OT: College admission criteria

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 5:19am

So I have a question for folks that recently had a kid that applies to college.

I've been hearing how it's very difficult for some people.to get into some UC schools and SDSU. Multiple people have said that their kid had a 4.0 GPA a pretty darn good SAT score,and extracurricular activity but still wasn't accepted into UC schools or SDSU.

I believe what people said was true. But at the same time, it's really hard to reconcile this with a friend of a friend 's kid, that was recently accepted by UC, to study premed who only had a 3.2 GPA and a 1050ish SAT score .

That seems really off from all the other people who said their kid had a 4.0 and good SAT and some extracuricular activity.

I'm just trying to understand what factors could have allowed friend of friends kid to get in.

Some things.
1. The kid could be classified as Asian
2. The kid is hyper adhd
3. kid interned at a hospital
4. parents are doctors and well known.

Nice kid, glad he got accepted. But just trying to understand why the large discrepancy

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 7:30am.

I talked to admissions at sdsu. Kid applied to bio. 4.2 gpa, 97th or 98th perc SAT. Pretty sure 98th.

Guy said it was most brutal yr ever for bio at sdsu

Other majors, much easier.

Very major and time dependent.

General school numbers of likely admisdion no longer really a useful guide.

Even the admissions person seemed a little stunned that kid missed the cutoff.

Very very different year by year.

Got into bio at ucsb. On the old days, the result wouldve been flipped.

Feel like HLS talking about refi criteria.

Submitted by Hobie on June 5, 2020 - 7:50am.

Personal essays can make a difference. You hear lots of story's about admissions. Who know's how true they ar. Here is one based on a formula: sat+gpa+random multplier= floor to making the min base cut. This number changes each year. Then they look at your writing.

If demographic's wasn't a factor in admissions like they say, then why collect it during this phase? Collect it after acceptance.

One AdCom ( admissions counselor ) at a different school told me they could fill the freshman class with all valedictorians. But they want a diverse and 'interesting' class.

They have a good point and it would seem you get that data from the extra curriculars and creative writing.

I would suggest having you kid get good at writing 500 word essays. That is a paragraph. They are not taught how to get right to the point in a few words.

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 7:53am.

its weird though because the kids in question has a 3.2 and 1050 sat when SATs were still being used at UC schools.

that just seems unusually low for a sought after premed major at UCI. unless it's really easy to get into UCI premed programs (I doubt it)

Or unless his parents are lying and he didn't get into a premed program.

Just really trying to understand this huge discrepancy that some people are saying happens with higher achievments.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 8:00am.

Coronita wrote:
its weird though because the kids in question has a 3.2 and 1050 sat when SATs were still being used at UC schools.

that just seems unusually low for a sought after premed major at UCI. unless it's really easy to get into UCI premed programs (I doubt it)

Or unless his parents are lying and he didn't get into a premed program.

Just really trying to understand this huge discrepancy that some people are saying happens with higher achievments.

I dont think uci has a premed program. Judt individ. Majors. I just checked website, theres a post bacc premed program, but i dont see a "pre med" major

My kid did get into uci. We visited. He did not like it. Prob. Cause no friends going there?

I have a feeling sdsu is going to be the elite school now,

Due to being half price and in gorgeous location.

Cal state says its just numbers...i dont think the calstate app has an essay. Just uc.

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 8:00am.

Hobie wrote:
Personal essays can make a difference. You hear lots of story's about admissions. Who know's how true they ar. Here is one based on a formula: sat+gpa+random multplier= floor to making the min base cut. This number changes each year. Then they look at your writing.

If demographic's wasn't a factor in admissions like they say, then why collect it during this phase? Collect it after acceptance.

One AdCom ( admissions counselor ) at a different school told me they could fill the freshman class with all valedictorians. But they want a diverse and 'interesting' class.

They have a good point and it would seem you get that data from the extra curriculars and creative writing.

I would suggest having you kid get good at writing 500 word essays. That is a paragraph. They are not taught how to get right to the point in a few words.

maybe times have changed but when I applied for UC schools they didn't really look at the essay unless you were borderline before the criteria of entrance all else being equal.

I think it's pretty stupid to put that much emphasis on an essay especially for a lot of programs that are more STEM focused because what matters more is technical writing, not necessarily the fluffy writing one would need to do as expected for college admissions.

I guess this is why some parents spend an a lot of money for a college admissions coach? Once again, just feels like an arms race.

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 8:05am.

scaredyclassic wrote:
Coronita wrote:
its weird though because the kids in question has a 3.2 and 1050 sat when SATs were still being used at UC schools.

that just seems unusually low for a sought after premed major at UCI. unless it's really easy to get into UCI premed programs (I doubt it)

Or unless his parents are lying and he didn't get into a premed program.

