2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

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2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

To start, my students are reporting, and I am seeing extremely high rejection rates this year from the top schools.

Student who in years past would have gotten into Yale are not only being rejected by Yale, but by lower tier schools like Rice/Duke/Johns Hopkins, etc.

One of my students who got into MIT, was rejected by an ivy league.

Secondly, One of my so-so students told me Harvard contacted them and asked them to apply. I was scratching my head because none of my top students were invited to apply, just some students who probably would not make the cut.

So after some research I am reading that the top competitive schools are trying to UP their rejection rates to appear more competitive in college rankings. So they got one of my students hopes up, only with the intention of rejecting her to pad their stats. (And stole their application fee)

So I had several questions for the XKCD community:
1) Are you noticing the same thing with your college apps this year? (young people)
2) Anyone in admissions who can confirm/verify?
3) Did anyone here receive a request to apply with sub-Harvard SAT's/GPA/etc?


Thank you in advance.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:01 pm UTC

Well, I don't know anything about this, but if it's true.... :evil: :evil: :evil:

This is one of the reasons I hate school rankings. (The other may be that my school typically isn't ranked that highly.... :wink: )

The percentage of students that are rejected have no effect on the academic programs. In fact, I've often wondered if some of the top ranked schools are actually good because their programs are good or because their students are good. No, they're not mutually exclusive, but it seems as if the Ivy leagues and equivalents simply start with the best students so they're going to end with them too.

For example, I'm going to a good school for engineering but is often left off the top lists. One of the major reasons is my school accepts 80% of applicants. Guess what, we also have a high drop out rate. Somehow both of these stats are labeled as 'bad things'. Frankly, I think it's a great system (yes, obvious bias). It gives students who didn't do quite so well in high school a second chance.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby mmark9094 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:07 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:So after some research I am reading that the top competitive schools are trying to UP their rejection rates to appear more competitive in college rankings. So they got one of my students hopes up, only with the intention of rejecting her to pad their stats. (And stole their application fee)


Words can't describe my rage.

Good thing I am not even planning on applying to those schools.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby achan1058 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:The percentage of students that are rejected have no effect on the academic programs. In fact, I've often wondered if some of the top ranked schools are actually good because their programs are good or because their students are good. No, they're not mutually exclusive, but it seems as if the Ivy leagues and equivalents simply start with the best students so they're going to end with them too.
I would personally suggest neither as a possible option as well. Some of the schools are famous merely because of them of them being historically so, and might not indicative of their current strength (comparing to other top schools). Or, that they might just have the most money to hire the best researchers, which doesn't mean all that much to the undergrads. (being a Ph.D. or researcher there is another story entirely, of course) In fact, I never liked Harvard, since it's a school you can buy in if you have sufficient wealth/power.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby B.Good » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:30 pm UTC

achan1058 wrote:In fact, I never liked Harvard, since it's a school you can buy in if you have sufficient wealth/power.

I doubt that's unique to Harvard. If I remember correctly, there have been instances where people have bought their way/kid's way into a university. Granted, they're usually ivy league/top tier schools but who the hell wants to buy their way into a school that's not a top school? The difference between buying your way into an Ivy and a respectable university probably is not that much, and if you have money to spend, it is a better investment to buy your way into Harvard.

Before anyone responds, please allow me to clarify:
I oppose people buying their way into universities very strongly. However, I find it unfair to only call Harvard out on it as I imagine that every university has its price. It doesn't matter whether you like it, universities are businesses.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby pizzazz » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:59 pm UTC

Except most schools are supposed to be nonprofit and almost every school in the US (I think there is exactly 1 exception) receives government funding.

Encouraging students to apply who are not going to get in has been going on for a while (Washu in SL was blamed has been blamed for this for a few years at least), as has athletic recruiting (Ivy League rules disallow members from reducing academic standards for athletes, but that doesn't mean its all enforced, or even enforceable).

