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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, 2014 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). InstitutionRateInstitutionRate Stanford University5.7%Dartmouth College10.4% Harvard University5.8%California Institute of Technology10.6% Columbia University6.9%Claremont-McKenna College11.7% Yale University6.9%University of Pennsylvania12.2% Princeton University7.4%Duke University12.4% U.S. Naval Academy7.4%Vanderbilt University12.7% Cooper Union7.7%Northwestern University14.0% M.I.T.8.2%Amherst College14.3% Chicago University8.8%Swarthmore College14.3% U.S. Military Academy9.0%U.S Air Force Academy15.4% Brown University9.2%Cornell University15.6%

6 Lowest Acceptance Rates (cont). InstitutionRateInstitutionRate Wash. U – St. Louis15.8%Univ. of Southern California19.8% U.S. Coast Guard Academy16.5%UCLA20.4% Rice University16.7%Wesleyan University20.4% Olin College of Engineering16.8%Barnard College20.5% Georgetown University17.1%University of Notre Dame22.3% Johns Hopkins University17.1%Vassar College24.1% Middlebury College17.5%Bates College24.2% Williams College17.5%Carnegie Mellon University25.5% Univ. California - Berkeley17.7%Davidson College25.6% Washington & Lee Univ.18.4%Colby College26.0% Tufts University18.9%Tulane University26.4% Harvey-Mudd College19.1%Emory University26.5%

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

9 Bands of selectivity within this sample 1.Extraordinarily difficult without a preference; our most outstanding candidates often face low probabilities – Ivy League; Stanford; Cal Tech/MIT; Duke 2.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 3.Very likely admission for strong students – Many including Tulane; Georgia Tech; Case Western; Michigan

10 Illustration: ultra-selective schools GPASAT-1600Sub Test Avg AP’s taken Average profile of students admitted without preferences

11 Ultra-selective schools (cont.) Schools: IVY/Stanford/Cal Tech/Duke/MIT Student Profile: 4.2+ GPA, SAT-1450+; 33+ ACT # of students12 # applying to ultra-selective 8 # admitted to ultra-selective 3 (38%) # of students18 # applying to ultra-selective 14 # admitted to ultra-selective 6 (43%) # of students17 # applying to ultra-selective 13 # admitted to ultra-selective 3 (23%)

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 DartmouthDuke (2) HarvardM.I.T. PrincetonYale * 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 GeorgetownUniversity of Virginia Univ. of MichiganVanderbilt Pomona CollegeWashington 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 ComponentComment 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) ComponentComment 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 Increasing in importance as competition intensifies

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. InstitutionOverall accept. rate Jesuit HS accept. rate Strake Jesuit accept. rate Boston College34%48%34% Georgetown17%34%43% Holy Cross43%61%63% Loyola Chicago54%80%89% Marquette57%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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