EDIT: Thank you for your questions! For students who are interested in learning more, please check out the College Admissions Intensive. (Scholarships are still available for students who have demonstrated need).

Good morning Reddit! I’m a former college application reader for Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern University, and current College Counselor at my firm ThinquePrep.

Each year I host a 5-day College Admissions Intensive that provides students with access to college representatives and necessary practice that will polish their applications. But, as we’ve all seen, this pandemic has led to a number of changes within the education system. As such, this year will be the first Online Version of our workshop, and - in addition to the usual itinerary - will address how prospective students may be impacted by COVID-19. My colleagues from different schools around the country (Stanford, Vanderbilt, Rochester, DePaul, among others) will be attending the workshop to share their advice with students.

As it is our first digital workshop, I am excited to share my knowledge with parents and students across the states! I am here to both to discuss the program, as well as answer any questions you may have! AMA!

Comments: 840 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

BasketWeavingAlien568 karma

I’m was admitted to as the Class of 2024, with the option to take a gap year as the Class of 2025. Although I decided to continue as ‘24, many of my fellow admits decided on a gap year.

Given that a good amount of the “seats” for the c/o 2025 are filled with gap years, do you anticipate acceptance rates for this admissions cycle to decrease?

thinqueprep447 karma

Absolutely. This is the conundrum that will have enrollment managers scratching their heads.

There will be a clear dip in enrollment due to the sheer number of students taking a gap year for this fall. As a result of that, for the class of 2024, many colleges accepted much deeper into the WL than they were used to. This will compensate for part of the number of students who decided to defer admission until next fall.

For the coming cycle, enrollment managers will have to be very clear as to how they will deal with a potential influx of students. In my talks with my colleagues on the college side, this will likely result in extra emphasis on the WL for the class of 2025 just to make sure they are extra intentional with making sure they do not over-enroll.

The above is a discussion for the 100 or so highly selective schools, which will continue to have high demand.

On the other end of the spectrum, many less competitive schools will struggle to fill seats. As such, their acceptance rates will likely increase.

Wendeli71 karma

For those accepted off the waitlist do you also need to allow them to take a gap year if desired? Doesn't this create a huge issue where there will be very few spots for 2025?

I know my school's policy was to allow anyone to take a gap year or return to school after a gap of any number of years if desired for undergrad. Had a student who really did take this to the fullest extent and came back to school in his 70's.

thinqueprep58 karma

Good question. Some colleges will only accept students off their WL if they guarantee that they will enroll for the fall. It is a numbers game after all.

I can't imagine many colleges letting students off the WL only to have them defer. I'm sure they would exist, I just don't know any off the top of my head.

I've only heard 1-2 year deferment. I haven't heard of more than that!

hotelcalif4 karma

Why will the less competitive schools struggle to fill seats? Won’t their students also be taking a gap year?

thinqueprep10 karma

Absolutely. This will be a difficult problem for them to solve.

Check out this interesting chart from Professor Scott Galloway from NYU:

https://api.profgalloway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/US_Higher_Ed4.png

bssjake0453 karma

I signed up to take the ACT in April and it's been cancelled every month since then. Do I really need to take the test?

thinqueprep321 karma

That depends on the school. You can read on a school website if they are test optional at all.

Some schools are very specific with their policy -- they make sure to state that they will not penalize students in any way if they are physically unable to take the test.

If this is you, you will have the chance to explain on your application that you were unable to take the ACT even though you tried.

Other schools will still recommend that you take the ACT/SAT if at all possible. They will use the scores for class placements, merit scholarships, or other considerations.

Other schools would still like to see a high test score if at all possible, especially at a slightly more selective school because they may be inundated with inflated GPAs this year.

So it depends on the types of schools you're looking at. If you have aspirations of more competitive colleges, then I would recommend you keep trying to take the ACT if it is safe to do so.