I will admit that some of the decrease in acceptance rates is due to the common app and other things that make applications easier (why hello there internet!).

collegeconfidential generally has people talking about this sort of thing, and it might be useful since most schools have admissions employees posting there.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby achan1058 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:57 pm UTC

B.Good wrote:Before anyone responds, please allow me to clarify:
I oppose people buying their way into universities very strongly. However, I find it unfair to only call Harvard out on it as I imagine that every university has its price. It doesn't matter whether you like it, universities are businesses.
I think MIT does not, unless I recall incorrectly, nor do they give Honorary degrees.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby B.Good » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:45 pm UTC

achan1058 wrote:
B.Good wrote:Before anyone responds, please allow me to clarify:
I oppose people buying their way into universities very strongly. However, I find it unfair to only call Harvard out on it as I imagine that every university has its price. It doesn't matter whether you like it, universities are businesses.
I think MIT does not, unless I recall incorrectly, nor do they give Honorary degrees.

Just because there are no known incidences and it is unlikely to happen doesn't mean that MIT doesn't have its price. Putting that aside, I'll say for the sake of argument that MIT doesn't have it's price and revise my statement to say that some universities have their price. My point was that it seems unfair to condemn Harvard and Harvard alone because it has happened with other universities as well.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby pizzazz » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

achan1058 wrote:
B.Good wrote:Before anyone responds, please allow me to clarify:
I oppose people buying their way into universities very strongly. However, I find it unfair to only call Harvard out on it as I imagine that every university has its price. It doesn't matter whether you like it, universities are businesses.
I think MIT does not, unless I recall incorrectly, nor do they give Honorary degrees.


I personally know a case of someone getting into MIT that way (I don't know for sure if it was price or position, might have been both).

Part of the reason Harvard would probably get more than anyone else for "selling" seats is the mythos surrounding it. And the colossal arrogance some people have about having gone there. It's probably not fair, and everyone who does it should probably be called out on it, but if you are going to claim to have the highest standards, they should be consistent.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby achan1058 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:24 am UTC

B.Good wrote:Just because there are no known incidences and it is unlikely to happen doesn't mean that MIT doesn't have its price. Putting that aside, I'll say for the sake of argument that MIT doesn't have it's price and revise my statement to say that some universities have their price. My point was that it seems unfair to condemn Harvard and Harvard alone because it has happened with other universities as well.
It does, but I called out on Harvard because people look at it as the "be all and end all" of prestigious schools. Plus, you have people like Bush, who did came out of Harvard. (whether his father have anything to do with it is unproven, but regardless)

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby B.Good » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:48 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:
B.Good wrote:Just because there are no known incidences and it is unlikely to happen doesn't mean that MIT doesn't have its price. Putting that aside, I'll say for the sake of argument that MIT doesn't have it's price and revise my statement to say that some universities have their price. My point was that it seems unfair to condemn Harvard and Harvard alone because it has happened with other universities as well.
It does, but I called out on Harvard because people look at it as the "be all and end all" of prestigious schools. Plus, you have people like Bush, who did came out of Harvard. (whether his father have anything to do with it is unproven, but regardless)

George W. Bush graduated from Yale, but setting that aside, I see your point. Harvard is generally ranked as the #1 school in the world according to more than 1 source and yes, some people cheat the system. However, people have cheated the system regarding other prestigious schools (George W. Bush could possibly be seen as an example for Yale) and as I said earlier, who wants to cheat the system at a "non-first tier university" if you can afford to cheat the system in the first place? Back on topic slightly, if you said "Fuck Harvard because they have a history of being bought AND they are doing what Ixtellor said occurred." I would agree with what you said 100%.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby achan1058 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:25 am UTC

B.Good wrote:George W. Bush graduated from Yale, but setting that aside, I see your point.
He got an MBA from Harvard.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:29 am UTC

Bush Jr. did attend Harvard for graduate school, though I don't put much stock in all the talk of selling places at prestigious universities to the wealthy or powerful. Sure, I can't say it doesn't happen, but out of thousands upon thousands of students, there's no evidence that any significant number were accepted to any prestigious university based on the exchange of money or favors. The more critical difference between these and the average applicants is that the children of powerful and wealthy people tend to get the best possible preparation from an early age, often through private tutoring, prestigious grade schools and secondary schools, expensive test prep courses, etc.; not to mention the severe disadvantages imposed on infants and very young children who are exposed to domestic violence, drug use, malnutrition or any of a million other obstacles with strong correlations to poverty or cultural disadvantage. It's stunning what research is showing about things like how much a parent talks to their infant having a lasting effect on their language ability even years and years later. Anyway, the children of the rich and famous get the greatest benefit from the built-in head start provided by their privileged upbringing; there's no need to reach for salacious conspiracy theories about who paid who to get into what school.
KestrelLowing wrote:For example, I'm going to a good school for engineering but is often left off the top lists. One of the major reasons is my school accepts 80% of applicants. Guess what, we also have a high drop out rate. Somehow both of these stats are labeled as 'bad things'. Frankly, I think it's a great system (yes, obvious bias). It gives students who didn't do quite so well in high school a second chance.