Just really trying to understand this huge discrepancy that some people are saying happens with higher achievments.

I dont think uci has a premed program. Judt individ. Majors. I just checked website, theres a post bacc premed program, but i dont see a "pre med" major

My kid did get into uci. We visited. He did not like it. Prob. Cause no friends going there?

I have a feeling sdsu is going to be the elite school now,

Due to being half price and in gorgeous location.

Cal state says its just numbers...i dont think the calstate app has an essay. Just uc.

Gotcha.... ok,.maybe then his parents were full of shit then. I feel better. it's not that I didn't think his kid should be allowed to go, it's just I was getting a little concerned about people saying 4.0 gpa and high gpa and a lot of extracurricular actvity still wasn't enough to get into any UC or CalState or SDSU school. And then hearing a parent talk about their kid get in with bunch lower credentials that the parents didn't want to mention but the kid told to my kid made me a bit puzzled and questioned whether the parent was doing something under the table. I think the dad is a big shot doctor.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 8:17am.

Its not THAT bad.

But i was really counting on sdsu. My top choice.

30k cheaper, plus an hour away to visit.

Kid cares a bit less than me
.

But then again its not his 30k, and he isnt as excited about visits as i am.

Cal st san marcos i guess is my safety school

Submitted by Hobie on June 5, 2020 - 8:18am.

I did forget about how competitive the parents become with bragging rights. They peacock when kid is accepted to a private and hold there head low when kid is going to a community college. Well, some of them..

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 8:23am.

Hobie wrote:
I did forget about how competitive the parents become with bragging rights. They peacock when kid is accepted to a private and hold there head low when kid is going to a community college. Well, some of them..

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/san...

Some data points.

Rejects unlikely to post tho.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 8:28am.

Hobie wrote:
I did forget about how competitive the parents become with bragging rights. They peacock when kid is accepted to a private and hold there head low when kid is going to a community college. Well, some of them..

Yep.

Hard to separate.

I often reread this poem when i feel too proud. Maybe send a copy to the doctor

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 9:30am.

Hobie wrote:
I did forget about how competitive the parents become with bragging rights. They peacock when kid is accepted to a private and hold there head low when kid is going to a community college. Well, some of them..

Funny you should say that. I got a different version of that story among some Asian parents.

Some Asian parents peacock when their kids gets into a prestigeous college to for pre med studies. Some Asian parents hold their head low when their kids go to a community college.

4 years later, some of the Asian parent peacocks quickly lose their feathers after spending close to $300k for that prestigeous college only for the kid to transfer out of a medical program into a law program and than into some art history program and graduate with a BA degree in some far off degree that lands them a job at Starbucks in some metro city and have to help subsidize their rent living there.

Meanwhile, those low head hanging parents who sent their kids to a JC start to peek up their heads because for the first 2 years, they saved a shitload of money while their kid got their act together and figured out what they wanted to do, applied for and transferred to a good state school, and completed their technical degree in engineering, software or nursing, or some other high demand profession that pays well, saved their kids a boatload of money so kids weren't saddled with a boatload of debt, and were financially self sufficient much more earlier than those directionless kid that went to a prestigeous 4 year private school on the east coast.

I had a niece that did just that. 4 years of prestigeous school, 2 years into a medical program, and then one day "I really don't want to do this....$400-500k later" and she isn't alone.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 9:33am.

Coronita wrote:
Hobie wrote:
I did forget about how competitive the parents become with bragging rights. They peacock when kid is accepted to a private and hold there head low when kid is going to a community college. Well, some of them..

Funny you should say that. I got a different version of that story among some Asian parents.

Some Asian parents peacock when their kids gets into a prestigeous college to for pre med studies. Some Asian parents hold their head low when their kids go to a community college.

4 years later, some of the Asian parent peacocks quickly lose their feathers after spending close to $300k for that prestigeous college only for the kid to transfer out of a medical program into a law program and than into some art history program and graduate with a BA degree in some far off degree that lands them a job at Starbucks in some metro city and have to help subsidize their rent living there.

Meanwhile, those low head hanging parents who sent their kids to a JC start to peek up their heads because for the first 2 years, they saved a shitload of money while their kid got their act together and figured out what they wanted to do, applied for and transferred to a good state school, and completed their technical degree in engineering, software or nursing, or some other high demand profession that pays well, saved their kids a boatload of money so kids weren't saddled with a boatload of debt, and were financially self sufficient much more earlier than those directionless kid that went to a prestigeous 4 year private school on the east coast.

