Originally Posted by loubalou
A different perspective on elite college admission rates

Interesting article, which I will excerpt:

For Accomplished Students, Reaching a Good College Isn’t as Hard as It Seems
by Kevin Carey
New York Times
November 29, 2014
Parchment began by identifying a subset of students with combined SAT scores (or an ACT equivalent) of at least 1300. Then it identified high-scoring students who had applied to at least one of the 113 schools identified by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges as the most selective. The average overall admission rate among those schools was about 32 percent. Yet 51 percent of the applications submitted by top Parchment students to the same colleges were accepted. Why? Because top schools receive a substantial number of applications from underqualified students who are almost always summarily rejected. Once the wheat and chaff are separated, the success rate for the wheat looks much better.

And the real odds of success were even higher than 51 percent. The top students in the Parchment database applied to 2.6 elite colleges, on average. Flip a coin twice and, according to probability theory, you’ll get heads at least once 75 percent of the time. Sure enough, 80 percent of top students were accepted to at least one elite school.
OTOH, it is difficult to read the threads on College Confidential where students post their stats and their admissions decisions from elite schools and not conclude that getting into certain schools has become very difficult and not predictable solely from academic achievement. So it may be better to stay away from CC smile.