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Old 04-09-2016, 04:34 AM
 
2,286 posts, read 1,515,266 times
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So I've noticed that Arizona State is considered "selective" by US News, and admits about 84% of students. Ohio State, at 53%, is "more selective." Then you've got a place like UCLA at 19% and "most selective." On the other hand, CSU East Bay is "less selective" at 70%, which doesn't make much sense to me.

To me, 84% is not selective at all. 53% isn't really that selective either, and even 19% isn't that bad. I'm not casting judgment on ASU or OSU or any other school. I think they're both fine schools with great opportunities available to students. Having applied to multiple rounds of grad school, I think of any 20%+ school as "great chance to get in." Sure there's no guarantee but still a good shot. Once you get down to 10%, that's what I start to think of as "selective." Schools below 10% like Stanford or whatever are definitely "most selective." (In fact, Stanford at around 5% is in the same category as UCLA on USNews, which seems unreasonable to me.)

Admittedly, it's easier to stand out for grad school even with low acceptance numbers because you have 3+ years to make your own path, choose your major, do research, get to know professors for LORs and so on. Whereas in high school, everyone is exactly the same. Bunch of meaningless 4.3 weighted GPAs (weighted is so dumb), 50 AP classes, 300,000 hours of community service, etc.

Nevertheless, I don't think 84% should be considered "selective," and even 50% seems like a great chance to get in, even if there's no guarantee. Perhaps places like UCLA are really hard to get into.

I vaguely recall these categories being emphasized when I was in high school, so I don't think it's just a silly US News construct.

Am I blinded by the fact that I've already been through undergrad and grad school admissions, or are these terms being used too liberally?
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarog View Post

Am I blinded by the fact that I've already been through undergrad and grad school admissions, or are these terms being used too liberally?


Yes.


And I think it is really meaningless for most schools because it's more a sign of popularity vs open spaces than actual academic ability. Yes for the very top and bottom schools there is a relation to ability, but most are in a mush in the middle.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:07 AM
 
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Selective from a purely objective POV to me would mean probably 50% or less. To me picking half of an admissions class is selective.

Selective from a subjective POV is all relative. It depends on who is applying sometimes to these schools. Stanford, Harvard, etc... are selecting the best of the best. Other schools may be only selecting 50% of those who apply but are those the same kids who are applying to the Ivy leagues???
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: WI
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Admissions rates aren't really a good way to determine selectivity.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvillebuckeye View Post
It depends on who is applying sometimes to these schools. Stanford, Harvard, etc... are selecting the best of the best. Other schools may be only selecting 50% of those who apply but are those the same kids who are applying to the Ivy leagues???
That's a fair point. I mentioned CSU EB at 70% and "less selective." More selective than ASU, but clearly ASU is going to get more non-local students interested. Most people who are decent students in CA are probably going to go for a UC, even if it's not Berkeley or UCLA.
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:31 PM
Status: "LILY DALE!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,304,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarog View Post
So I've noticed that Arizona State is considered "selective" by US News, and admits about 84% of students. Ohio State, at 53%, is "more selective." Then you've got a place like UCLA at 19% and "most selective." On the other hand, CSU East Bay is "less selective" at 70%, which doesn't make much sense to me.

To me, 84% is not selective at all. 53% isn't really that selective either, and even 19% isn't that bad. I'm not casting judgment on ASU or OSU or any other school. I think they're both fine schools with great opportunities available to students. Having applied to multiple rounds of grad school, I think of any 20%+ school as "great chance to get in." Sure there's no guarantee but still a good shot. Once you get down to 10%, that's what I start to think of as "selective." Schools below 10% like Stanford or whatever are definitely "most selective." (In fact, Stanford at around 5% is in the same category as UCLA on USNews, which seems unreasonable to me.)

Admittedly, it's easier to stand out for grad school even with low acceptance numbers because you have 3+ years to make your own path, choose your major, do research, get to know professors for LORs and so on. Whereas in high school, everyone is exactly the same. Bunch of meaningless 4.3 weighted GPAs (weighted is so dumb), 50 AP classes, 300,000 hours of community service, etc.

Nevertheless, I don't think 84% should be considered "selective," and even 50% seems like a great chance to get in, even if there's no guarantee. Perhaps places like UCLA are really hard to get into.

I vaguely recall these categories being emphasized when I was in high school, so I don't think it's just a silly US News construct.

Am I blinded by the fact that I've already been through undergrad and grad school admissions, or are these terms being used too liberally?

All it means is that the college does not admit everyone who applies. Or almost everyone.

The standard levels are -

non competitive - open admissions

Less competitive - admit most applicants

competitive - (most US colleges fall into this category) admit some students and turn away others.

very competitive - admit fewer students that seek admission. Particular about who they admit.

highly competitive - admit many more students than who seek admission. An exclusive college.

most selective - most students who apply are not granted admission.

"Competitive" is the average ranking of US colleges.
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:40 PM
 
5,956 posts, read 5,448,471 times
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What's confusing the issue is the quality of the original applicant pool vs the percentage let in.

The better the school's reputation, the more self-selecting the applicant pool, as a rule. In other words, many mediocre students will not bother to apply to some institutions because they don't believe they have a chance to get in. In that case, a school can take 70% of applicants but still be considered "selective" because most of the students admitted are well above average.

At the same time some schools are considered easy so everyone applies. A school like that can take only half of applicants but they students are still not as high quality as the school in my previous example, so it is not considered as "selective".
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:03 AM
 
767 posts, read 2,271,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
What's confusing the issue is the quality of the original applicant pool vs the percentage let in.

The better the school's reputation, the more self-selecting the applicant pool, as a rule. In other words, many mediocre students will not bother to apply to some institutions because they don't believe they have a chance to get in. In that case, a school can take 70% of applicants but still be considered "selective" because most of the students admitted are well above average.

At the same time some schools are considered easy so everyone applies. A school like that can take only half of applicants but they students are still not as high quality as the school in my previous example, so it is not considered as "selective".
Correct. To apply the OP's example, Arizona State's status as being "selective" compared to a CSU school despite ASU having a higher acceptance rate is tied to that self-selected pool. The pool applying to and the average person accepted at ASU has higher grades and SAT/ACT scores than at CSU East Bay. Outside of the Ivy/Ivy-caliber schools where they're actually rejecting loads of otherwise top tier students, the acceptance rate is honestly a minor factor in determining "selectivity". A better measure is if you were apply to UCLA, Ohio State, ASU and CSU East Bay (so you have the same grades/test scores/extracurricular activities across the board), how high are your chances of getting into each of those schools? In that sense, the general categories are correct: UCLA > OSU > ASU > CSU East Bay.
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:24 PM
 
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It's just like the inescapable fact that "large" eggs are kind of small. If you want big eggs, you buy extra large or jumbo.
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