Top schools will often receiveds hundreds of thousands of well qualified applications while having an accpetance rate of 10% or lower. Assuming that most students that apply to the school are well placed in terms of grades, test scores, foreign language and extra curriculurs , how does the school discern between an accepted candidate and a rejected candidate ?
I have always wondered this …
The selection process is usually kept a secret.
In general, there is a first pass where specific people are selected based on personal relationships with the institution. These people will still need to meet some minimum requirements, but they are much lower than the general population.
After that, depending on how many applicants there are, there would be an automatic filter of the students based on GPA and SAT score. The students that meet these minimum requirements are then broken down into several groups based on undisclosed metrics. If you look at a school’s “By the Numbers” stats, you can guess what those metrics are.
Then there are some junior people in the admissions department who actually read through applications. Figure if there are 10 of these people, they each might get 1,000 applicants, and their task is to narrow down that list to only 200 over the span of a few weeks, while providing some key highlights for each. Those 2,000 applicants are then offered interviews with alumni.
There could be 100 alumni interviewers who each interview 20 people. They would then pick their favorite 5, along with more key highlights. Those final 500 are then reviewed by a final admissions board one by one, where the group will, fairly quickly, vote each candidate.
This question is quite loaded as I assume you are talking about US universities. Some countries, for example, simply apply a test and the higher scores get in.
100 students are accepted.
You can get 500 points max.
First 100 people, of descening point value, are accepted.
50 pts for grade 11 gpa x 10
50 pts for grade 12 gpa x 10
100 pts for general education matura
100 pts for specialized matura A
100 pts for specialized matura B
Then you may get up to 100 pts for adhd, asd, pregnancy, (inter)national specialization related competition top 10, taking advanced matura over intermediate, having an advanced or medium language certificate
You may drop the points for grades and general education and double your matura A and B.
If multiple students compete for the last position with equal score, favour the student according with higher matura scores.
It is unheard of to have 100 student with 500 pts all apply to the same university in the 1st position.
In my experience, I think it largely came down to my essays. I’ve been told I’m a very strong writer and I think my essays showcased that I was the kind of student they were looking for. The stats matter, sure but some universities care a lot about who the student is as a person more than their grades or accomplishments. At some institutions, an impressive student who can write well and shows strong character has a better chance than a robotic student with perfect scores.
Now my uni isnt that selective but the way we get students is that first of all there aren’t that much candidates. Where the are always way more students than what the uni can take is biology. In my country we have to take final exams after high school. The results turn into application points that unis use to rank applicants. Now we like to take around 100 applicants a year so we look where we reach about a hundred and around 80-110 we often see a large gap in scores and draw the line there. For unis around the world they either also use scores from previous education or write test which is technically an option here two but is basically never used.