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Selective College Admissions: A Four-Year Process Wednesday, October 29, 2014 Presenters: Mr. Tom Kulick Dr. Richard Clinton College Counselors, Strake.

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Presentation on theme: "Selective College Admissions: A Four-Year Process Wednesday, October 29, 2014 Presenters: Mr. Tom Kulick Dr. Richard Clinton College Counselors, Strake."— Presentation transcript:

1 Selective College Admissions: A Four-Year Process Wednesday, October 29, Presenters: Mr. Tom Kulick Dr. Richard Clinton College Counselors, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

2 Agenda: Overview of selective schools
Attributes of a competitive candidate Schools where our students do well Special issues

3 Overview Which schools are selective? How selective are they?
What are the key trends and forces that impact most of the selective schools? A caveat about Naviance statistics

4 Lowest Acceptance Rates Source: U.S. News & World Report
Many students aspire for admission to a prestigious college or university, but the supply of open seats often does not meet the demand from applicants. Earning admission to the schools on this list can be especially difficult. With the lowest acceptance rates among all undergraduate institutions surveyed by U.S. News, regardless of ranking category, the colleges and universities listed here are among the most selective, based on the Fall 2013 entering class.

5 Lowest Acceptance Rates (cont).
Institution Rate Stanford University 5.7% Dartmouth College 10.4% Harvard University 5.8% California Institute of Technology 10.6% Columbia University 6.9% Claremont-McKenna College 11.7% Yale University University of Pennsylvania 12.2% Princeton University 7.4% Duke University 12.4% U.S. Naval Academy Vanderbilt University 12.7% Cooper Union 7.7% Northwestern University 14.0% M.I.T. 8.2% Amherst College 14.3% Chicago University 8.8% Swarthmore College U.S. Military Academy 9.0% U.S Air Force Academy 15.4% Brown University 9.2% Cornell University 15.6%

6 Lowest Acceptance Rates (cont).
Institution Rate Wash. U – St. Louis 15.8% Univ. of Southern California 19.8% U.S. Coast Guard Academy 16.5% UCLA 20.4% Rice University 16.7% Wesleyan University Olin College of Engineering 16.8% Barnard College 20.5% Georgetown University 17.1% University of Notre Dame 22.3% Johns Hopkins University Vassar College 24.1% Middlebury College 17.5% Bates College 24.2% Williams College Carnegie Mellon University 25.5% Univ. California - Berkeley 17.7% Davidson College 25.6% Washington & Lee Univ. 18.4% Colby College 26.0% Tufts University 18.9% Tulane University 26.4% Harvey-Mudd College 19.1% Emory University 26.5%

7 Tonight’s definition of selectivity
Average GPA of an accepted SJ applicant is 3.8 or higher There are 52 schools that meet that criteria and to which at least 8 students have applied over the past four classes There are other schools of comparable selectivity but to which our students do not apply regularly

8 Colorado School of Mines
52 schools: 2 or more SJ applicants per year average accepted GPA > 3.8 New England Harvard MIT Brown Tufts Williams Amherst Boston College Dartmouth Yale Midwest Chicago Michigan Wash U Illinois Notre Dame Northwestern Case Western Carleton Washington Middle Atlantic Columbia Cornell NYU RPI Naval Academy Swarthmore Lehigh Johns Hopkins Georgetown Princeton Penn Villanova Carnegie Mellon California UCLA USC Stanford CalTech Santa Clara UC Berkley UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara Colorado School of Mines Southeast Virginia WakeForest N. Carolina Duke Wash& Lee Ga Tech Emory Vanderbilt Georgia Wm & Mary UT Rice

9 Bands of selectivity within this sample
Extraordinarily difficult without a preference; our most outstanding candidates often face low probabilities Ivy League; Stanford; Cal Tech/MIT; Duke Highly selective but accessible to strong students with strong applications Most common: UT; Rice; Notre Dame; BC Many others including USC; Vanderbilt; Georgetown; Chicago; Service Academies Very likely admission for strong students Many including Tulane; Georgia Tech; Case Western; Michigan

10 Illustration: ultra-selective schools
Average profile of students admitted without preferences GPA SAT-1600 Sub Test Avg AP’s taken 4.25 1550 780 6.5

11 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
Schools: IVY/Stanford/Cal Tech/Duke/MIT Student Profile: 4.2+ GPA, SAT-1450+; 33+ ACT # of students 17 # applying to ultra-selective 13 # admitted to ultra-selective 3 (23%) # of students 18 # applying to ultra-selective 14 # admitted to 6 (43%) # of students 12 # applying to ultra-selective 8 # admitted to ultra-selective 3 (38%)

