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Thread: College Admissions are a joke

  1. #16
    Something clever pahster's Avatar
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Believe me, that's a bunch of bull- 90% of the time it doesn't matter a lick where a kid went to school. What matters is what they have done with the education available to them.
    Yes and no. It really depends on what one wants to do, although I would think that for the vast majority of straight out of college entry level jobs, it doesn't really matter. You can get a good education at nearly any school.

    Grad school confounds things, especially for PhD programs. If you want to go into academia, then your undergraduate institution matters a lot. This is one reason why it's important for kids to go to the best school they get into; don't pick the University of Miami over Yale no matter how much cooler you think Miami is than New Haven.

    For example, had I gone to Washington University rather than the University of Missouri, I likely would have gotten into some slightly better PhD programs (I actually did fairly well despite going to a much lesser school. I figure I got a little lucky and benefited from having an incredibly well connected and well known adviser who happens to study the same topics I want to research).
    Last edited by pahster; 03-18-2008 at 11:29 AM.

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  3. #17
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I think they look at percentile more than actual GPA. I think getting a GPA over 4.0 doesn't make any sense. It just isn't possible to get anything over 100%.
    That's why they look at unweighted rather than weighted GPA. But yeah, they also look at class rank.

  4. #18
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    Yes and no. It really depends on what one wants to do, although I would think that for the vast majority of straight out of college entry level jobs, it doesn't really matter. You can get a good education at nearly any school.

    Grad school confounds things, especially for PhD programs. If you want to go into academia, then your undergraduate institution matters a lot. This is one reason why it's important for kids to go to the best school they get into; don't pick the University of Miami over Yale no matter how much cooler you think Miami is than New Haven.

    For example, had I gone to Washington University rather than the University of Missouri, I likely would have gotten into some slightly better PhD programs (I actually did fairly well despite going to a much lesser school. I figure I got a little lucky and benefited from having an incredibly well connected and well known adviser who happens to study the same topics I want to research).
    Sure, grad school confounds things. However, the percentage of kids who go directly from undergrad to grad school is low, and beyond that the number of kids who actually plan on a graduate degree while choosing an undergrad program is infinitesimally small. Moreover, if a kid waits a few years to go to grad school, then the source of the undergrad degree becomes less and less relevant (ie, MPA programs love to admit people with professional experience and you can get an extremely good MBA from places like XU that might actually market more to professionals than to students.) Anyway, I'm not sure exactly how to integrate the fact that grad school matters into the equation for a huge percentage of kids, so I just left that off.

    But yeah- it matters if you plan on going on. I agree with that completely. I think it is stupid, but it matters.
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    This is one reason why it's important for kids to go to the best school they get into

    Don't believe the hype on this one. At least not totally. I work at a law firm with a bunch of wicked smaht Hahvad kids who are grossly, and ridiculously in debt. Me, I went to Xavier and UNC Law, took their scholarship money and am debt free (from a student loan perspective). I'd actually be much worse off if I'd have gone to Yale and Harvard.

  6. #20
    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    I hate to pimp my alma mater, Davidson College but it has recently instituted a policy in which in has gotten rid of student loans. If you need money you get grants/ work study but everyone comes out of school debt free and admissions remains need blind.

    http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x22786.xml
    Davidson’s New Financial Aid Policy Eliminates Student Loan Debt


    March 19, 2007





    In an effort to make a Davidson education affordable for all students, the Board of Trustees has approved a new policy that will eliminate loans from financial aid packages. Beginning in August, Davidson students will have their demonstrated financial need funded entirely through grants and student employment, and can graduate debt-free.

    Check out the ongoing Davidson blog on the choice to free college students from debt, and post your responses.

    “We believe this new policy is the necessary response to the financial situation facing many applicants and their families,” said President Robert F. Vagt, “and we know it is consistent with a core value of the college. A Davidson education should be affordable for all students, regardless of means. With the support of the college family, we are confident this bold initiative will make a significant difference for our students, our institution, and our community.”

    Davidson is the first national liberal arts college, and only one of a couple of institutions of higher education nationwide, to eliminate student loan debt. Students across the country currently borrow $53.8 billion per year to cover college costs.