Not only are those attributes frowned upon, there has been a lot of talk about creating more strict requirements in those areas for schools to qualify for Title IV funding (the source of most Federal financial aid). The concern is that schools are putting too much effort into making room for students to attend without putting enough effort into ensuring that those students who attend, succeed. These students get financial aid and they take out student loans, so the school gets paid whether the student drops out or not; in effect, the concern is that schools are "milking" the system for revenue without the full intent of ensuring student success. We don't allocate tax revenue to student aid just to throw fistfuls of money at colleges; this funding exists to support opportunity for students who show an ability to benefit from enrollment, not to provide financial stimulus to higher ed institutions. One thing about the top-tier schools is that they have very, very low drop-out rates; and it's not simply because they get their choice of the best students, but because they put a lot of time, effort and funding into student success and support services (holy sibilance, Batman!).
Ixtellor wrote:So after some research I am reading that the top competitive schools are trying to UP their rejection rates to appear more competitive in college rankings. So they got one of my students hopes up, only with the intention of rejecting her to pad their stats. (And stole their application fee)

Can you elaborate on and source this? I'm very interested to know more, though I am skeptical about the credibility of the accusation.

The critical reality of the current admissions climate is that applications are up like you wouldn't believe, and it's not just due to marketing campaigns. I certainly sympathize with the feeling that every application fee is a painful chunk out of your wallet; I'm going through the process this year as well, and between the score reports and application fees I'm out several hundred dollars. But having been on the other side as well I'm in a position to know just how much work it is to process all these applications; no admissions department in their right mind would go out of their way to actively solicit interest from students who have no hope of being accepted. The review process is long, intense, and costly; there's a ton of paperwork to file, there are phone calls and emails to answer, there are publications to produce and events to run. I doubt even the fees at the most prestigious schools ($75-100 for undergrads) cover those costs.

Anyway, undergrad applications to Harvard rose almost 15% this year, and have risen more than 50% overall in the past four years (Harvard Gazette). Stanford is up 7%, University of California has seen about the same increase across all its campuses—and it's not just that students are applying to a greater number of schools, though that trend has been observed; it's that more are applying. Since the economy tanked, fewer people are working and more of them are going to school, whether it's for the first time or as a re-entry student. The growth in applications over the past few years far outstrips the ability of any school to expand its facilities, much less its faculty, its curriculum, its various support services. Not to mention the severe constraints that most public systems are under due to budget shortfalls, which prevents them from picking up the slack.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Solt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:42 am UTC

Harvard is defined as number 1 on the US News and World Report Rankings. Every other college is evaluated in terms of Harvard. They get 100/100 points and the next closest school is in the 80s iirc. So I'm not really seeing why they would need to play silly games to manipulate the rankings.

I think being the oldest university in the US and having the largest endowment of any university in the world puts them in a pretty secure position. This sounds like a conspiracy theory.


edit: also, regarding the whole bit about people buying their way into Harvard, 81% of new students receive financial aid from the university. Yea, a den of the rich and powerful alright.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby achan1058 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:18 am UTC

Solt wrote:edit: also, regarding the whole bit about people buying their way into Harvard, 81% of new students receive financial aid from the university. Yea, a den of the rich and powerful alright.
It doesn't mean that the remaining 19% aren't all buying their way in, and that those 19% want to surround themselves with the talented so they can exploit them. (I know they most likely is not the case, at least percentage wise. I will not comment on surrounding themselves with the talented to exploit, though.) Unfortunately, it only takes only a few people to make me disrespect a university.
Solt wrote:Harvard is defined as number 1 on the US News and World Report Rankings.
I doubt this is true for all ranking systems in the various different magazines in the world. Maybe true for a selected few with certain bias, but other magazines have their own biases not to put Harvard as 100%.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:29 am UTC

Solt wrote:Harvard is defined as number 1 on the US News and World Report Rankings. Every other college is evaluated in terms of Harvard.
[citation needed]
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:35 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:To start, my students are reporting, and I am seeing extremely high rejection rates this year from the top schools.

