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    #245322 - 04/25/19 05:03 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1688
    missed your post when I wrote mine. I agree with you. Best indication of success is someone who is a risk taker, someone who takes initiative. That is why they say that if you do not allow your kid to make decisions, takes risks during the ages 12-15, they become afraid to make wrong decisions and never take any risks.

    #245323 - 04/25/19 08:05 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    mecreature Offline

    Registered: 03/14/11
    Posts: 358
    So with all this back and forth what would/might be a distinguishing factor that might set you apart or at least make admissions leave a mark. The AP/IB Director at my sons school says an IB diploma can do just this along with all the other Hype. It shows you have grit and are a risk taker. With all the 3rd party assessment and the individual essays for each class its a must for someone who wants to play the admissions game.

    I'm not sure I agree but how could it hurt.

    #245325 - 04/25/19 10:20 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    NotSoGifted Offline

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 453
    There aren't as many perfect scores as you might think, though the number of perfect scores has increased over the years. College Board hasn't been great about releasing useful data in the past two decades. ACT is a bit better about the data: In 2017, 2706 students had a 36 composite score. In 2018, that number jumped to 3741 (surprisingly large jump). I understand that 20 years ago the number of perfect scorers was under 2000, though there were fewer test takers.

    Of course, with the ACT, the four sections are averaged and the composite is rounded up - so a 35.5 average gets you a 36, just like someone who scored 36 on all four sections. I suspect that there are more 36s on the ACT than 1600s on the SAT, because of the rounding up.

    In a 2018 article, Harvard reported for a recent admissions cycle, there were 3400+ perfect SAT math score, 2700+ perfect verbal. 1600s were not reported, though clearly something under 2700 applicants.

    IB diploma alone won't do it. My kids knew that a good GPA, good test scores and some "nice" ECs probably wouldn't do it, and as expected, they didn't get in anywhere selective. If your son has found his passion - and especially if it is unusual or quirky - that is the best path for admissions. Unless he is a URM or you live in North Dakota (or some similar hook), he'll likely need something unique. Head over to College Confidential for countless discussions on disappointing college admissions outcomes.

    When you complain about admissions, most on College Confidential will tell you that it is just "sour grapes" or your kid just isn't interesting enough for the elites. However, I think schools are missing out on the kid who is well-rounded and hasn't found his passion, but wants to be surrounded by intellectual types. I don't think most of these kids end up just staring at each other.

    The other thing is determining what an Ivy considers a "qualified" applicant. Yale has said something like 80 percent of applicants are "qualified". Do not confuse "qualified" with "top scoring" student. Once kids get into an Ivy, the college does everything to make sure that kid graduates.

    There are easy paths to graduate, and rigorous paths. The school will guide you in the right direction. I personally know a kid who scored 1200 on the SAT, and had no trouble making it through an Ivy in four years. My eldest knows some Ivy grads who have confirmed the saying, "It is tough to get an A, but tougher to get a C."

    #245327 - 04/25/19 11:10 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    ChrystieATL Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/27/18
    Posts: 18
    If you haven't checked out this article it is a good one. Puts the admission process into perspective. NotSoGifted not sure you were referring to this but at the end of the day it is a hook. You don't want to look like everyone else. You need good grades/SAT but it is the hook that gets you in. Pick one thing, go deep with it and have that story line ripple through your application extracurriculars. That one thing can't be something they see every day or it is not a hook.

    #245328 - 04/25/19 04:19 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1688
    That article was brutal. If your kid is not going to be remarkable and change the world, don't apply here.

    #245329 - 04/25/19 04:56 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 693
    Yes, it is brutal. I hate to admit it, but I think I see some truth there.

    When I look at my two kids, though both are capable and smart, they differ tremendously in one key way. My DD, who (I hesitate to admit this) is currently at an ivy, is smart, but what distinguishes her is her drive. She is intense, in every way. Every opportunity that came her way she pounced upon, and attacked, and owned. (Granted, this may have more to do with coming from a public HS and community that didnít have tons of opportunities geared toward students like her). She absolutely loves her school and is attacking the opportunities in much the same way she did in high school. I donít mean that sheís competitive, just the opposite, actually. But she jumps at the chance to learn or expand her experiences.

    My DS, however, is quite different. I suspect he is smarter, at least in the measurable sense (he just earned a perfect ACT score with zero prep), but he is a much less willing student, more choosy about how he spends his efforts, and more comfortable letting opportunities slide, if they donít push all his buttons. I suppose itís a classic underachiever profile, but he is very discriminating and internally motivated, though his focus is still nebulous. I know he could succeed at DDs school, but i donít know if he would take advantage of the opportunities in the same way- he is more willing to let things come to him, or fall in his lap, at least so far. Of course itís also possible he just hasnít matured to that point yet, it remains to be seen. But from my n of 2, DD certainly fits where she is, and my DS is still a bit of a mystery, despite his smarts. And I think the elite schools people are talking about on this thread want kids who have proven their drive to succeed already.

    For what itís worth, I do think there are more than enough high scoring kids to go around- in my experience the average scores at elite schools are lowered significantly by athletes, if our high school is anything like the general population applying.

    #245334 - 04/26/19 05:11 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    NotSoGifted Offline

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 453
    Thanks for posting the article. I hadn't read that specific article, but over the past decade, after reading College Confidential and watching the admissions process for my older two and their classmates, I could clearly see what is going on.

    I think it is great if someone finds their passion by age 17, but I think there are many more out there who haven't yet found their passion - perhaps because 17 year olds don't even know what fields or opportunities are out there. And while some passions at 17 are real and may lead to world changing actions, I see others on College Confidential that may be interesting, but are of little substance.

    Colleges can admit (at least private schools) whomever they please, but the lack of transparency, and how these elites encourage kids with no chance to apply, is rather frustrating (or perhaps worse than frustrating).

    #245336 - 04/26/19 05:54 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: NotSoGifted]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5213
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted these elites encourage kids with no chance to apply, is rather frustrating...
    Relying on my memory because I cannot find the study at the moment... a few years ago some research indicated that students who applied to Ivies as their "reach" schools fared better overall in the admissions game than those who did not. This, I believe, was attributed to an extra boost in their self-confidence from imagining themselves at an elite college, which in turn generated a bit more personal enthusiasm, and then resulted in them putting a tad more effort into their applications/essays/interviews. They worked harder, they went all out.

    Unfortunately, like many research findings, this became reduced to a sound bite. Nuance lost, is value lost.

    As many high school counselors began encouraging "all" students to apply to Ivy League schools... eventually the helpful changes in many student's internal thought process did not occur. Applying to the Ivies was just one more box to tick off.

    If anyone recalls this study differently, or finds links to the study, please post. smile

    #245337 - 04/26/19 07:39 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 4034
    This is probably not exactly on topic, but as I was looking around for the study referenced by indigo, I ran across this article with relevance to matching students to colleges:
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #245338 - 04/26/19 07:59 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: indigo]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2639
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Relying on my memory because I cannot find the study at the moment... a few years ago some research indicated that students who applied to Ivies as their "reach" schools fared better overall in the admissions game than those who did not.

    Maybe the study On the Payoff to Attending an Elite College by Dale and Krueger, which found that "the average SAT score of the schools students applied to but did not attend is a much stronger predictor of students' subsequent income than the average SAT score of the school students actually attended."

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