    Davidson will maintain its commitment to practicing need-blind admissions, meaning the family’s ability to pay for a Davidson education has no bearing on whether or not the student is admitted. But loans will no longer be included in a student’s financial aid package. Of course, families may still choose to take out education loans as part of their personal financing decision.

    “The trustees are deeply committed to this new policy, and it will be funded entirely with new monies,” said John F. McCartney, chair of Davidson’s Board of Trustees. He said the trustees have identified and committed the immediate funding to initiate the policy, and have formally committed to a strategy for raising funds to permanently endow it. He also noted that tuition increases will be applied solely to improve the educational and residential experience of Davidson students, and will not fund financial aid.

    Affordability has long been a concern at Davidson, and financial assistance has been a high priority. The college’s last two comprehensive campaigns raised more than $130 million in student financial assistance. Gifts from alumni, parents, and friends have created not only hundreds of new scholarship endowments, but have made it possible for the college to make steady reductions in the loan portion of the aid package.

    Last spring the college was able to cap loans at $3,000 per year. Prior to that, loans could total as much as $19,000 during a student’s four-year enrollment at Davidson.

    The trustees have been concerned about the situation for some time. Christopher J. Gruber, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, led a study revealing that many students needing financial aid never apply to Davidson because of the “sticker shock” of its tuition cost. “We know that efforts to increase diversity on Davidson’s campus have been thwarted by financial realities facing families across the nation,” Gruber said. “And we know that these students often graduate with a burden of debt that limits their choices in career and post-graduate education."

    McCartney added, “The economic barrier is the hardest to overcome – it intensifies any other challenge a student faces when making a college choice.”

    Beverly S. Hance, past chair of the trustee admission and financial aid committee—and parent of two Davidson alumnae—said the admission study was the focus of a recent Board of Trustees retreat. “The board discussed things such as financial challenges, who comes to Davidson, who is Davidson, what has the college been, and what role will it play in the future,” she said. “For Davidson to remain the institution we think it is, we decided we needed to be more proactive.”

    The policy is anticipated to cost $3.5 million annually, depending on the percentage of students in future classes with financial need. Currently, 33 percent of Davidson students receive need-based financial aid, but Gruber expects that elimination of loans will increase that number to about 40 percent. Under these forecasts, $70 million will need to be raised to endow the policy permanently.

    Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
    ###
    Last edited by klw; 03-18-2008 at 11:58 AM.

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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Red View Post
    Don't believe the hype on this one. At least not totally. I work at a law firm with a bunch of wicked smaht Hahvad kids who are grossly, and ridiculously in debt. Me, I went to Xavier and UNC Law, took their scholarship money and am debt free (from a student loan perspective). I'd actually be much worse off if I'd have gone to Yale and Harvard.
    I wasn't talking about law school, I was talking about academia. I honestly don't know anything about law (or med) school. Two kids with similar application packages, one from Xavier and one from Harvard; the kid from Harvard will, in all likelihood, get into better PhD programs than the kid from Xavier. The better your graduate institution is, the more likely you are to get a tenure track job. Fair or not, that's how it works.

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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    I understand. That's why I qualified my response.

    Everyone gives the same advice about law school, BTW. Simply not totally true there. Top 20% at UNC has better prospects in Boston even than bottom half or third of the class at Harvard (obviously if you're top 20% at Harvard you're in better shape).

  9. #23
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by griffeyfreak4 View Post
    Seriously, my brother is going through the whole process right now, and it's a joke.

    My brother applied to a bunch of colleges, and he's a pretty damn good student. He's got a 4.65 GPA on a 4.0 scale, 1540 of 1600 on his SAT's, 34 on his ACT's, he's been on varsity cross country since he was a sophomore, he won team MVP this year, and he's also a 3-year varsity track athlete who owns the school record for the sophomore mile. All the colleges he applied to (Rhodes, Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame), he might not get any money from any of them. Same thing with my oldest brother. He had a 4.73 GPA out of 4.0, 1420 SAT and 34 ACT, and was a 3 sport varsity athlete (football, basketball, track) and he started in all of them. The money he received was minimal at best.