I had a niece that did just that. 4 years of prestigeous school, 2 years into a medical program, and then one day "I really don't want to do this....$400-500k later" and she isn't alone.

FunNy but true.

And even into the medical profession a lot of docs want OUT.

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 9:42am.

here lies the problem.. Before if your kid went to a 4 year college and was directionless, yes it wasted the parents money, but it was recoverable.

Now if a kid is directionless after a 4 year college, he/she probably wasted the equivalent of a starter home. So if there is any shred of doubt, maybe the JC route for some kids is a better option until they get their act together.

Before, in college, there was some leeway to allow the kid to be uncertain and try different things..These days, it's to cost prohibitive to do this unless you are just filthy rich.

Sadly, a lot of career.decision making is being pushed down to the high school level. My kid is going to Canyon crest Academy, and they already have specialized tracks starting in 9th grade. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a good thing unless your kid is one of the exceptions and really liked something early on.

Submitted by ltsddd on June 5, 2020 - 12:19pm.

It helps you pointed out it's UCI. UCI takes a more holistic approach with their admission. Unlike UCSD, which is all about the numbers. With UCI, your essay could make a difference - some compelling story why you got a couple Cs on your transcript (got a broken leg and needed rehab for 3 months is not going to cut it). Besides, Bio is still one of the easier majors to get into at UCSD and UCI, no?

Back in my days, UC used the 60/40 ratio for admission. 60% were based strictly on merits, gpa and sat scores. Essays were not even read. Those who didn't make the cut would have to compete for a spot based on academics, demographics, ethnicity, essays, etc.

BTW, during those years if you finished top 5% (or was it 10%?) at your school you were guaranteed admission.

Submitted by ltsddd on June 5, 2020 - 12:28pm.

Coronita wrote:
Now if a kid is directionless after a 4 year college, he/she probably wasted the equivalent of a starter home. So if there is any shred of doubt, maybe the JC route for some kids is a better option until they get their act together.

I think every parent should give JC a hard look. Go to JC for 2 years then transfer, unless that freshman-year college experience is that important for the kid. Otherwise, don't see why parents want to pay $30K/year just to take general ed at a UC school for the first 2 years.

Submitted by ltsddd on June 5, 2020 - 12:27pm.

scaredyclassic wrote:
I dont think uci has a premed program.

lol. May be the parents meant UCR. UCR has a cool premed program that, if a student qualified, would fast-track a student straight into its medical school

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 12:30pm.

Sorry, I don't get it. What do you mean by "holistic"?

Are you saying that for UCI, you get extra considerations for example if you from a challenging environment?

Submitted by ltsddd on June 5, 2020 - 12:38pm.

Coronita wrote:
Sorry, I don't get it. What do you mean by "holistic"?

Are you saying that for UCI, you get extra considerations for example if you from a challenging environment?

Yup.

https://admission.universityofcalifornia...

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 1:18pm.

ltsddd wrote:
Coronita wrote:
Now if a kid is directionless after a 4 year college, he/she probably wasted the equivalent of a starter home. So if there is any shred of doubt, maybe the JC route for some kids is a better option until they get their act together.

I think every parent should give JC a hard look. Go to JC for 2 years then transfer, unless that freshman-year college experience is that important for the kid. Otherwise, don't see why parents want to pay $30K/year just to take general ed at a UC school for the first 2 years.

Transferring is very difficult now. Not like old days

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 5, 2020 - 1:24pm.

Having kids is just too uncertain and scary.

My poor parents, so many years of me being a floating dopey fuckup broke with no plan and a weird attitude

Mustve aged them 10 years.

Submitted by outtamojo on June 5, 2020 - 3:54pm.

ltsddd wrote:
Coronita wrote:
Sorry, I don't get it. What do you mean by "holistic"?

Are you saying that for UCI, you get extra considerations for example if you from a challenging environment?

Yup.

https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/applying-as-a-freshman/how-applications-are-reviewed.html

Yeah my son did not have good extracurriculars- only athletics.
Some of his friends got accepted by UCB, UCLA and UCI with similar GPA SAT but they were into student gov. and academic clubs
and their parents were not college grads also lived in a less expensive zip code and cough cough not asian.

My guess is if you do 1200-1400 SAT and 3.7 to about 4.o GPA, have college educated parents and higher priced zip code they kinda assume you've had access to all kinds of SAT prep courses and tutoring and such so by those numbers you are just average or equivalent
to someone with a lower GPA/SAT from a bombed out high school. But a 1050 still seems very low to me- that's like UC Merced or something.

