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    22B Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by indigo
    Originally Posted by 22B
    I'm trying to understand how and why "elite" colleges (not necessarily just Ivies) select students to admit using not just academics, but also "Extra-Curriculars" (ECs)... I'd specifically like to hear actionable information and actual experiences.
    The definitions of actionable include:
    1. giving sufficient reason to take legal action, for example a lawsuit against an school which did not grant a student admission.
    2. able to be done or acted on; having practical value, for example coaching a student about academics/extracurriculars to increase likeliness for admission to an elite or ivy league school.

    Which type of "actionable information" have you been seeking with this thread?

    2(ish): able to be acted on

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    Originally Posted by Tigerle
    Private colleges, not subsidized by taxpayer money, are perfectly in the right to do so of course - it is the hypocrisy about it I decry.

    Actually, they are heavily subsidized by taxpayer money in the form of government grants (which include hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in indirect costs.

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    See the 1990's VMI and Citadel instances of gender and admissions policies, for details about that little catch in "private" versus "federal compliance."


    There are very few educational agencies that are truly "exempt" from federal laws intended to protect those in protected classes (disability, race, gender). Oh, there are agencies that THINK (or will say) that they are-- but a church preschool that runs a USDA lunch program? Yup-- they are obligated under the law because they accept funding from the feds. smile


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    22B, there are plenty of applicants to elite schools with SAT scores of 2250+ or ACT scores of 34+. Once you get to scores like that, the difference between the great score and the perfect score is just a few questions (just a couple of silly mistakes). There really is nothing to choose between the great score kid and the perfect score kid (and you would see lots of kids with tons of 5s in AP exams in this group too).

    The schools need some reason to choose one kid over another. Sometimes it may come to something really random, but there have been Ivy admissions folks that have stated that probably 75-80% of the kids are qualified applicants. That is why ECs come in to play.

    I also get the impression that in other countries one attends a rather specialized university. My eldest is going to study abroad next semester, and she was choosing between a university that specializes in political science versus one that specializes in economics. Maybe this is wrong, but I have the impression that other countries don't have/don't value the LAC experience, and instead expect the kids to specialize at an early age. Those schools can have special admission exams. But if most kids go into US colleges undeclared, it isn't really useful to base admissions on some insane math test mentioned in previous posts...most kids will never do (or need to do) that kind of math.

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    See the 1990's VMI and Citadel instances of gender and admissions policies, for details about that little catch in "private" versus "federal compliance."

    There are very few educational agencies that are truly "exempt" from federal laws intended to protect those in protected classes (disability, race, gender). Oh, there are agencies that THINK (or will say) that they are-- but a church preschool that runs a USDA lunch program? Yup-- they are obligated under the law because they accept funding from the feds. smile
    If VMI and Citadel unlawfully discriminated on the basis of sex by not accepting women, why are women's colleges such as Wellesley still getting federal money though Pell grants etc.? Similarly, whether racial discrimination in admissions is legal appears to depend on who is being discriminated against.

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    It does, doesn't it?

    (Not saying that I disagree, btw.)


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by Bostonian
    If VMI and Citadel unlawfully discriminated on the basis of sex by not accepting women, why are women's colleges such as Wellesley still getting federal money though Pell grants etc.? Similarly, whether racial discrimination in admissions is legal appears to depend on who is being discriminated against.

    Because protected status is granted based on historical evidence of such things at a broad societal level. Women's equality is still a work in progress, hence protected status.

    There's no history of persecution/exclusion/restriction/degradation of white military men in Virginia or South Carolina. Quite the opposite.

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    Several posters think there ought to be harder tests with higher ceilings for college admissions. I'd like to see that too, although it should be noted that the vast majority of colleges are not that selective, and for them the SAT and ACT work fine.

    The American Physical Society, the professional organization of American physicists, has published an opinion piece saying that the math section of the GRE general exam (which does not cover more advanced math than the math section of the SAT) is hurting the quest for diversity in U.S. physics PhD programs:

    Admissions Criteria and Diversity in Graduate School

    If there is no consensus that the math section of the GRE general test is too easy for prospective physicists, agreement that the math section of the SAT is too easy for selective college admissions is unlikely.

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    Well, and this is what the analytical section used to cover. But it was too hard for most GRE takers, and most non-STEM programs didn't find it useful in any event. It sure did a bang-up job predicting good prospects for physical science PhD programs, though.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    22B Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by NotSoGifted
    22B, there are plenty of applicants to elite schools with SAT scores of 2250+ or ACT scores of 34+. Once you get to scores like that, the difference between the great score and the perfect score is just a few questions (just a couple of silly mistakes). There really is nothing to choose between the great score kid and the perfect score kid (and you would see lots of kids with tons of 5s in AP exams in this group too).

    The schools need some reason to choose one kid over another. Sometimes it may come to something really random, but there have been Ivy admissions folks that have stated that probably 75-80% of the kids are qualified applicants. That is why ECs come in to play.

    I also get the impression that in other countries one attends a rather specialized university. My eldest is going to study abroad next semester, and she was choosing between a university that specializes in political science versus one that specializes in economics. Maybe this is wrong, but I have the impression that other countries don't have/don't value the LAC experience, and instead expect the kids to specialize at an early age. Those schools can have special admission exams. But if most kids go into US colleges undeclared, it isn't really useful to base admissions on some insane math test mentioned in previous posts...most kids will never do (or need to do) that kind of math.

    I think someone needs to write a contradict-o-bot to trawl the internet and contradict this meme wherever it appears. The current standard tests have way too low of a ceiling for the top students and the top unis. They may be okay for all but the top few percent of students, and for all but the top few dozen unis, but they are woefully inadequate for distinguish those in the upper ranges. It is an absolute myth that non-academic criteria are needed as a tie-breaker. What is needed is tougher tests, for those who are not separated by the low ceiling tests.

    Also I never understood the philosophy of wanting students to be jack of all trades master of none.

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