Selective college admissions

Posted by: Bostonian

Selective college admissions - 09/10/19 05:55 AM

There is an ongoing thread on Ivy league admissions. The ivies and other very prestigious schools can afford need-blind admissions. The article below describes how need-aware admissions work at a selective private college. It discusses the correlation of SAT scores with family income but ignores research showing that SAT scores are more correlated to parental education than wealth and that the correlation to income is weak when parental education is accounted for. The article suggests that higher SAT scores of rich kids is due to test prep, but test prep has not been shown to raise scores substantially, and it is accessible to low-income students, as discussed in a blog post SAT Prep for the Ultra-Rich, And Everyone Else.

What College Admissions Offices Really Want
Elite schools say they’re looking for academic excellence and diversity.
But their thirst for tuition revenue means that wealth trumps all.
By PAUL TOUGH
New York Times
SEPT. 9, 2019

...

Like most enrollment managers, Pérez contracts with an outside financial-aid-optimization company to perform econometric modeling on his applicant pool. The company he worked with, the year I was following his progress, was Hardwick Day, a firm based in Bloomington, Minn., that, after a recent round of consolidation in the industry, is now a division of a giant higher-education consulting company called EAB. Hardwick Day’s predictive models allowed its analysts to identify, based on the behavior of past students, precisely what tuition each individual applicant would probably be willing to pay. A white student from Danbury with, say, a 3.1 G.P.A. and a 1,200 SAT? Hardwick Day’s models might predict that if Trinity offered him a $15,000 discount, he would accept, but if it offered him a $5,000 discount, he would go to the University of Connecticut instead.

...
Posted by: Wren

Re: Selective college admissions - 09/10/19 12:43 PM

During my last year in NYC, I used to walk the dogs with a group, including a father (princeton grad), whose daughter has a unattractive SAT score. She did the prep and significantly improved her math score. Also, don't know if it was prep or what, but a daughter of a friend, who also just graduated from DD's school, had a bad SAT and retook and had a significant change. Got into Stanford early. So not first hand experience. I know the first had prep involved. But both had significant changes in SAT scores.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Selective college admissions - 09/10/19 07:23 PM

I suffered though the entirety of that codswallop (the article that Bostonian referenced itself) hoping to see something insightful, relevant and actually plausible. My hopes were dashed.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Selective college admissions - 09/11/19 08:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Bostonian
... predictive models allowed its analysts to identify, based on the behavior of past students, precisely what tuition each individual applicant would probably be willing to pay...
... student from Danbury with, say, a 3.1 G.P.A. and a 1,200 SAT? Hardwick Day’s models might predict that if Trinity offered him a $15,000 discount, he would accept, but if it offered him a $5,000 discount, he would go to the University of Connecticut instead...
I find this chilling. A use of gathered statistics to manipulate an individual outcome. Which means that if someone at the college did NOT want a particular student to attend, they could fix the price in a manner likely to cause the student to choose to attend elsewhere... ultimately stating it was the student's decision (and ignoring the fact that they manipulated the circumstances to obtain their desired result).
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: Selective college admissions - 09/11/19 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: madeinuk
I suffered though the entirety of that codswallop (the article that Bostonian referenced itself) hoping to see something insightful, relevant and actually plausible. My hopes were dashed.

If you really want to suffer smile you can read the author's new book "The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us", reviewed at https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalr...-breaks-us.html .