Student who in years past would have gotten into Yale are not only being rejected by Yale, but by lower tier schools like Rice/Duke/Johns Hopkins, etc.

Rejection rates have been extremely high for… a long damn time, really. And since those schools are usually pretty vocal about their actual percentages, I'm not sure why you're preferring your personal sample of students over the population data. I mean, my high school's Ivy League acceptance rate this year is roughly 500% higher than it was over the previous ten. But it would be silly to try to derive a trend from this data when you can just go look up the real numbers on the Blagoweb.

Ixtellor wrote:One of my students who got into MIT, was rejected by an ivy league.

This situation and its converse are so ridiculously common and uninteresting that I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make by it.

Ixtellor wrote:Secondly, One of my so-so students told me Harvard contacted them and asked them to apply. I was scratching my head because none of my top students were invited to apply, just some students who probably would not make the cut.

How would you know? High school juniors all get ballsloads of invitations to apply everywhere, and probably don't see the need to tell anyone. If you're thinking that the Harvard invitation is some sort of gold-plated thing that would make anyone want to run and tell the world, you're mistaken. It's pretty much just a pamphlet that says "Hey, we're cool, apply here!" Just like the pamphlets for every other school. It's unremarkable and probably isn't going to prompt a public response from most recipients.

And the letters probably come from test scores, since that's the only information that colleges have. Unless by "top students" you mean that you know how they all did on standardized testing, any discrepancy wouldn't indicate a bias on Harvard's part (and I'm not really sure why you think they would want a conspiracy to not invite strong students to apply).
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Felstaff » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:04 am UTC

This just in: more people applying for college
Breaking news: college building size remains fairly static

Ixtellor wrote:my students are reporting, and I am seeing extremely high rejection rates this year from the top schools.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:58 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:High school juniors all get ballsloads of invitations to apply everywhere, and probably don't see the need to tell anyone. If you're thinking that the Harvard invitation is some sort of gold-plated thing that would make anyone want to run and tell the world, you're mistaken. It's pretty much just a pamphlet that says "Hey, we're cool, apply here!" Just like the pamphlets for every other school. It's unremarkable and probably isn't going to prompt a public response from most recipients.
And in fact, is probably quite a bit *less* likely to prompt a public response from top students, as they're the ones getting the most junk mail from the most schools. (And it really does become junk mail when you average about one invitation package a day for like six months.)

Also, I don't think Harvard sent me anything, either, despite my perfect SAT and being top of my high school class. It could be a simple matter of them figuring I already knew about Harvard and would already be applying if I had any interest in going there (which I didn't). Perhaps they decided it was better to send some invitations to students who thought Harvard was out of their league but who, in fact, might have been able to get in and do well if they decided to apply. Yes, obviously not all of them would in fact be able to get in and do well, but that's also true of people with 4.0s and perfect test scores. I remember an MIT representative making a point of how common it is for 4.0/1600 (because back in my day that's what the SAT was) students to be rejected from there. In favor of less-good-on-paper students who were more well-rounded or otherwise interesting to the university.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:14 pm UTC

I don't care about people buying their way into school. Its probably statistically insignificant, and several of the top schools base tuition on parental income now which has resulted in many of poor and even middle class students getting a free ride. (Also, lets not hijack the thread)

As to some other on topic posts:

Yes schools are receiving a lot more applications now, I understand that is going to naturally lower acceptance rates.

I just threw in the "FU Harvard" because of the accusation they are purposely encouraging students to apply who they know will be rejected.
(Note: I did ask for confirmation in my OP, to see if this was true)

I am mostly seeing Hearsay so was looking for any validation.

http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2011/ ... uestioned/

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel and four college counselors said these statistics are not the most important indicators of whether a school is competitive or popular among those it admits. Many colleges manipulate these numbers, Brenzel said, using strategies like encouraging large numbers of unqualified students to apply in order to raise application counts and lower admissions rates, or refusing admission to students they believe will not matriculate to up their yield


http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/20 ... ction-game

Colleges want to maximize the applicants that they won’t admit. It’s perverse, but true.


