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Highly Selective Institutions

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Martin Grasmeyer

on 5 February 2018

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Transcript of Highly Selective Institutions

A Highly Selective University...
Admit less than 20% of applicants
High Academic Admission Requirements (Minimum 3.8+ GPA)
Rigorous Transcript (AP expectations)
High ACT/SAT scores (28+)
Ranked amongst the most prestigious in U.S. or Internationally - US News & World Report
Some Scary Statistics Class of 2021
Acceptance Rates
More Scary Statistics
"The simple math of the story is that applications are up and the spaces are fixed."
Fulton County Daily Report
How do they decide?
How to Apply
Common Application - Most highly selective colleges use this streamlined process. All online www.commonapp.org
A few schools use their own online application (Georgetown, a few UC schools)
Deadlines are SO IMPORTANT!!!
When to Apply?
ED/EA/REA/Regular Decision?
Advantages of Early Decision and Early Action applications. Up to a 10% edge. ED and EA have early Fall deadlines. Usually Nov. 1.

ED 1 - May only apply to one ED school - Binding!
EA - May apply to as many schools as you like.

Restrictive Early Action - May only apply to one school early; indicates this is your first choice school. (Stanford)

Regular Decision - May apply after the EA deadline. Some EA applicants may be deferred and reviewed again during regular decision.

The Wait! ED answer before winter break, EA usually by Dec.24. Deferred and Regular decision - some time in the Spring.
The Essay - the most difficult part of the application
Students are given ambiguous writing prompts to elicit how they think. The essay is crucial to acceptance! One of the most distinguishing factors.
Generic Essay - Common App.
Specific Essay - Included in specific college supplement. Sometimes more than one.
Optional Essay - DO it! In the highly selective world , "optional" really means the opposite.
Important that students answer the question asked!
Write in the first person
Do your research
Don't start with a quote
Don't "adopt" another persons event.
Start early - summer
Students need to tell about themselves, not a list of what they do.
Highly Selective Institutions
Applying to the Ivys & other competitive schools

32,724 Applied
2,722 Accepted
39,506 Applied
2,056 Accepted

44,073 Applied
2,050 Accepted
34,300 Applied
3,116 Accepted
U of Michigan
59,884 Applied
6,847 Accepted
U of Chicago

27,694 Applied
1,735 Accepted
39,000 high schools across the country, each with a top ten list of students.
390,000 superstars applying to the same group of highly selective schools.
Perfect GPA s and near perfect ACT/SAT scores not unusual within this group
Only 3% of 18 yr. old students in the U.S. get to go to these selective schools.
Top Grand Rapids Christian students become pretty "typical" looking in this group.
The goal of these college admission offices is to enroll a well-rounded class - a community of individuals who add a unique talent or characteristic to the class.

“When we read applications, we don’t have a list of things to look for. Rather, we look at each applicant and his or her abilities and accomplishments as presented in the completed application…From that large group, we select a smaller number who together will bring us a varied, interesting and able freshman class. For every applicant offered admission, there are usually several others who are similarly qualified but who, because of the limited size of our freshman class, cannot be offered admission.”

~Princeton University

SAT Subject Test Scores
SAT Subject Tests are one hour content specific tests. A student may take up to three tests on a single test date.
SAT Subject Tests were designed as placement exams, although they may impact admissions. Often highly selective institutions say they are optional which really means .......
Subject tests are offered the same dates as regular SAT tests.
If given a choice, test in the subjects where the student excels
Every school that requires subject tests wants the student to take the math test. Math I B tests algebra; Math II C tests precalculus.
Letters of Recommendation
The Counselor - Request early, especially if going ED or EA

Teacher #1 - From junior or senior year in a core academic course

Teacher #2 - May be optional, but also academic core course.

Supplements - May be a coach, clergy, mentor, etc. Only submit if it is an option. College reps may think you can't read directions if you submit recs that are not optional.
The Interview
The Alumni Interview - local college alumni will conduct an interview. They are informational only and sometimes used for admission.
Group Interviews - may be done for scholarship purposes. Some done via skype.
Requested Interviews - often a box checked on the application.
Campus Interviews - scheduled when you visit the college.
Got Talent?
Artistic, athletic, and musical talent can add weight to any application
Quality over Quantity - looking for dedication, commitment, passion, leadership - not a large number of activities.
Activity Resume Includes:
Activity description
Years involved/hours per week
Leadership positions
Standout tips:
Passion Project: Tangible indicators of their passion: a project, experiment, portfolio, or an endeavor on which they spent substantial time learning, tinkering, or creating. (Build a weather station, turn school's cooking oil into bio fuels)
Join something that shows you took some risk & stretched your comfort zone.
One extra curricular that isn't obvious, but instead unique.

Demonstrated Interest
Get on the college's radar! Do not be a stealth applicant.
Visit if at all possible! Why Harvard? Why Yale? A lot easier to answer if you've visited
Visit their website and sign up to receive information
Contact the regional admissions representative. It is important that the student makes all contact - not the parent!
Attend admission visits to our school and any they host in the Grand Rapids area.
Apply Early!
The Good News,
Financial Aid
Ivy League and many highly selective schools are working toward removing all economic barriers.

Schools will try to meet full financial need
No contribution expected of parents with income under $60,000
No Tuition expected of parents with income under $100,000
Final Thoughts
Highly selective institutions are just that-highly selective! Not everyone can get in even if their academic profile meets the requirements.
Most decisions are based on subjective variables beyond the control of the applicant.
Ultimately, each student at GRCHS will have many strong viable options for college admission.
Have a "balanced" list of schools.
"Know that what you do in college is a better predictor of future success and happiness than where you go to college." (education Conservancy)
What Does It Take For Acceptance?
(GPA and Curriculum)
GPA Calculation - unweighted 4.0 scale (often no value given to plus or minus)

Positive Indicators (not rules)
GPA in the median 50% or higher (3.8+)
A challenging curriculum (judged within the context of each high school) Take the most challenging courses and still do well
19 or more academics (core), 4 in the senior year
AP & honors throughout high school curriculum - not just the senior year
1 yr. of Chemistry required & 1 yr. of Physics and Calculus suggested for engineering students.

U of M
What is a highly selective college?
A highly selective college is a college that does not accept all or almost all of the students who apply.
Who are the elites?
1. Princeton 11. Dartmouth
2. Harvard 12. Cal Tech
3. U of Chicago 13. Northwestern
4. Yale 14. Brown
5. Columbia 15. Cornell
6. Stanford 16. Rice
7. MIT 17. U of Notre Dame
8. Duke 18. Vanderbilt
9. U Penn 19. U of Mich
10. Johns Hopkins 20. Georgetown

How Do They Decide?
Holistic Admission Process - Objective (academic) and subjective (non-academic)
Rigor of Student's Curriculum
ACT/SAT scores
Activities Resume, Essay, Interview
Talent, Level of Interest,Special Affinity

The operative question in selective college admissions is - What will this student add to our college?

How NOT to get in ...
Do not show academic focus
Do not become a leader or show leadership potential
Do not visit these colleges or demonstrate any interest
Do not spell check or proof read your application
Do not take initiative
Post inappropriate stuff on social media

When do you reach for a reach school?
Placing in the upper end of the mid - 50% of the reach school's average GPA, and ACT/SAT statistics
If you understand the culture and personality of the school
If you are willing to put 100% effort into the application process
If you have prayed about it and feel God is leading you in that direction
Full transcript