What kind of schools are you looking at?

aperskn310 karma

What is something that differentiated your admitted students from all the other qualified applicants?

thinqueprep556 karma

DEEP involvement in one or two causes. Not just meeting with club members a couple times a week, but devoting hundreds of hours to something they are passionate about.

pandami7319799 karma

Doesn't that automatically rule out students from lower socio-economic groups? If you do not have time to devote to causes it can often be because that student is having to work or provide care. Free time is a luxury.

la_peregrine600 karma

Actually it depends on how you write it. Tell the school about the hundred of hours you spent babysitting/taking care of grandma/ having a side job to help pay the bills. How has this impacted you (and not just the I couldn't devote time to playing tennis)? Maybe your grandpa was a war veteran and his ear stories got you interested in history. Maybe your grandma talked about how she had dreams to become an engineer but she met sexism and that got you to reflect on social justice so now you want to be a lawyer or you want to keep pushing and do the things she couldn't so now you want to become a (insert male dominated field/profession) here. Maybe you tried to understand the economics of running a fast food place and why fast food workers are paid so little which sparked your interest in business.

You spent the time practicing these things. Maybe they are not your typical clubs. Maybe they are not glamorous or desirable or cool. Maybe they are in fact activities that motivate you to do more. But you did spend the time doing these things so tell us what that means to you and what you learned.

Maybe you learned to multitask and you were working on memorizing the Krebs cycle while flipping burgers. Maybe you figured out how to optimize the process so you can be more efficient. Maybe you reflected the unfairness if your position and made plans to never be in that position again. Maybe you learned how to lead a team. Or how to be patient with people.

Reflect on what you had to do. Then discuss that.

thinqueprep345 karma

THIS.

This is DEEP involvement.

Janezo109 karma

Not necessarily. Deep involvement can include one’s place of employment. My niece worked in a pizza place as a teen - her family needed the money. She threw herself into the job, her coworkers, and her customers. She wrote a great admissions essay about it, and got in everywhere she applied.

thinqueprep28 karma

THIS.

mountaindew7128 karma

Can you explain why this is such an important criteria now? Looking at it from the other side if I'm trying to hire a mechanical engineer fresh out of college I care about grades, skillset and what student projects were done. I don't care at all if the person spent 50 hours a week in high school at some activity.

thinqueprep45 karma

For a higher level engineering school, this is the only way they can make distinctions among the myriad of applicants they have -- all of whom have stellar grades.

baumabby108 karma

Hello! I am applying to grad school this upcoming winter to study higher ed and student affairs. Hoping to become a college counselor or get into admissions. Do you have any advice on landing a job in this field? Thanks!

thinqueprep138 karma

Where are you going and where do you want to work? I'm happy to speak with you offline. This is not an answer that I would feel comfortable trying to type up because it can be super personal depending on your goals.

JNemRo20 karma

Would I be able to shoot you a message too? I'm currently in a student affairs grad program and would love to ask some questions!

thinqueprep28 karma

drop me a line

thiccyikes93 karma

Do you think Standardized Testing (e.g. ACT, SAT, GRE) ought to be phased out? Is it actually a useful metric? How have you used it in your admissions analysis?

thinqueprep163 karma

This is a contentious discussion that many of my colleagues are having right now.

I personally do believe that standardized tests do serve some validity. However, the way these tests are designed do benefit those from higher income brackets. As such, they do inform, but shouldn't be seen as an objective standard of measure.

In my experience, we did use low scores to weed out students if there was no indication of why they received a low score. There was an unspoken expectation that we wanted high scores, but we never would nitpick over a difference of 10 or 20 points.

In fact we would often reject perfect score students because it was clear from their applications that they didn't do much besides study for the exam.

swimstar186124 karma

Sorry, you're saying you rejected applicants with perfect ACT/SAT/GRE scores because they usually sacrificed extracurriculars, etc. to study for these standardized tests? Is that a common practice across the field?

sticklebat29 karma

Probably not GRE (expectations for grad school are very different, usually), but for the ACT/SAT it depends on the school. Some schools want different things, and some emphasize things like creativity, innovation. Spending all your time studying for a test doesn’t demonstrate those at all. Most schools are looking for more than just good grades and high test scores. That’s why they have essays and recommendations, to get a more thorough picture of the student.

thinqueprep27 karma

GRE carries very little weight these days.

But yes, in admissions we would always say what a student did over 4 hours on a Saturday shouldn't take precedence over their weeks of commitment elsewhere.

