kitchen table math, the sequel: college admissions - news from the front

Saturday, February 11, 2012

college admissions - news from the front

Ed just got back from giving a talk at an elite college here in the East. Astonishingly, at this particular college the faculty does admissions, or at least is actively involved in admissions.

One of the professors told Ed that if you took everything on the applications at face value, half the entering class each year would be from China. The trouble is that with apps from China, no one can tell what's true and what's not.

He didn't know what the ultimate percentage of Chinese admits is.

related: A family member who works at Bryn Mawr tells us that 12% of the student body there is from China.


Jen said...

I'd be interested in how they vet applications there, do they feel they're as, um, shall we say constructed?

Does that 12% show up proportionally in grades received? in outside of the classroom activities?

I imagine that it's difficult for any young adult to go to a new country and very different culture, even if they were in "international" type schools in their own country. Does the Chinese student contingency reflect the overall international student strengths and problems or are they more unique in those?

Glen said...

We had a Chinese Communist Party official and his family visiting us a few days ago. (He's a friend of ours.) He wanted to try to persuade his 8th grade son to take an interest in going to Stanford, so I took them on a tour. The son, who attends the most prestigious private school in Shanghai (and got there, in my opinion, on genuine merit) wants nothing to do with any American university. He hates America and its evil, meddling ways. The father, who is MUCH more nuanced about the US, is trying to make the argument that American universities are better, and that the son could come here, get our knowledge, and take it back to build up the power of China. The son thinks he can empower China just as well from within China. What the father is really hoping for is to give his son a commercially valuable diploma and, to some extent, to open his mind to a broader range of ideas than he's likely to get in China.

SteveH said...

What this tells me is that demand is increasing and that the bubble won't break any time soon.

So what would Ed give as advice to high school students? Are SAT scores still "gold" so to speak? How much weight is given to SAT II scores? We hear so little about that. Are they factored into the college rankings? Were the admissions people talking about increasing the weight of non-score information on applications?

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