Thus, elite schools have an incentive to cast as wide a net as possible among qualified candidates (I presume that their scruples prevent them from seeking high schoolers who can’t succeed) so that they can reject most of them.


gmalivuk wrote:I remember an MIT representative making a point of how common it is for 4.0/1600 (because back in my day that's what the SAT was) students to be rejected from there. In favor of less-good-on-paper students who were more well-rounded or otherwise interesting to the university.


I currently have 5 former students attending MIT and there doesnt' seem to be a forumla for getting in outside of being "really smart" . Outside research might be the biggest indicator (working with a college professor on a project) followed by being #1 in their class.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Rejection rates have been extremely high for… a long damn time, really
"

2011 is going to break all the records and at schools across the spectrum... hence its news.

News = events outside the ordinary.

As to your comment :
I'm not sure why you're preferring your personal sample of students over the population data.


The Data perfectly supports my 'pesonal sample'.
In years past I have been able to tell if student X would get into school Y, though lots of experience helping students get into college. This year has been extraordinary in the caliber of students who are being rejected by not only 'tier 1' schools but 'tier 2' schools. (Not that I actually believe in those arbitrary ratings)

Felstaff wrote:This just in: more people applying for college
Breaking news: college building size remains fairly static


I used the search function and can't find any posts where you predicted 2011 was going to be a banner year with schools across the spectrum being overwhelmed with record numbers of applicants.

Don't worry though, once you make it past the "esteem" level on Maslows Heirarchy of needs, you will get to the level where you actually contribute to society - and then you WILL make those kinds of predictions. Until then keep working on your self esteem issues, all needs are equally important.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Felstaff » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:18 pm UTC

Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:47 pm UTC

Ixtellor, the articles you linked hardly present a credible argument; it's two individuals making claims based on personal experience; one isn't from any sort of credible source, and the other (Yale) article actually suggests that top schools are less likely to take this tactic based on already being plenty selective enough.

I don't think you quite understand the costs involved in screening applications, even those which are pretty straightforward rejections. And I'm not sure what you intend to accomplish by ranting at schools and then snarking at users who disagree with you. I'm sorry, but the simple fact is that your position on the outside, observing a very small number of students applying from one very specific school to many, many institutions does not give you any particular insight into the inner workings of the admissions process. Which is what you're making accusations about.

I've worked through this process from the college side of things, at more than one school and in at least one extremely prestigious program, and my experience is in diametric opposition to your accusations. I don't expect you to simply take my word for it, but that's my experience and to be perfectly honest it counts for a lot more than an opinion piece by a professor of English with absolutely no experience in admissions and who just happens to be marketing a book titled The Dumbest Generation.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:38 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Oh, really?


Thats pretty fun. I award you 3 internets. (people still do that right?)

Bakemaster wrote:Ixtellor, the articles you linked hardly present a credible argument; it's two individuals making claims based on personal experience; one


How many times do I have to type "hearsay" and say "looking for confirmation" before people realize I am not stating facts, looking for info?

1) Be less eager to prove your smart and more eager to read carefully.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:2011 is going to break all the records and at schools across the spectrum... hence its news.

News = events outside the ordinary.

An increase in application rates at top schools is extremely ordinary. It happened this year, last year, 2009, and probably most of the years before that, as well. But, back in context-land, what you said was not that rejection rates are higher, but that they're high. If what you want to argue is based on change rather than on position, then you ought to say that — and you ought to have some explication of why your conspiracy theory would explain that change (is Harvard for some reason more evil than it was last year, leading it to encourage a greater number of hopeless applicants?).

Here, I'll go ahead and call it: Yale will have a lower acceptance rate for its Class of 2016 than it did for its Class of 2015 (I won't commit to the same prediction for Harvard and Princeton, since they're reinstating Early Action this year and I don't know how that will affect things).

Ixtellor wrote:How many times do I have to type "hearsay" and say "looking for confirmation" before people realize I am not stating facts, looking for info?

When you say things like "So they got one of my students hopes up, only with the intention of rejecting her to pad their stats. (And stole their application fee)," the words that you are saying are statements of fact. Likewise, when you say "F U Harvard" on the basis of that accusation, people begin to suspect that you might be leaning toward a conclusion.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:54 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:How many times do I have to type "hearsay" and say "looking for confirmation" before people realize I am not stating facts, looking for info?