SingShredCode84 karma

Can you shed some light on what discussions around diversity (specifically racial and socioeconomic diversity) were like in the Claremont McKenna admissions office? What do you optimize for? Given that there are only 300ish students per class, I imagine these conversations are quite difficult. I graduated from CMC in 2015 and would love to know more.

Also, if you happen to know any of the folks there now, please tell Megan Latta that Becca (the rugby one) says hi.

thinqueprep30 karma

Ah! Megan started when I was reading. Haha. She's super cool.

I don't comfortable sharing that on a public forum, but I can only imagine that you have some opinions having gone through CMC.

One of my closest friends also graduated CMC 2014 -- Marcel Hite. He works for Stanford now.

Smaran72178 karma

I am architect from India and I was wondering is it a good choice for me to apply for masters abroad in US or any other country in general? Because I hear it's incredibly hard to get a job and visa to pay off the student loans in architecture especially. Also has the covid situation made the prospect of getting a job even worse?

thinqueprep140 karma

COVID has made it very difficult for international students. As most colleges will be remote in the fall, many international students who have already enrolled will be studying online from home.

If you choose to wait for a year, you will have no trouble getting in to an M. Arch program. However, most Masters programs are very expensive and often do not offer financial aid for international students.

Furthermore, you are correct: your ability to get a job afterwards is not guaranteed. Since you are not a citizen, you will need to find a job that will be willing to sponsor your work visa. If you are not in a position to afford a masters and it will put you into a difficult financial place, I would not recommend you come to study in the US.

AlternativeAuditor61 karma

If your dream is to move to the US I would try focus on the L1 visa, I think that is one of the easiest visas to get approved for.

You have to work for a company with a significant American presence, and once you are at the manager level they can transfer you to the US for a few years, and then hopefully progress you to a Green Card.

That was my path and it took about five years from deciding I wanted to move, getting hired at the right company, and then getting transferred.

thinqueprep26 karma

That was valuable insight!

Sbmizzou66 karma

I have a son who will be starting high school this month. The school has numerous AP classes available.

Do you have a recommendation as to how many AP classes a student should take?

thinqueprep124 karma

It will really depend on what your goals are.

If your goal is to get as much college credit as possible so as to shorten graduation time, then the answer is as many as possible.

If your goal is to qualify for "selective admissions", then the answer is as many as you can reasonably take without becoming overloaded.

If your goal is to explore subjects that may be of interest, then the answer is as many you can find within your areas of strength/interest.

This is a long conversation I have with many of my families and it usually boils down to one of those three. I usually do an aptitude assessment early on to see which path they should take.

Diablo064 karma

Our son took his first AP class last year as a freshman, and scored a 2 on the exam. How badly will that hurt him for college admission?

Also, if he continues to take AP classes, but doesn’t do well on the exam... will that do more harm than good? Meaning, he might be better suited to Honors classes.

thinqueprep92 karma

I'm assuming it's AP Human Geography.

If he is able to continue in AP World/Euro/US History and show growth, then the 2 won't matter. Ninth grade is a transitional year anyways, so its okay if students slip up a bit.

If he doesn't do well on AP exams then that will be truly revealing about his study style and should impact the types of colleges he should apply for -- it would imply to me that he is not a "traditional" learner and wants to find a school that will cater to his strengths.

glw019224 karma

Edit: I have been corrected. APs matter a little bit, but not nearly as much as other factors.

AP scores do not matter at all to the college during the application review. Some things they do care about are grades, course rigor, class rank, ACT/SAT scores, background, etc. If he didn’t take the AP test, the college would not care either.

If he can get high grades in the AP classes that is what matters to the admissions counselor. If your son will end up with the same grade in the honors as the AP, then he should take the AP if he is aiming for a top school. If he is not, then maybe take a few APs throughout high school, not all of them, as honors still look good on an application.

Also, don’t overwhelm him. Let him make his own decisions about classes, colleges, and study habits. No one needs that kind of pressure from a parent. (This is just a friendly reminder, as my parents do this to me, and I don’t want others to experience this.)

thinqueprep30 karma

The blanket statements that AP scores do not matter at all wasn't true during my tenure. While they weren't of utmost importance, we did consider them.