A lot of schools seem to like students who look like they are gonna make a lot of noise professionally when they graduate so they can claim ownership of that person.

Wasn't there a discussion a while back about getting exceptional grades at a low rated high school vs average grades at a top ranked high school or is that info too old to be relevant for now?

Things are just gonna get even more confusing with the SAT waiver.

Submitted by Hobie on June 5, 2020 - 4:07pm.

I think a good strategy is cultivate some good letters of recommendation. Or play some obscure sport like fencing!

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 4:13pm.

Hobie wrote:
I think a good strategy is cultivate some good letters of recommendation. Or play some obscure sport like fencing!

How about curling? Hey we won gold at the last winter games!!!!

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 4:20pm.

outtamojo wrote:

Wasn't there a discussion a while back about getting exceptional grades at a low rated high school vs average grades at a top ranked high school or is that info too old to be relevant for now?

Things are just gonna get even more confusing with the SAT waiver.

See here's the problem. My kid does the typical asian kid things. My kid plays the violin. My kid does orchestra. My kid does art. Just like every other asian kid.

Need to do something that different. Maybe sew 1000 face masks for covid?

Submitted by outtamojo on June 5, 2020 - 5:12pm.

Race one of your cars.

Submitted by Coronita on June 5, 2020 - 5:17pm.

outtamojo wrote:
Race one of your cars.

Funny you should mention that. I can't wait for my kid when they get a license.

Submitted by utcsox on June 5, 2020 - 7:20pm.

Coronita wrote:
outtamojo wrote:

Wasn't there a discussion a while back about getting exceptional grades at a low rated high school vs average grades at a top ranked high school or is that info too old to be relevant for now?

Things are just gonna get even more confusing with the SAT waiver.

See here's the problem. My kid does the typical asian kid things. My kid plays the violin. My kid does orchestra. My kid does art. Just like every other asian kid.

Need to do something that different. Maybe sew 1000 face masks for covid?

or follow what this lady did. Probably just secure a full scholarship to an Ivy League school despite a 3.2 GPA and a 1050ish SAT score.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/15-year-collec...

Submitted by ltsddd on June 5, 2020 - 7:44pm.

outtamojo wrote:
But a 1050 still seems very low to me- that's like UC Merced or something.

Agreed. That's quite low. I think you get 300 by simply putting your name down? That's 600 out of the gate - 300 for math + 300 verbal. And I think they stop penalizing wrong answers. A 3.2 gpa (weighted or not) is actually kind of a joke.

outtamojo wrote:

Wasn't there a discussion a while back about getting exceptional grades at a low rated high school vs average grades at a top ranked high school or is that info too old to be relevant for now?

This is kind of a double edge sword. It may increase the chances of getting in. It also may increase the chances of dropping out. If a kid went to a low rated school and didn't get the preparation needed for a 4-year college, then they are very unlikely to last more than a year (I am talking about STEM here).

Submitted by svelte on June 5, 2020 - 8:45pm.

ltsddd wrote:

I think every parent should give JC a hard look. Go to JC for 2 years then transfer, unless that freshman-year college experience is that important for the kid. Otherwise, don't see why parents want to pay $30K/year just to take general ed at a UC school for the first 2 years.

I'm with you here buddy.

In fact, I only paid part of my kid's college - they had to pick up the rest.

I think UC is overrated personally. I've got a State degree and make more $$ than friends that went to UC and two Harvard grads I know! In fact, the Harvard grads work for me!

People think through college rankings too much. Get a good education and put the rest of your energy to performing well on the job.

Submitted by svelte on June 5, 2020 - 8:55pm.

scaredyclassic wrote:
Its not THAT bad.

But i was really counting on sdsu. My top choice.

30k cheaper, plus an hour away to visit.

Kid cares a bit less than me
.

But then again its not his 30k, and he isnt as excited about visits as i am.

Cal st san marcos i guess is my safety school

I'm just a few miles from CSUSM, it's a fine school. They are just standing up their school of engineering with the help of Viasat. I'm looking forward to it.

One of my kids went to school in northern Calif, probably partly because it was his father's alma mater and partly to put distance in between him and his doting dad.

He now lives with wife and kid in SF and we just found out this week his wife is expecting twins. We're all a little freaked out by that. But he's planning on leaving SF now, and talking about possibly so cal or sacramento. he and his wife are making more $$ than they know what to do with, but they are feeling the strong urge to build a suburban nest, first time I've ever heard him talk like that!

back to school: it's a lot more important that your kid attends a school he likes and has a good experience. That will motivate him/her to do well and, as long as they pick a good major and a decent school, it will all work out in the end. Been there, done that. A few times.

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