Ivy League admissions decisions differ from admissions decisions at other universities – even among highly competitive ones. A “USA Today” piece yesterday by Allen Gannett, however, didn’t make this distinction. In the piece, Mr. Gannett referred to a 2008 survey by NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling to which the Founder of Ivy Coach is a member in good standing) entitled “State of College Admission Report” in which college admissions counselors stressed GPA as the top factor for admission.
In fact, in the study, grades got quite a bit more weight than the ACT or SAT and SAT Subject Tests were deemed to “not have a big effect at all.” According to the article, “Only 6.2% of admission officers gave [SAT Subject Tests] considerable weight, while 51.8% said it didn’t matter at all. Obviously, if a school requires it, you need to do it. But otherwise, don’t worry too much.” Have you ever heard the quote “lies, damned lies, and statistics?” Well, before you take information like SAT Subject Tests not mattering to heart, you should know your sampling population!
The admissions officers interviewed in this annual report came from a variety of colleges and most of them aren’t among the eight Ivy League colleges. There were surely many college admissions counselors interviewed who work at universities that just aren’t competitive. The fact is, the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT / ACT matter a great deal to admissions counselors at Ivy League colleges! These data points, after all, have hugely significant weight in the Academic Index! Subpar SAT scores, even with great grades, can really hurt your chances for admission to Ivy League universities.
High school grades may very well be the single most effective predictor of academic success in college. But the fact remains that one’s SAT or ACT score (and SAT Subject Test scores), in addition to a host of other factors matter a great deal too! Contact us today to find out what you can do to stand out to Ivy League admissions counselors and check out our Ivy League Admissions Statistics!
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