This may especially be true this year as standardized test scores will be lacking.

Also, when one of my students got into Stanford, he got a friendly reminder from admissions that they expected him to take any and all AP exams because that was what he had committed to when he enrolled in an AP class.

Again, these are the minority of experiences, but they should be considered.

TheAnonymous12345650 karma

Do you know what computer science activities (such as summer activities and internships, extracurriculars, etc...) will impress College Admissions? Because I want to apply to be a computer science major in some colleges.

thinqueprep111 karma

Internships are generally neutral at this point because so many internships are found through parents or through connections.

If you are able to find your own internship through your own means, by all means go for it. And then, make the most out of it. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a student talk about an internship and then not have anything meaningful to say about it.

My advice to you is to take as many coding languages as possible and see if you can design an app/website/program to help kids in your school area with a tiny problem they may have.

karsickk18 karma

Internships are neutral? Not even slightly positive?

enzoyasuo26 karma

If I understood what he said, he is probably talking about internships that weren't obtained through your hard work but through luck or parents, etc..

karsickk13 karma

Yeah, that makes sense. How would AOs know if it was nepotism or merit, though?

enzoyasuo7 karma

Probably through what he learned and how he earned this spot in this internship? I'm not certain. There still exists a possibility that they wouldn't be able to differ between those two.

thinqueprep6 karma

If there wasn't a possibility to distinguish between the two, that's why I would treat it as neutral.

I wouldn't read into it and would look at the other components of the application.

SweetieBby24 karma

I'm guessing its because there's not a lot of companies hiring underage high schoolers as interns unless they already have some personal connection to them. Not a lot of merit-based internships being offered to 15 years olds

thinqueprep25 karma

This.

In my time, I rarely saw internships that weren't because of nepotism.

otariidpanda46 karma

How do small liberal arts colleges like CMC differ in their admissions process compared to a bigger school like Northwestern? Given that they're roughly around the same "tier," are the admissions requirements pretty similar or do you feel like they're looking for different types of students altogether?

thinqueprep73 karma

Honestly, the process isn't very different. We used different rubrics and scoring system. But at the end of the day, all the viable candidates were discussed in committee.

The type of students we looked for did differ. This is something a lot of students don't think about. Each university has its own "ethos" that they're trying to create, so they want to attract students that fit into that. At each school, we would often reject perfectly qualified candidates because they really didn't fit what we were looking for.

CMC focused on leadership and drive.

NU focused on creativity and innovation.

ribix_cube17 karma

How can I find out what school looks for what type of kids?

tinypanda021 karma

I would look at the type of questions they ask on supplementals, their mission statement, and other info on their about page. Also, looking at the kinds of students they accept on their website, magazines, or other literature they publish.

thinqueprep30 karma

The mission statement is huge.

Also direct interaction with admissions officers will help.

JobBoe12335 karma

How important is creativity in the Common App essay? Is authenticity and a compelling topic more important than creativity (ie should you pick a topic that you can creatively write about or a topic that is more personal)?

thinqueprep41 karma

That is a personal question that we will be discussing in the workshop.

I think it comes down to how you write. Some students aren't at the level that they can write about something "creatively," so it's easier to write a personal heartfelt essay.

However, if you think you can take creatively, you will always earn brownie points form me. I love a good pun.

elreyhorus30 karma

Not related to college admissions, but what factor would you single out as the primary driver in increasing tuition costs (lack of state funding for public university systems, building fancy new buildings with frivolous amenities like new dorms, too many administrators with overlapping roles like provosts, deans, etc)?

thinqueprep60 karma

Administration is probably the biggest cause for tuition increase.

Students need services like mental health counseling and career counseling.

Unfortunately, it's not cheap to hire these people and create these programs.

For large state schools, it is indeed the lack of government funding. They have had to increase out-of-state and international enrollment to make up for this budget deficit.

alavaa030 karma

Hello! How does being multi-interested (undecided lol) affect applications? If my ECs are kind of scattered, would it make more sense to apply as undecided or choose 1 for intended major (public policy or medicine/nursing)? (bc of this, I really like NU bc it seems like they give a lot of flexibility with how many majors/minors you can take on!)

thinqueprep50 karma

Remember that Medicine is not a major!

