but this wasn't my original question. Originally, I was wondering whether or not the odds hit zero. If they never do, then there's the answer to the OP's original question: the reason so many people apply above their numbers is because for some, the cost/benefit ratio is such that it makes it a defensible decision. My question concern whether or not the cost/benefit analysis ever hits zero. Do I expect and answer? no. Do I want more data, ideally something beyond LSN? absolutely. Is it an important question? Obviously, I think so, for the reasons I've already outlined.

thanks to those who are being supportive/helpful.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby jetsfan1 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:10 pm

I was simply wondering if they were ever definitely zero given a specific lsat/gpa combo.


I get your question, and I think its a good one. I would say someone with a 1.7/131 has a 0% shot at Yale. Assuming that to be true, then yes, there are times when your chances are definitively 0. The problem is that no one knows where this line is, and for the vast majority of applicants, from a 3.7/170 to a 3.2/160, they're in that murky area where their chances are very very low, but probably not 0%. So while the worst of the worst applicants can maybe be said to have no chance, most can claim even a .0000000000001% shot bc no one really knows where that line is, and therefore apply.

chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:23 pm

interesting.

While not "absolutely" objective, and without hard data--which is probably very, very hard to come by and/or nonexistent--this is about as good as an answer as I think we can possibly get at this point.

But, i think that all of these responses taken together do a good job of answering the OP's question: Since the idea of there always being SOME shot for MOST people who are applying given their numbers seems to be present, possibly even common, and possibly even VERy common (especially given special snowflake syndrome), this is one possible explanation as to why their acceptances are so low:
For most, the cost/benefit analysis is such that it makes sense to apply, no matter how low the odds are. For example, the assumption that one ought not apply to yale if one's chances at h/s are less than 50%, while good advice if one is trying to ensure that either their acceptance percentage is high or their costs (even at the expense of opportunity) are low, does not reflect how most people think about applications.

Sigh... now if we could only establish where this zero line is. Splitters have such tough lives.... :)


As even more frustrating data... I would argue that the lsac school matcher/finder/whatever tool, while not the most helpful in most cases, is still the most accurate in terms of 'amount of data points collected'. I wish that putting in a 2.0/120 would give me a nice solid 0% SOMEWHERE, but i get 0-10%. not helpful.


Again, thanks to all who have given input on this topic.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:45 pm

I did not apply to Yale because I knew I would be rejected with my GPA. I also knew I would be rejected from Harvard: I was not going to apply, but some foolios on TLS told me in Dec I should, so I sent in a late application around new years. I was held, which gave false hope, but in the end it was the only school I was rejected from, as predicted. I knew I had some non-negligible chance at S due to my profile.

I don't know why it would be worth someone like me applying to Yale (or even H as shown). Honestly its just handing those already filthy rich universities more $$.

The people saying "Oh I would definitely apply to HY" are those with 75th % LSATs and above median GPA's (like TripTrip & Cicero). In your position, sure its worth it. If your numbers suck (relatively speaking) and there's nothing else about you that stands out as particularly compelling, then no, it's not worth applying unless you just get a sick thrill out of the process.

Some URMs & non-trads might jump out at me and say "oh your wrong I got into H with 3.6/171", but come on, you know your situation is different.

abl
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby abl » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:08 pm

There's obviously some luck that goes into this, but I'd guess that most people at Harvard would be admitted to Harvard 9 tries out of 10. That goes for the splitters and otherwise marginal-seeming candidates: the reasons why they were admitted to Harvard one year would also get them admitted another year.

Therefore, this isn't really a true lottery situation -- someone who has what we would describe as a 10% chance of getting into Harvard doesn't actually have a 10% chance. More accurately, 10% of people with that person's approximate stats and background will get into Harvard. For those 10%, they probably actually have closer to a 90% chance of getting into Harvard -- there won't be much variance in them getting in (were they to apply in multiple years).

The problem is, it's hard to know whether you fall into that 10% or not. Sure, some percentage of HLS's applicants are deluded, but many of them could plausibly be competitive for Harvard should there story be particularly compelling. Given that short of curing cancer it's hard to know what will compel Harvard to look beyond one's raw numbers, it makes sense for people to apply even with marginal stats. This is even more the case for Stanford and Yale, which seem to weigh numbers relatively less in the application process.