12 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
: 35 students applied to ultra-selective schools, 12 were accepted (34%) Which ultra-selective schools are these 12 SJ students currently attending? Columbia (2) Cornell Dartmouth Duke (2) Harvard M.I.T. Princeton Yale * adds up to 10 students (more on this in a moment)

13 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
: 35 students applied to ultra-selective schools, 12 were accepted (34%) Of the 23 students who were not accepted, where did they end up going? Univ of. Texas at Austin (11) Texas A&M Rice University (4) Univ. of Southern California Georgetown University of Virginia Univ. of Michigan Vanderbilt Pomona College Washington U. – St. Louis

14 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
: in addition to the 35 “elite” students who did apply to ultra-selective schools, there were another 12 such students who did not do so. Where did these students end up going? Rice (3) Georgetown Vanderbilt (3) Univ. of Virginia Notre Dame (2) St. Louis University Baylor

15 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
Finally, did all students who were accepted at an ultra-selective institution end up at that school? While most did, there were a couple of exceptions: One student chose Rice over M.I.T. Another chose Boston College over Princeton Shows that there are many other factors at play; not simply rank and selectivity (cont. )

16 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
Other factors may include: Financial – cost, financial aid, scholarships Personal preferences: weather, size, location, distance from home, religious faith, etc. Bottom line: complex interplay of many factors; very personal decision for student and family.

17 Ultra-selective schools (cont.)
One final question worth examining: Were any students who did not meet the “elite” threshold admitted to ultra-selective colleges? The answer is “Yes.” 7 students from at: Columbia (3), Dartmouth, Cornell, Harvard, and U. Penn. Three were recruited athletes; two applied Early Decision; one was a highly-qualified twin of an accepted brother; one was Native American [with proper documentation (tribal papers)]. However, it is important to note that these students all had very respectable credentials: collectively, 3.94 GPA, 32 ACT

18 Key trends Diversity. Diversity. Diversity. Not just ethnic diversity
Gender balance, geography and first generation college are also key factors Athletes and legacies get significant advantages Athletes are often admitted with academic records well below the school norms Legacies tend to mirror the school norms but have much higher admit rates

19 Key trends (continued)
Yield management; early decision/early action may be worth points on the SAT Many schools are selecting for highly distinctive applicants, not well-rounded ones Schools want well-rounded classes filled with highly distinctive applicants-NACAC An emerging tilt toward engineering and hard sciences at many highly selective universities

20 Caveats on Naviance statistics
Naviance records the admissions results and the GPA and test score distributions of SJ applicants (not the entire student body of the college) Information may not be representative when sample sizes are small % admit rate is lumpy Average GPA/SAT may be skewed by a single preference recipient

21 Naviance/Family Connection scattergram

22 A competitive candidacy
Component Comment Transcript Strive for maximum rigor in course work “B” in an AP class is better than an “A” in a regular class Calculus BC is a positive differentiator Extracurricular Activities Selective schools discount gratuitous “résumé building” Priority should be on consistency of involvement and leadership Athletics are a strong positive even if you won’t be a recruited athlete

23 A competitive candidacy (continued)
Component Comment Test Scores Use the PSAT and Plan to prioritize your test prep efforts Don’t go overboard on test prep at the expense of coursework or extracurricular activities Have good scores in hand by the end of junior year Factor subject tests into your testing plan Essays Write them during the summer before senior year Have a hook (e.g., start the essay in the middle of the story in order to grab the reader’s attention) Recs Increasing in importance as competition intensifies Interviews

24 Schools where SJ students do very well compared to the aggregates
UT (non-automatic admission; Plan II; Honors Engineering; Honors Business) Rice Notre Dame University of Virginia Georgetown

25 The Jesuit advantage - Acceptance rates at Jesuit colleges
Source: 2014 Enrollment Data from Conference of Jesuit Admissions Directors (CJAD); Strake Jesuit acceptance rates based on data. Institution Overall accept. rate Jesuit HS accept. rate Strake Jesuit accept. rate Boston College 34% 48% Georgetown 17% 43% Holy Cross 61% 63% Loyola Chicago 54% 80% 89% Marquette 57% 74% 78% St. Louis Univ. 60% 93% 98%

26 Special issues Military academies have unique nominations process
Congressional and Senate web sites have information Our students do very well in these processes Athletic recruiting Division I-A is driven largely by athletic ability. If recruited, the vast majority of SJ students will qualify academically even at highly selective schools like Rice or Vanderbilt Ivy League is a balance of ability and academics. Academic requirements for athletes are much higher than D 1-A, but valued athletes have a much easier path to admission Division III largely academic driven, but coaches often can help applicants with demonstrated athletic ability to get an edge in admissions

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