As TGB pointed out, your attitude and language belie this claim, no matter how many times you make it.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:When you say things like "So they got one of my students hopes up, only with the intention of rejecting her to pad their stats. (And stole their application fee)," the words that you are saying are statements of fact. Likewise, when you say "F U Harvard" on the basis of that accusation, people begin to suspect that you might be leaning toward a conclusion.


"Got students hopes up" <--- that is a fact.
"Stole application fee" <--- that is a fact... why?

Because the student in question was unqualified and there was no basis to believe they were qualified. I know all their test scores, grades, etc.
Perhaps they received the invite based on demographic factors, but a cursory look at academic record would quickly make it evident the applicant in question would not be accepted regardless of those demographic factors.

If Harvard is already overwhelmed with applications, why on earth are they soliciting more FROM people unqualified to go there?

As to the rest of your points, as well as Bakemaster:

Don't try and read intent, tone, or attitude in an anonymous email/post.
If your are unsure ASK first, don't assume.
Disecting a lenghty post for a few tense shifts and language issues isn't clever.

Your more likely to be harping on typos and first-draft-quickly-written grammer errors than actually deducing a persons tone. My OP and subsequent posts have been EXPLICIT in my intent. Your disregarding the explicit portions only demonstrates your eagerness to argue.

As a practicioner of said advice I wont' delve into the obvious anti-semetic undertones of your past 3 posts.


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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

Ixtellor, if you don't want people to read tone into your posts, then don't fucking put it there so blatantly.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Are you just trolling, now, Ixtellor? At the risk of rising to the bait, what other purpose than trolling could be possibly served by a passive-aggressive and completely tangential accusation of antisemitism, in the style of Fox News? Or is that your idea of a clever satiric jab?

If you could give some information about the specific manner in which your student was allegedly solicited by Harvard, that would be helpful.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Or is that your idea of a clever satiric jab?

I assume that's the case, since he's apparently trying to dissuade me from thinking that his posts mean anything at all.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Ixtellor, if you don't want people to read tone into your posts, then don't fucking put it there so blatantly.


Ahhh old friend. Blatant is subjective. I assure you everything you regard as blatant was purely poor grammar on my part and only detracted from the EXPLICIT portions of the posts. Deja vu huh?

I apologize for the thread derailment I contributed too.

I am confident TGB, Bakemaster and all involved are fantastic people I would be thrilled to have in my class.

If I may refocus:

If Harvard is inindated with applications, why are they soliciting applications from unqualified students?

Bakemaster wrote:If you could give some information about the specific manner in which your student was allegedly solicited by Harvard, that would be helpful.


The student received a letter from Harvard asking them to apply. The students academic record would all but guarentee they not be admitted.

It would be like asking people who made a 1150 on the SAT with no extracirrucular activities to "apply!!". ( I like Gmal am old, only older, so using the old scale)
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:30 pm UTC

Maybe Harvard's targeting isn't perfect. All you're going from is your knowledge that they invited an unqualified candidate to apply once.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby ++$_ » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Bush Jr. did attend Harvard for graduate school, though I don't put much stock in all the talk of selling places at prestigious universities to the wealthy or powerful. Sure, I can't say it doesn't happen, but out of thousands upon thousands of students, there's no evidence that any significant number were accepted to any prestigious university based on the exchange of money or favors.
This is second-hand information, but someone I know told me that she attended a public meeting about Stanford admissions, and that the admissions officer explained that their policy was that they would admit 1-2 students per year based on the donations of their parents, but only if the administration specifically pushed for it.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Maybe Harvard's targeting isn't perfect. All you're going from is your knowledge that they invited an unqualified candidate to apply once.


I see the same question around various internet boards. Its more than once.

It still doesnt' answer the question, why bother encouraging anyone to apply if they are allready overwhelmed with applications?

And since the only information they have is information they can purchase from places like college board and other school sites (anyone know if SAT will sell scores to universities?)... why are they paying to collect arbitrary and incomplete data in an effort to recruit more applicants?

Harvard "Hey I bought some standardized test scores from a Alabama Testing company, so lets invite everyone who scored above X." What kind of metric is that?