Nursing is a major and it's almost like its own school. You have to be fully committed to nursing if you choose to go that route.

If you are truly undecided then you need to apply to schools that honor that. I would suggest looking at Liberal Arts Colleges.

You sound like a perfect candidate for the workshop because you need just a little bit of guidance and maybe some help branding your application.

It's okay to be undecided, but you want to make sure that you have a clear message in your application!

Dr_OddBall28 karma

Are schools anticipating a change in grad school admissions that mirror the situation for undergrads that you discussed earlier?

thinqueprep59 karma

Grad Schools are on the decline. Their prices have gone up exponentially, and the number of young adults who see value in spending $50k plus for a return on investment that is only a fraction of that is going down.

As long as you are willing to pay for grad school, you will be able to find a grad school that will have you.

The programs that I mention are regular Masters' and MBA programs that many people use to advance their careers.

Other types of grad school, like Ph.D's and Medical school will continue to hold up high standards.

jtims723 karma

How much of an influence does an SAT or ACT score have on undergraduate acceptance and admittance? I was always taught growing up that doing well on these tests was crucial to get into a university, but after going to college and hearing other people’s backgrounds, I’m less convinced they play a major role in deciding where you can or cannot go to study.

thinqueprep41 karma

THIS.

It does not carry as much weight as people do think. It is part of the application process but it is just 1 factor out of as many as 25 factors that admissions people consider.

"Important"? Yes.

"Crucial"? Not exactly.

yahel1423 karma

What is your first ice cream flavor?

thinqueprep29 karma

My first one was probably mint chip.

fuckmesoft20 karma

Hi! I am currently trying to transfer from my small local college into the University of Michigan. How do you think COVID-19 will affect transfer admissions?

thinqueprep23 karma

Where is your small local college? Why are you looking to transfer? These are questions that I would ask in a normal year, anyways, and these are questions you will need to answer for the transfer application.

If you are a Michigan resident, then you should be fine as UMich is designed to serve its state’s residents.

If you are OOS, it may be more difficult depending on your major and what you’ve studied thus far.

Of course, this is also dependent on whether you’ve been doing well at your current college or not.

fuckmesoft7 karma

I am at a in-state university with a 3.6 with around 50 credits I think I have a good shot, but I am honestly not sure.

thinqueprep20 karma

At least here in California, priority goes to community college first, then California State schools second, the other University of California schools and private schools third.

I’m not sure if that’s how Michigan works, but it sounds like you’ve worked hard. Feel free to reach out if you need someone to review your application.

hjiang120 karma

Have the number of expected applications increased or decreased?

thinqueprep57 karma

While the number of college age students is on a decline, the number of applications is going up because students today apply to more colleges on average.

404__UserNotFound__20 karma

I have an incoming 9th grader and an incoming 6th grader. What should I/we be doing now in order for them to have a higher chance in getting in to the college/university that they want to go to?

KeshaSuperbass53 karma

Not OP, but a tutor. Please have them read! Anything is fine to start, but start introducing non-fiction, news articles, short stories, and maybe some classics if your kids don’t naturally seek these out. I can’t believe the number of students I work with whose GPAs are 4.0 or better but whose reading comprehension is abysmal. This really hurts them on standardized tests, but it also impacts the depth of their understanding across all subjects.

thinqueprep42 karma

Completely agree!

The students that I see today are generally much weaker at reading and critical thinking.

This is reflected in their ability to write and come up with a coherent argument.

thinqueprep24 karma

When I work with students that young, I work with them on exploring all their potential "passions". Much like a Waldorf school, I expose them to different things each month and have them work on little projects within that field.

From there, I can start to see what they are really interested in and encourage to pursue those passions more when they get into high school.

victeldo18 karma

Would circumstances caused by the pandemic (Such as having to take exams at home as well as mental exhaustion) be acknowledged by colleges as sources for a downward trend in grades/difficulty in being able to conduct any projects in the summer, or would poor grades/lack of summer projects be seen as a none COVID related matter?

thinqueprep32 karma

Possibly. But for selective schools, this may not be the type of student they want to admit.

