The Ivy Coach Daily

March 26, 2011

Predicting College Admission

A new Facebook app that predicts one’s chances of college admission? You decide.

According to “The University of Richmond Collegian,” there is a new Facebook app that projects the likelihood of whether or not you will be accepted by specific colleges based on the data that you input. The application, known as AdmissionSplash, factors in GPA, SATs, extracurriculars, and various other criteria. While we at Ivy Coach in no way endorse this application, it does raise some interesting questions.

In the article by Kaylin Politzer, “[Allison] Carr, an honors student on the AP track, said the University of Virginia was currently her top college choice, but she wasn’t sure what her probability of being accepted would be. Carr said she used the AdmissionSplash application to test her chances of getting into the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the University of Richmond and Elon University.

’I was surprised to see my chances were only fair for getting into UVA but good for getting into UNC,’ she said. ’I would think my chances for getting into an in-state school would be easier than one out of state.’ Although she said she wasn’t sure how much she would trust AdmissionSplash’s predictions, Carr said she would continue to use the application and other facets of the CampusSplash network during her college search.”

At Ivy Coach, we recognize that an application like this that can instantly project your chances of admission as “good” or “fair” can be a whole lot of fun. After all, it takes a few months for college admissions counselors to decide the admissions fate of applicants. This is fast. It’s gratifying (especially if your chances are “good” or “great”). It’s immediate returns. But this application is severely flawed.

Do colleges crunch the numbers on the applicants before they read essays and check out extracurriculars? Often times…yes, this is the case. But the other parts of the application matter, too. A computer program cannot read a personal story within the essay and activities and a computer program cannot advocate for a student. What if an applicant’s father donated 10 million dollars to the school’s athletics department? Is there a button for that, too?

Sure, we believe in number crunching. Check out our blog post on grades and college success and how it all ties into the “New York Times” bestseller “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis. But we have serious doubts about this application. Fun? Yes. A good idea? You bet. An accurate tool to project your chances of admission to highly competitive universities? Not so much.

Check out the article in “The Richmond University Collegian.”

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