So this isn't an issue of people being stupid or illogical -- it's an issue of information asymmetry. In such circumstances, it's far more logical to drop an extra couple hundred dollars on the off chance that you're what SLS/YLS/HLS are looking for than it is for you to take yourself out of the running before they even get a chance to consider you (assuming your numbers are at least marginal). I frequently hear of people who get into Columbia, Berkeley, heck, even Cornell, who didn't apply to all three of YLS/SLS/HLS--despite wanting to go. That to me is the illogical choice. I'd be shocked if there weren't a handful of people every year who believe they can't get into HYS and don't apply who would, in fact, get in if they did apply.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:12 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I did not apply to Yale because I knew I would be rejected with my GPA. I also knew I would be rejected from Harvard: I was not going to apply, but some foolios on TLS told me in Dec I should, so I sent in a late application around new years. I was held, which gave false hope, but in the end it was the only school I was rejected from, as predicted. I knew I had some non-negligible chance at S due to my profile.

I don't know why it would be worth someone like me applying to Yale (or even H as shown). Honestly its just handing those already filthy rich universities more $$.

The people saying "Oh I would definitely apply to HY" are those with 75th % LSATs and above median GPA's (like TripTrip & Cicero). In your position, sure its worth it. If your numbers suck (relatively speaking) and there's nothing else about you that stands out as particularly compelling, then no, it's not worth applying unless you just get a sick thrill out of the process.

Some URMs & non-trads might jump out at me and say "oh your wrong I got into H with 3.6/171", but come on, you know your situation is different.


I still don't think it's a waste of money for a lot of 3.6+/170+ candidates, even though the chances of admission are totally negligible.

I regretted pulling my apps from HYP etc all throughout undergrad, even though I would've chosen Chicago over anything else. There's tangible psychic benefit for a lot of people in not leaving possibilities on the table. It's not exactly apples to apples - I was a much stronger UG applicant than I am a LS applicant - but it's why I put apps in for HYS this time. Did I know from MyLSN that the chances were less than negligible? Yea. Do I regret lighting that $300 on fire? No way.

+1 to abl's scoop.

chrispyreddit
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby chrispyreddit » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:33 pm

abl: That's an interesting discussion on the topic, care to expand on it a little more (if you have anything else)? Not that I think you're wrong--in fact, I would venture to guess that you're most likely correct--but I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea that there is a marginalized subset of applicants who might get into harvard 9/10 times.

When I think about issues like this, I automatically revert to a level playing field--that is, I assume someone has no softs and think of them (almost) as pure numbers. When you conceptualize this below-median applicant, are you thinking about it like... like what, exactly?

LIke someone who falls just under both medians, but has something 'extra' to push them over, softs-wise?

Or someone who is able to somehow turn a bad app into a good one, through writing skills, through timing, through originality, etc? i.e. non-soft, almost non-quantifiable methods?

Or, like someone who is far below, say, one median (a traditional splitter), who has something like those EXTRAordinary softs? Or some combo of the above?

Please note, I am in no way trying to be contentious... my comments about the thoughtfulness of your post and how interesting I find it to be are sincere. I'm not requesting more information because I feel that you need more to make your point, I'm just curious to hear whatever other thoughts you may have on the subject.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:57 pm

abl wrote:So this isn't an issue of people being stupid or illogical -- it's an issue of information asymmetry. In such circumstances, it's far more logical to drop an extra couple hundred dollars on the off chance that you're what SLS/YLS/HLS are looking for than it is for you to take yourself out of the running before they even get a chance to consider you (assuming your numbers are at least marginal). I frequently hear of people who get into Columbia, Berkeley, heck, even Cornell, who didn't apply to all three of YLS/SLS/HLS--despite wanting to go. That to me is the illogical choice. I'd be shocked if there weren't a handful of people every year who believe they can't get into HYS and don't apply who would, in fact, get in if they did apply.


beepboopbeep wrote:I still don't think it's a waste of money for a lot of 3.6+/170+ candidates, even though the chances of admission are totally negligible.

I regretted pulling my apps from HYP etc all throughout undergrad, even though I would've chosen Chicago over anything else. There's tangible psychic benefit for a lot of people in not leaving possibilities on the table. It's not exactly apples to apples - I was a much stronger UG applicant than I am a LS applicant - but it's why I put apps in for HYS this time. Did I know from MyLSN that the chances were less than negligible? Yea. Do I regret lighting that $300 on fire? No way.