They want students who were able to excel and be innovative despite the pandemic.

Understandably the first month or two were really difficult for many students. The expectation would be that after the initial shock that there is time to revert back to "normal" -- whatever that may be.

From my personal experience, most of my students are back to "normal" now.

Personality-Tsunami17 karma

Hi! I’ve taken the SAT and gotten a score in the 98 percentile, but it’s a bit lower than the ranges of schools I’m interesting in (i.e. Yale, Columbia, Princeton). Should I apply test-optional?

thinqueprep27 karma

That’s a question I can’t really answer without understanding the whole context of your application, but if I had to answer directly, I would say submit your score.

Sixunderground0016 karma

Is Covid going to make it easier to get accepted or harder?

thinqueprep15 karma

Depends on the type of school/program you're looking for!

What type of schools/programs are you looking at?

kevin12979513 karma

Why did you decide on this career path? I don’t remember anyone enjoying applying to college when I was a senior in high school, so how is that you enjoy the process from the other side?

thinqueprep30 karma

I went into this career because I didn't have a good support system when I was applying to college.

Some of my apps never went through. There were schools that I wasn't aware of. There were social issues that I faced in college that I would never have anticipated.

I had such a rocky road applying to college that I realize that I didn't want other students to have to deal with that. I wanted to make sure that I could provide them with high quality mentoring so they would have somebody to walk them through and avoid some of the pitfalls I faced.

Opposite-Statement11 karma

Hi! Thank you for doing this. I hope you’re well and safe. Can you offer any advice for the personal essay - what are some things you love to see in one / some turn-offs for admissions officers? What should seniors be doing right now to increase their chances of getting into college? How do admissions officers judge ECs (in particular, no academic ECs) and is there actual merit to the concept of a “spike” in a student’s application?

thinqueprep3 karma

Will be spending a lot of time doing that in the admissions intensive, but, in short, start early and draft a lot.

Don't be afraid to get personal.

And a good "spike" can speak measures for a student.

There is a lot of what not to do that we will definitely be going over on Day 1 and Day 3 of the workshop.

bleusheep2310 karma

My school is allowing us to choose between online and in person learning. I'm not sure what will happen to clubs, but if I choose online learning certain classes may not be available. Will going online hurt my application?

thinqueprep22 karma

Which classes are not going to be available?

Going online will not necessarily hurt your application because your safety is most important. But the question becomes (for highly selective schools) "what will you be doing with your off-time?"

Just because the classes won't be available at your school doesn't mean you can't take them. There are local community colleges, which are often free for high school students. There are also websites and online courses that you can take through other institutions if there is a class that you really think you need.

mh0789 karma

Nice to see the UD pennant in your pic. Do you have experience working with Delaware?

thinqueprep21 karma

Yes. I work closely with Chuck L. who is the West Coast director for UD. He does a lot of great work for the school and I think UD has a lot of great programs that they are working on for students including their Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center.

It is one of my go-to recommendations for students who plan to go into public policy.

livingcrackheadlife7 karma

Do you think it will be harder to get into top 50 schools for the next year applicants, especially transfer students?

thinqueprep11 karma

I do not believe transfer admissions will change much. It has always been incredibly difficult, unpredictable, and dependent on enrollment.

I do believe first-year admissions will be much more unpredictable because many conventional statistics will no longer be available or reliable.

0bviousTruth5 karma

I have friends working at Stanford and other private universities. All of these particular schools are down more than 50% enrollment next semester. Will we finally see an end to these overpriced universities?

thinqueprep13 karma

I do not believe so. Faculty and administrator salaries cost a lot.

It's not cheap to pay a Nobel Laureate professor -- so I see inflated tuition for the foreseeable future.

themightykobold3 karma

What kind of fish is your favorite?

thinqueprep6 karma

Cooked fish -- I like halibut or seabass.

Raw fish -- I like yellowtail.

LSDMOLLYSHROOMS3 karma

[deleted]

thinqueprep5 karma

Not really! It sounds like you're on the right track.

I guess the question is, why was your GPA so low? Is it due to issues that my prevent you from doing well at Law School?