    However, my family and I have researched the kind of kids who do receive this money (we've asked people online, made phone calls, ect.) and most of them have the same academic stats, if not worse, but they are not athletes. The kids who receive the money(and I'm talking scholarship money not financial aid) are the one's who are supposedly "active participants in their communities." These kids have the occasional community service, but also have summer internships and work jobs through the course of the year. The admissions counselors seem to be very impressed by their abilities to work 15-20 hours a week and still maintain great academics.

    I would like to take this time to say that this is bullcrap. As a high school student, I know what influences kids and what doesn't. The kids who are working jobs, earning money, and doing community service are helping the community, but slightly. I'm not against community service, it's great, and I try to do as much as possible, but it's not always feasible to have loads and loads of it on an application. As a student, I barely even know the kids who are involved in these activities, and I know a lot of people. I don't really associate myself with a group of kids, I drift around and talk to everyone. The kids that have a major impact on the school and THEREFORE THE COMMUNITY are the varsity athletes. You may not like it, but it is true. My brother was a positive role model throughout high school, he never drank nor smoked, and still doesn't in college, and he influenced grammar school kids who tell me they want to be like my brother. THE ATHLETES ARE THE ONES WHO PUT 25-30 HOURS IN A WEEK, STILL MAINTAIN GREAT GRADES, AND IMPACT THEIR SCHOOLS, BUT THEY DON'T GET ANY MONEY!!! Seriously, my brothers and I all are dedicated athletes that put in 25-30 hours a week, but because we can't do as much community service due to our dedication, we won't get as much money.

    Sorry, I needed to protest that injustice.

    For the record, I know that most athletes are block headed fools, but I'm talking about the great student athletes that are deserving of money.

    EDIT: Woops the title is supposed to read "College Admissions is a joke." The fact that I made it "are" is really embarassing and probably eliminates any chance of me being taken seriously.
    Your brothers were offered no academic scholarships from any of the schools that accepted them?

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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by dabvu2498 View Post
    Oh... I agree...

    And actually, I believe you actually have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests to actually get college credit for AP classes.
    In regards to AP classes, you do have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests in order to receive college credit. The minimum score varies from school to school.

    Back in my day, the tests were graded on a 1-5 scale. 1 means you correctly put your name on the test, and that's about it. 5 means that absolutely owned the material, bent it over, and made it your... well, you get the idea. The people that handle the AP tests don't hand out too many 5s. The majority of students fall into the 2-4 category. Some schools, depending on the subject of the test, will actually give credit for earning a 2. Most however, require 3 and above. Most Ivy League schools require 4s or 5s. Again, it varies by the school, and varies on the subject of the test.

  11. #25
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Yeah. One of my college roomies had 6 or 7 5's on AP tests. He was smart. PhD in chemstry from Harvard now. Scary smart.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    I hate to pimp my alma mater, Davidson College but it has recently instituted a policy in which in has gotten rid of student loans. If you need money you get grants/ work study but everyone comes out of school debt free and admissions remains need blind.

    http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x22786.xml

    ###
    Nothing wrong with Davidson- I'd send my kids there in a heartbeat.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  13. #27
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    I wasn't talking about law school, I was talking about academia. I honestly don't know anything about law (or med) school. Two kids with similar application packages, one from Xavier and one from Harvard; the kid from Harvard will, in all likelihood, get into better PhD programs than the kid from Xavier. The better your graduate institution is, the more likely you are to get a tenure track job. Fair or not, that's how it works.
    Just like a PhD candidate- forgets there is a world out there.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  14. #28
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Just like a PhD candidate- forgets there is a world out there.
    ...world?

  15. #29
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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by dabvu2498 View Post
    Oh... I agree...

    And actually, I believe you actually have to obtain a certain score on the AP tests to actually get college credit for AP classes.
    correct--AP tests are scored from 1 to 5, with some schools giving college credit for 3,4, and 5, while more prestigious schools only give credit for 4 or 5...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: College Admissions are a joke

    Quote Originally Posted by griffeyfreak4 View Post
    EDIT: Woops the title is supposed to read "College Admissions is a joke." The fact that I made it "are" is really embarassing and probably eliminates any chance of me being taken seriously.
    haha... you could have spelled "Economucs"
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."


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