+1 to abl's scoop.


Undergrad and law school applications are different in this regard. I understand your angst about not having applied to the top schools for UG. But those applications are a lot less predictable and more random than LS. Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Caltech, Williams, Pomona, Hopkins, Swarthmore, Brown ect. don't all look at applicants the same way -- the SAT/high school GPA metric constitutes far less of the application than LSAT/UGPA. I have friends who were rejected from UC Berkeley and Dartmouth but got into Princeton; people who were rejected from Columbia and Pomona but got into Harvard. I even know a kid who got into Stanford but was rejected from UCSD. There's a lot more variety in profiles, and if you hit all these schools, your application has a greater chance at sticking onto one of them than blanketing the T14 with 3.5/165 (predictable rejections). Yield protection and TripTrip's cycle aside, if you're 175/3.9, you're gonna hit all the T14 with one, maybe two exceptions. UPenn isn't going to be like "oh, you don't quite fit my profile", whereas for UG I bet penn rejects many applicants that will get into other comparable private universities. there's a lot less overlap in acceptances.

To put it simply, law school admissions are so much more predictable than UG due to the emphasis on numbers that while I see your point, the scenarios don't merit that comparison.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:31 pm

jbagelboy wrote:To put it simply, law school admissions are so much more predictable than UG due to the emphasis on numbers that while I see your point, the scenarios don't merit that comparison.


I agree with all this, but it's not really the point I was getting at.

It doesn't really matter whether any given application has a nonzero chance of success if you'll later regret not applying. Will you remember a couple hundred bucks a few years from now?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:41 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:To put it simply, law school admissions are so much more predictable than UG due to the emphasis on numbers that while I see your point, the scenarios don't merit that comparison.


I agree with all this, but it's not really the point I was getting at.

It doesn't really matter whether any given application has a nonzero chance of success if you'll later regret not applying. Will you remember a couple hundred bucks a few years from now?


Lol, no I suppose not. But not applying to Yale doesn't keep me up at night either, and I'm $120 richer as a result. Six of one half dozen of the other.

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LexLeon
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby LexLeon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:32 pm

TripTrip wrote:
Borg wrote:Does it strike anyone else as odd that any law school maintains a really low acceptance rate? If people were really paying attention and doing their research online, the lowest acceptance rate would be like 25%. It's probably pointless to apply to Yale or Stanford if you don't think you'd have at least a 50/50 chance at Harvard based on LSN. That leaves roughly 1100 qualified applicants for HYS. Moving down, you shouldn't apply to Columbia, Chicago, or NYU unless you are solidly in at MVBP. Same thing on down the line. It's amazing to me that these top schools have such low acceptance rates, because it means that there are just that many people who are applying to schools that they would never, ever have a chance at actually getting into.

That's terrible advice. I did not get in to Berk, Mich, Penn, Columbia, Chicago, or NYU, but I got in to Harvard. Cast your net far and wide; it's worth $100 for a 5% chance at any of HYSCCN.


Credited idea.

And I have an especial love for you, TripTrip, because your numbers are such a brilliant example of how the TLS admissions dictum "numbers...end of story" must be mistaken.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:10 pm

I think TripTrip got YP'd.

abl
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby abl » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:14 pm

To add to my previous post, I think it's difficult to describe exactly what it is that makes for a compelling application. But, I'm sure it's some combination of (a) a great writing sample, (b) great LORs, (c) a great resume, and (d) a great transcript (e.g., impressive in more ways than just reflected by the GPA). Additionally, I suspect that there are many applicants who are far more than the sum of their parts, applicants who have far better LORs than even they know, etc. My point isn't that raw numbers aren't important, but that for those who are accepted in some sense despite of their numbers (e.g., most of those below median at HYS), getting in was more than luck.

