A. Nony Mouse wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:Haven't acceptance rates of top private schools gone down over the years?
I haven't seen any evidence of this. However, if application numbers have gone up, acceptance rates could go down without the quality of applicant/average student changing in any way. Technically, there would be greater selectivity in the sense that more people are getting rejected, but that selectivity doesn't equal higher caliber of student.
Evidence: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/uni ... nford.html
Perhaps the greater selectivity doesn't equal a higher caliber of student, but that hypothesis certainly makes more assumptions than the converse, that this increased selectivity is indeed linked to a higher caliber of student. One possible explanation: there is more need-based financial aid now than there was in earlier times, meaning that smart but poor students can attend schools that were previously unavailable to them. This would particularly impact schools like Harvard that pay the entire tuition of needy undergraduates.
And haven't the average standardized test scores of incoming freshman at these schools gone up?
Haven't seen evidence of this either, but if we're speculating about changes over time, I'd like to know how average standardized test scores have changed over time, period.
I can't find anything on this, but come on, this is pretty common knowledge. If you want to find something to disprove me, I'm all ears.
Sure, those two things are not perfectly indicative of increasing standards of admissions, but it aligns with anecdotal evidence I've heard from people in my parents' generation who have said that they don't think they'd get into the UGs they attended if they were to apply today. Yeah, anecdotal evidence is anecdotal evidence (and boomer anecdotal evidence is even worse), but it says something.
As regards the parents-expecting-higher-grades phenomenon, I attended a top private UG but am not aware of this, so I'm skeptical of it being as widespread as you claim. Maybe it happens for legacies whose parents donate a lot of money, but for the rank-and-file? Eh.
The concern that private colleges/universities have with marketing themselves to applicants (and their families) was very, very, very evident at a number of schools where I taught. I'm sure it varies somewhat according to institutional culture, but it's a real thing. And it's not something that's necessarily evident to students.[/quote]
Ok, but even if they do market themselves in this way, it doesn't mean that they actually do pad GPAs. They might just hint at it in order to convince the parents to pay up!