There's going to be a lot of work and memorization for you to do and you need to express to the L-school committee that you have addressed those issues and have what it takes to succeed.

Mighty_Re2 karma

Would the new normal make Colleges to increase the number of online courses? Would this make it easier from people outside the US to get a place in those courses? Thanks!

thinqueprep5 karma

I don’t know if it is a new normal. I think it’s more of a temporary patch.

For the past decade or so a lot of colleges have been increasing the presence of online courses — Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkeley to name a few.

elm_grove2 karma

I have a theory that it really isn’t the school mainly that is hard to get into but the program. Most schools fill up with big majors such as business or nursing which take majority of applicants.

But let’s say a super competitive school can take someone who wants a niche major they need filling, they will more likely accept a lower standard.

Is this somewhat correct?

thinqueprep3 karma

Wait. Business and Nursing are usually the most impacted, so they cannot accept many people.

UCLA Nursing, for example, has an admission rate of 2%.

But yes, students who can show true passion and dedicate to a niche field may have a better chance that a student who chooses to pursue one of the more impacted majors.

Flashy-Height2 karma

I'm an international student with stanford and MIT as my top colleges.(biased towards stanford) I want to join as a physics major. I only have a few extracurriculars(2-3 major ones in total in both science and humanities) but I have devoted a lot of time to them. I have taken the SAT only once and thankfully got a decent score. Is that fine or do I have to do anything extra now? Also, since only MIT is need blind for international students, should I apply ED there instead of stanford?

thinqueprep6 karma

MIT doesn't have ED.

Even with international students, they want to see that you've excelled at your craft. So you should still be pursuing research at the collegiate level if at all possible.

celing_plant1 karma

What’s your opinion on transferring from an elite school (In my case Cornell) to another elite school?

thinqueprep4 karma

Just a note: admissions officers don't encourage the use of "elite" when describing schools.

Each school is different and has its own strengths and weaknesses. Many people don't realize how different Cornell is from other private schools -- particularly because it is a hybrid designed school.

I'm assuming you're wanting to transfer because you can't find the opportunities you want at Cornell. As such, you should definitely consider transferring.

titmousecunt1 karma

Do you guys just pick out of a hat or what?

thinqueprep1 karma

Nope. We would read each application twice and bring viable candidates to committee for discussion.

Then from there, we would try to admit as many people as we could that fit into our institutional priorities.

unsurejunior1 karma

How many students do you think Northwestern or other top tier schools turn down that would have succeeded if admitted? I don't get why elite schools won't increase their class size.

thinqueprep5 karma

Just a note: Most admissions officers do not like using the word "elite" to describe colleges. They use "selective" instead.

There's just physically no space increase class size. The dorm rooms are support services are finite, so they physically cannot take on more students.

In years past, certain schools have had to book out hotels because they housed enrolled too many students.

Talk to any counselor and they will tell you that they could probably admit a class 3 or 4 times over with students who would equally be successful.

With students, instead of talking about why these schools won't admit more people, I point out the dozens of other schools that have equally amazing programs that they would do incredibly well in.

Lizzyms1 karma

I love Northwestern! I'm actually thinking of applying ED to Medill (yay journalism). What are some tips you have for preparing a strong application if your stats aren't the best? I like to think that my extracurriculars make me stand out, but my grades are pretty average

thinqueprep2 karma

ED is the way to go if your grades aren't strong -- just make sure that your family is okay with the estimated cost of attendance.

What kind of stats do you have?

I'm assuming that you have a lot of ECs in journalism. Your goal is going to be then to highlight them and make sure your teachers and counselor highlight them.

You would be an excellent fit for the workshop because then you will have time to workshop your essays and make sure they are specifically pointed and then there will be time for me to review your application personally by the end of the week.

ImRandyRU0 karma

I’m more interested in how some schools have moved away from letter grades to proficiency-based grades. How does admissions work when you’re not ranked amongst your peers?

thinqueprep1 karma

Through the programs that we use, we can still see how you "rank" relative to your peers. We will know if you are in the top of your class or not.

This is also where letters of recommendation will help because then we can see how teachers evaluate how you stand.