I'm going to do my best at taking a stab at what this might look like, but who really knows -- I'm not an admissions officer, so take the below with a grain of salt. Take, for example, someone who has a 171 LSAT and got a 3.75 in Art History from Williams College (where she was a starter on the national runner up ____ team), has interned for the Smithsonian where she took second lead on creating a small exhibit on sub-saharan African artwork (sophomore year summer), did independent school-funded work establishing an art program NGO in Sierra Leone (junior year summer), taught middle school Art in Memphis through TFA after graduating, has sparkling letters of recommendations speaking to the unique insights she brings to class, and writes a beautiful personal statement describing how one particular De Kooning she saw at the Williams College Museum of Art influenced her whole career path, which she hopes will end in working for ____ NGO that focuses on keeping arts culture alive in inner city schools. Now, let's assume that she comes from a solidly middle class family in Dayton, and integrates that into her personal statement, and all of this comes across as a clear and honest narrative. If she were to post on this board and say "chance me: 171/3.75/top LAC/varsity athlete/TFA" I'm guessing most people would significantly understate her chances. Heck, it's likely she will underestimate her chances -- a lot of the intangibles that make her application great are going to be hard for her to see. Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of candidate gets snatched up by one of HYS every year.*

*Part of the problem with taking a stab like this is that what makes a great application great is (1) authenticity, and (2) detail. Obviously this example doesn't have much of either.

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TripTrip
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby TripTrip » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:15 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:I think TripTrip got YP'd.

Half YP, half late application. I was waitlisted at Harvard, too.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:16 pm

TripTrip wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:I think TripTrip got YP'd.

Half YP, half late application. I was waitlisted at Harvard, too.


There you go.

You had strong numbers but you got W from schools because of (1) YP and (2) late app.

Numbers are everything, all things considered.

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LexLeon
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby LexLeon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:46 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:I think TripTrip got YP'd.

Half YP, half late application. I was waitlisted at Harvard, too.


There you go.

You had strong numbers but you got W from schools because of (1) YP and (2) late app.

Numbers are everything, all things considered.


Saying "Numbers are everything, all things considered" sounds so ignorant, that I'd believe it if you were trolling.

The fact that an application is late (but before the deadline) should have no bearing on an admissions decision if numbers were everything: It only takes a few moments to reckon a 175/4.0, or a 125/2.0.

It sounds equally as absurd to suppose that a school like Columbia would "YP." Proclaiming "YP" is a lame attempt to squeeze the plain facts into a narrow "Numbers are everything" box. They don't fit.
Last edited by LexLeon on Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LexLeon
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Re: Top School Admissions Rates

Postby LexLeon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:51 pm

abl wrote:To add to my previous post, I think it's difficult to describe exactly what it is that makes for a compelling application. But, I'm sure it's some combination of (a) a great writing sample, (b) great LORs, (c) a great resume, and (d) a great transcript (e.g., impressive in more ways than just reflected by the GPA). Additionally, I suspect that there are many applicants who are far more than the sum of their parts, applicants who have far better LORs than even they know, etc. My point isn't that raw numbers aren't important, but that for those who are accepted in some sense despite of their numbers (e.g., most of those below median at HYS), getting in was more than luck.

I'm going to do my best at taking a stab at what this might look like, but who really knows -- I'm not an admissions officer, so take the below with a grain of salt. Take, for example, someone who has a 171 LSAT and got a 3.75 in Art History from Williams College (where she was a starter on the national runner up ____ team), has interned for the Smithsonian where she took second lead on creating a small exhibit on sub-saharan African artwork (sophomore year summer), did independent school-funded work establishing an art program NGO in Sierra Leone (junior year summer), taught middle school Art in Memphis through TFA after graduating, has sparkling letters of recommendations speaking to the unique insights she brings to class, and writes a beautiful personal statement describing how one particular De Kooning she saw at the Williams College Museum of Art influenced her whole career path, which she hopes will end in working for ____ NGO that focuses on keeping arts culture alive in inner city schools. Now, let's assume that she comes from a solidly middle class family in Dayton, and integrates that into her personal statement, and all of this comes across as a clear and honest narrative. If she were to post on this board and say "chance me: 171/3.75/top LAC/varsity athlete/TFA" I'm guessing most people would significantly understate her chances. Heck, it's likely she will underestimate her chances -- a lot of the intangibles that make her application great are going to be hard for her to see. Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of candidate gets snatched up by one of HYS every year.*

*Part of the problem with taking a stab like this is that what makes a great application great is (1) authenticity, and (2) detail. Obviously this example doesn't have much of either.


I like your analysis and your example.

JS or KB would admit this woman, in my opinion.

A 171/3.75 with no softs or a poor statement, however, would probably not get in.




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