ScrabbleChamp wrote:I think the sentiment that he was getting at is that several people WL'd by Mich were accepted to higher ranked schools (NYU, Chicago, Columbia, etc...). As such, if it were just a numbers game, then anyone admitted to the T6 would also get admitted to Michigan. Obviously, an admit to Berkeley may not also get Harvard, but if you have Harvard, you should have Berkeley in a numbers only world.
You're probably right about Harvard and Berkeley, but I'm not sure about CCN and Michigan. Even in a purely numbers-based framework, different schools weight LSAT and GPA differently. The fact that some people get into CCN but get waitlisted at Michigan doesn't prove that Michigan is holistic.
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Also, using LSN to justify any argument is ridiculous. Harvard gets about 8000 applications a year, but only 641 are represented on LSN. You can go through the entire T14 and you get a similar percentage. You stating that you see nothing on LSN that supports one school is more holistic than another is based on a minute percentage of applicants that self-report on a website. You are making several assumptions that: 1) the people reporting on LSN are telling the truth (which many are not, proven by the fact their profiles say 'numbers fudged' or the like), 2) those that report on LSN are completely representative of the entire applicant pool, and 3) that a holistic admissions process can be determined looking solely at the numbers of admitted students. Your supposition is actually laughable, as you seem to be saying that you can tell if one school is more or less holistic based on your review of JUST THEIR NUMBERS.
I agree LSN is flawed for all those reasons, and I agree my argument would be flawed if I tried to use LSN to prove that Michigan is not holistic, or that Michigan is equally holistic as UVA or Penn. My original statement was actually: "I'm prepared to agree that Michigan might be holistic in reviewing non-URM applicants at or above one or both medians, but not any more than I'm prepared to agree the same about UVA and Penn." In fact, my statement indicates a pretty healthy dose of skepticism toward LSN data. As for other evidence like Dean Z's statements or first-hand accounts from current students (and trust me, I visited Michigan and experienced this myself), I think deans and students at some other schools make a pretty solid case about collegiality and holistic review, too. Again, I see no reason to believe Michigan is more holistic or collegial than its peer schools.
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Holistic does not mean admitting people that are "unqualified" due to their numbers. Holistic means rating the whole application without total regard to numbers. Michigan may look for certain things in a file that are more likely to be found in higher number applicants, or vice-versa. There is no way for you or I, or anyone, to know what holistic means to each school. However, Michigan is known, and has been for quite some time, for the collegiality of the class. Another T14 is known for the rigidness of their students, and that school has very similar medians to Michigan. Why does Michigan have a reputation for being a much more friendly campus? Maybe it is because Michigan chooses students based on something other than numbers, maybe it is because Michigan gets lucky year after year, or maybe a combination of both. However, if Michigan says they use a holistic process and they attempt to find students that are both academically qualified AND going to be a good "fit", who are we to say that is bull shit? Dean Z actually said in one of her interviews that one of the criteria she uses when evaluating applicants is whether or not she would want to go to dinner with them. Obviously, that is very subjective criteria, but it also seems to be working as Michigan is still a place known for its collegiality.
I think I've made it pretty clear that I also don't claim to know all the factors that go into admissions decisions. For all I know, collegiality could fit be a major factor that determines why some people get in while others with better numbers don't. But again: I'm not convinced this is unique to Michigan.
ScrabbleChamp wrote:So, although you may not like to believe that Michigan is more holistic than other schools based on a minute percentage of self-selecting, self-reporting individuals, I'll choose to believe what Michigan is saying: They are holistic and they choose students based upon academic ability AND fit.
I don't believe Michigan is more holistic because there's no reason to believe otherwise--to do so would be unfair to other schools. It's not like I'm mining LSN data hoping to find reasons to hate on Michigan.