While New York might be the center of the universe, at least according to New Yorkers, it is quite a disadvantage to be from New York when applying to highly selective colleges in the United States. And this isn’t just for New York City residents — it’s for all residents of the State of New York. Think about it. When colleges love to brag that they have students from all fifty states, do you think a highly selective university struggles to land a New Yorker? Of course not. New Yorkers are about as plentiful in application pools as are hot dog stands on the streets of Manhattan. You see, most highly selective colleges — even the most elite of elite schools — struggle to land exceptional students from all fifty states. Read about the pool of Early Decision or Early Action admits to an Ivy League institution and you’ll often see that they boast students from 45 or 46 of the 50 states in our union. That’s not 50. So you can bet that if they could have found a student with a reasonable pulse in one of those four or five states not represented among their admitted students, they’d have offered that student admission in a heartbeat.
The New York Disadvantage in College Admissions
A piece up on “Forbes” by Nina Berler entitled “Does It Hurt To Be From New York? Geographic Diversity In College Admissions” raises this question in reference to New York students: “Could it be that our students are shut out of admissions just because of where they come from?” The answer, of course, is no. If that were true, then why do exceptional students from New York earn admission to highly selective colleges each and every year? But is it a hindrance to be from New York? Yes, yes of course. New Yorkers are competing against one another. Not only is New York an overrepresented state at highly selective universities but the students applying from New York are typically more competitive applicants than students from, say, Alabama. Sorry, Alabama. Roll Tide! The test scores of New Yorkers are often higher, their coursework more rigorous, and their high schools are more trusted than schools in less populous states that aren’t as well known to admissions officers. Interestingly, in our experience, New Yorkers are as clueless about what helps and what hurts in the highly selective college admissions process as students and parents from other parts of our nation — perhaps even more so. Hey, we’re New Yorkers ourselves. We tell it like it is.
The fact is that no highly selective university in the United States — no matter how far from New York it’s located — struggles to attract New York applicants to apply and ultimately attend. It never helps to be from New York in college admissions. But are New Yorkers “shut out” in the highly selective college admissions process? Quite the contrary. Just take a look at the geographic diversity of incoming classes at highly selective colleges, including all of the Ivy League colleges. New York is extremely well represented in each and every one of these classes. It’s not that they’re shut out. It’s that they’re competing against one another. In fact, students in every state compete against other students from their state. Alabamans compete against Alabamans. It’s just that the competition in Alabama isn’t exactly as stiff as it is in New York. Again, sorry Alabama. Roll Tide!
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