tomhobbes wrote:I've become convinced over the last few months that at the highest levels, UG prestige matters. Look at the current Yale and Stanford acceptances on LSN. Almost all of them are from Ivies or other prestigious schools. And that's not because LSN lacks state school applicants with good numbers. It seems that at Harvard there are a fair number of accepted people from state schools, but the bar seems to be set higher for them.
Maybe coming from HYP only gives you a "small" boost of .1-.2, but when you're considering the competition at the very top schools, that's not a small boost, it's a huge one, and it has the effect of crowding out a lot of people from state schools.
There's also the effect that the medians tell you the numerical composition of accepted students, but not of rejected students.
I imagine there are more people between the medians than there are spots in the class, and many people within the medians end up getting rejected for whatever reason.
Assume there's a school with 3.4/3.6 and 168/172 medians. I could imagine a very high percentage of HYP students with 3.5/170 getting in, but relatively low percentages of 3.5/170 people from other schools getting in.
I have no rigorous statistical evidence, but our prelaw counselors pretty much treated it as a forgone conclusion that if you hit both 25th percentiles, you were as good as in. Anecdotally from my friends, this seems to be true. I had a bunch of friends barely over the medians for HLS, and virtually all of them got in.
At HLS and YLS, up to 25% of the student body is from HYPS undergrad. I'd be willing to wager they make up a much smaller portion of the applicants with above-median numbers.