Perfect scores alone don't make grade for admission to college of choice

  • Article by: Paul Levy , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 16, 2013 - 3:58 PM

Essays and activities can trump high grades and college board scores.

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erikj3May. 15, 1310:34 PM

Yet another article featuring whiny, entitled teenagers, upset over finding out that life isn't fair. Better get used to it.

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staredMay. 15, 1311:13 PM

Do the words "affirmative action" ring a bell?

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rafannonMay. 15, 1311:32 PM

No the word legacy.... it means if your relatives went to that college, you go to the front of the class.. you're in!!!.. Or athletes... go to the front of the class!!! Fairness doesnt mean a thing

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mustang07May. 15, 1311:45 PM

A qualified-on-paper applicant will never know why they were rejected by a certain school. The most underutilized means to help an application is to personally visit the schools on your list. Talk with the faculty, meet with lots of people, and be positive. Most top-tier schools track students visits and MAY be helpful in breaking a tie between two otherwise equal and qualified applicants.

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burr0108May. 15, 1311:53 PM

The title of this article is misleading. If the students did not get into college, it is because they put all their eggs in the Ivy League basket. One does not need to go to an Ivy League school in order to recieve an excellent education. However, many parents and students decieve themselves into thinking they are the best of the best when they are merely above average.

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dtmonkeyboyMay. 16, 1312:14 AM

Erikj3... That's harsh...and pretty nasty. These kids worked hard and performed, but the competition is greater than ever. Previous generations were far less qualified and got in because there simply were fewer students going to college. Life isn't fair, but it isn't wrong to be bummed when you worked hard and it didn't pay. Sounds like you are the one with a mouth full of sour grapes.

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unicorn4711May. 16, 1312:15 AM

Or we could just have so many high quality, affordable universities that no one cares about Stanford. No? No? The issue is the perceived drop off.

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carboneriaMay. 16, 1312:51 AM

The fact is that admissions is a truly unscientific process. If it was a scientific process then the perfect ACT score, the perfect grades, and whatever other criteria would guarantee a certain outcome. What's great in the US is that there are, what, almost 2000 schools of higher education? There's something for everyone, even if you don't get into Stanford or Yale or the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State-Mankato. I agree that undergraduate admissions can be baffling, or at least head scratching, at times. But there are many different schools that are all great in different, and similar, ways. I was actually a student of Jean Davidson's at Hopkins (she's noted in the article) and I currently manage admissions for a top-tier MA program at a premier West Coast university. Grad admissions can be a head scratcher and I assume that undergrad admissions is pretty similar. Also, some commenter mentioned legacy, which is a good thing to note. Similarly, the article didn't comment on other issues like legacy families, donation-enabled famililes, athletes, historically-strong communities and/or school districts, etc. There are a lot of criteria involved that may have nothing to do with a particular applicant's background, skills, or achievements.

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georifaMay. 16, 1312:51 AM

I think that Edina placed 11 kids this year at Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Eight of those 11 were either legacies or recruited athletes. If you are not a legacy or recruited athletes, you need to be at the very top of the class of one of the very best high school of the state. The odds are almost nil (probably less than 1 percent) if you are not a legacy, recruited athlete, a student at one of the best high schools or come from a disadvantaged background.

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rshacklefordMay. 16, 13 1:29 AM

I wonder if when the admissions panel people plugged "Anoka Hennepin District 11" into google and learned of the various forms of intolerance running rampant, it didn't help out the applicant. By trying to ignore the very serious problems that have risen from the accepted and perpetuated intolerance, the AH11 administrators (and some parents) pushed the district right under an unpopular and glaring national spotlight. The accepted intolerance has caused lawsuits, suicides, students quitting school, a board member quitting, bullying, national scrutiny, etc. The applicant that writes an essay on how he/she uses politically smart methods to fight intolerance will be looked upon with respect.

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