IESolutions counsels all of our clients to take a thoughtful, data based, yet creative approach to identifying their college prospects. We start with a thorough self-assessment so that students understand that the goal is to fit college choices to their interests, needs, and abilities, not to do it the other way around.
In light of ever-increasing selectivity to leading colleges, the following thoughts are threaded into our work with students:
- Students we counsel are reminded constantly that at the very leading colleges, students being turned down are very often as qualified as those being admitted. In this climate, admitted students very often have every possible qualification, and then something significant more. If students honestly don’t think they meet this profile, but wish to apply in any case, they should. But expectation of a positive outcome should be heavily leavened with detached realism.
- Therefore any list that has the Ivies or similar schools at the top should be well buttressed in the middle and with “back up” schools. These are the college options that may be offering merit scholarships for strong students, thus becoming very compelling options. We work closely with each student to assess those possibilities and maximize them.
- If a student has a strong junior year in terms of testing, grades, and references, an early decision application makes strategic sense if that student has a defined top choice. We do not encourage Early Admit for strategic reasons alone. But statistics show that leading college admit higher percentages of the Early Admit pool than does the regular group. (For example, from a recent New York Times blog, this year at Brown 18.54% were admitted early and 8.07% regular; 18.3% early at Princeton and 5.44% regular, and at Penn 24.85% early and 9.4% regular.)
- Don’t get too excited about an Ivy League wait list. While we have worked with students who have been admitted from the wait list, the odds are against it. Cornell this year wait-listed 3,142; Penn wait-listed 2,800 and Yale 1,000. Play it out if you wish, but begin to move on in emotional and practical terms.
Sarah C. Reese, Informed Educational Solutions
- NEWS: U. admission figures show increasing selectivity, influence of diversity agenda (thedailyprincetonian.wordpress.com)
- The Most Complex Higher Education Entrance Process in the World (myiesolutions.wordpress.com)
- Ivy League Schools Accepting Even Fewer Kids (nation.time.com)
- The Choice Blog: Tip Sheet: What to Do After Your Admissions Decision Arrives (thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com)
- The Choice Blog: 7 of 8 Ivy League Schools Report Lower Acceptance Rates (thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com)
- College Admissions: Deferred. What does that mean? What should I do?