Some conclusions I can think of is:
a) attracting non-typical applicants to increase diversity at the school. (Not like they are looking for mediocre students -- maybe they just feel their low socio-econmic transgendered Eskimo population is negligible)(Or more reasonable to increase non Asian and white populations)
b) Padding rejecting rates since the #1 college ranking site (if not all of them) uses it as a critera. (What I am leaning towards)
C) They are sadists who love the misery and false hopes it creates. (Highly doubtful)


Ixtellor

p.s. I am just going to call them and get my answers. Can't call until monday, if anyone is curious here is the number to call and get to the bottom of their recruiting policy: 617-495-1551
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:28 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:It still doesnt' answer the question, why bother encouraging anyone to apply if they are allready overwhelmed with applications?

The goal isn't just to get enough applicants to fill the class, but to get the best applicants possible. Many competitive would-be Harvard applicants are dissuaded by its WASPy reputation, perceived expense, and so on. The goal of recruiting is to get the best of those students into the class; naturally, this comes at the cost of producing some applications that aren't going to make it.

Ixtellor wrote:And since the only information they have is information they can purchase from places like college board and other school sites (anyone know if SAT will sell scores to universities?)... why are they paying to collect arbitrary and incomplete data in an effort to recruit more applicants?

Test scores are incomplete, of course, but they aren't arbitrary. And the reason that they're used is that complete data isn't available before a student files an application. That's the point: recruiters use preliminary, incomplete data in order to encourage high-potential groups to send in more complete data.

Ixtellor wrote:I am just going to call them and get my answers.

I doubt that the former will accomplish the latter.

Edit: Bakemaster, you missed your BOOBth post!
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:00 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:b) Padding rejecting rates since the #1 college ranking site (if not all of them) uses it as a critera. (What I am leaning towards)
Again: why would Harvard need to do this? Are they in any particular danger of not continuing to rank at or near the top of pretty much every list? I could see shitty schools doing this in an effort to look less shitty, but I can't see it being a significant factor for schools that flat-out don't have room to accept more than a couple percent of the people who would have been sending them applications whether they recruited or not.

Far more likely, it seems to me, is what you got at with option (a): they want to increase diversity by encouraging applications from some people who may not see themselves as typical Harvard material. Sure, the majority of people recruited in this manner will be rejected, just like the majority of high-ranked, good-test-scores applicants already are. But that doesn't mean they're doing it to pad rejection rates.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby achan1058 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Well, I think one way to test the hypothesis is to check the rejection rate of those Harvard encouraged to apply, and those who applied to Harvard without such prompts. If the rejection rate of the former is significantly higher, then I am buying what Ixtellor said.

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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:34 pm UTC

Why would that evidence support Ixtellor's hypothesis?
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

achan1058 wrote:Well, I think one way to test the hypothesis is to check the rejection rate of those Harvard encouraged to apply, and those who applied to Harvard without such prompts. If the rejection rate of the former is significantly higher, then I am buying what Ixtellor said.


I know schools keep data of "unqualified versus qualified" applicants and their acceptance rates, but that information is not released. I think it has to due mostly with athletics though.

As to Gmal:

I dont know the answer. I do know that top corporations never relent and take extrodinary measures to maintain their status, with the belief that if they relax they won't be #1 anymore.
I don't think its crazy to believe Harvard might have that same mentality, that to insure being #1 they must remain diligent in maintaining their stats.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I doubt that the former(calling Harvard directly) will accomplish the latter (getting answers).


Its worth a try and far more productive than blind internet posts.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:36 pm UTC

The solution there, then, is to make informed Internet posts. There are better ways to do this than calling the front desk at Harvard's admissions office and asking whether they can tell you anything about Harvard's secret plans to distort its acceptance rate. The articles you posted before, for example, would be a better start toward an informed argument, even if those particular articles didn't present particularly damning evidence.

Seriously. It is not the most helpful front desk in the world.
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Re: 2011 Acceptance Rates: F U Harvard

Postby equivocating ostrich » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:43 pm UTC

the situation is similar in england. all the intuition fees have gone up. this is because a select few elite universities like Cambridge and oxford decide to boost up their fees to about 9000 pounds per year. that's about 15000 us dollars a year. of course this put enormous pressure on other universities to appear good, so they bumped up their fees too.

you can't escape how competitive education is, can you?
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