Are colleges secretly factoring test scores into decisions for test-optional applicants?

Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:My DD is at a NY private school and her school just released TO stats from last year. About half the kids went TO and still got in ED to many top universities including plenty of top 20 schools. We will still have DD take the SATs but it was good to hear actual facts about how TO works and affects admissions.


I think a kid from a known ‘good/rigorous’ school (colleges have high school profiles) has a better chance of TO with their high gpas, than a student going TO from a school that does not have a good profile. So not all TO kids with the same high gpas are looked at the same (imo). I think the high school they’re from plays a big part, especially for T20 schools.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:My DD is at a NY private school and her school just released TO stats from last year. About half the kids went TO and still got in ED to many top universities including plenty of top 20 schools. We will still have DD take the SATs but it was good to hear actual facts about how TO works and affects admissions.


I think a kid from a known ‘good/rigorous’ school (colleges have high school profiles) has a better chance of TO with their high gpas, than a student going TO from a school that does not have a good profile. So not all TO kids with the same high gpas are looked at the same (imo). I think the high school they’re from plays a big part, especially for T20 schools.



Hooked kids will do better with TO. First poster did not indicate how many of those students were hooked, and likely doesn’t have first hand knowledge of who was hooked.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:My DD is at a NY private school and her school just released TO stats from last year. About half the kids went TO and still got in ED to many top universities including plenty of top 20 schools. We will still have DD take the SATs but it was good to hear actual facts about how TO works and affects admissions.


I think a kid from a known ‘good/rigorous’ school (colleges have high school profiles) has a better chance of TO with their high gpas, than a student going TO from a school that does not have a good profile. So not all TO kids with the same high gpas are looked at the same (imo). I think the high school they’re from plays a big part, especially for T20 schools.


Absolutely true. Also why some schools get so many more kids into T20 schools than other high schools. Most important part of your kids application outside of their academic performance is likely the school (more than awards/ECs etc)...
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:My DD is at a NY private school and her school just released TO stats from last year. About half the kids went TO and still got in ED to many top universities including plenty of top 20 schools. We will still have DD take the SATs but it was good to hear actual facts about how TO works and affects admissions.


I think a kid from a known ‘good/rigorous’ school (colleges have high school profiles) has a better chance of TO with their high gpas, than a student going TO from a school that does not have a good profile. So not all TO kids with the same high gpas are looked at the same (imo). I think the high school they’re from plays a big part, especially for T20 schools.


Absolutely true. Also why some schools get so many more kids into T20 schools than other high schools. Most important part of your kids application outside of their academic performance is likely the school (more than awards/ECs etc)...


Disagree, most academically rigorous privates have kids with high test scores. Ours does ( over a third with some anntional merit recognition) and those are the kids getting in top schools. There’s like 95 percent overlap, and the other kids getting in top schools are hooked.
Anonymous
Assume AO at school SAT range 1450-1550 reviewing 3 students app from same school everything else is the same except this part of their application and the school has 2 spots to fill
Student A TO
Student B submitted 1450
Student C submitted 1500

Student C will be the first, which of the other 2 will be have a chance?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:TO has to be TO, at least for this year, based on the admissions this fall/winter. It has seemed like anything submitted under a 1550 is considered worse than TO, both for admission and for merit awards/honors colleges. My daughter has friends that have gotten in TO to Yale, Brown, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Duke, Northwestern, Bowdoin, and Notre Dame and that’s just off the top of my head. So hard to know how to proceed with a current junior.


how does your junior know that many seniors' college admissions results as well as their testing status? And then comes home and tells you? Just wondering how this works.


If your DC attends a private with a sub 200 or 150 grad class, especially if they are a lifer, this is not necessarily uncommon. One of our DCs started on two varsity sports in 9th grade. On one of the teams, they were basically the pet of the juniors and seniors. They got to hear everything. By the time they were a junior, some of the seniors were their best friends. In some instances, these friends confided more in them because they were not in the same grade and it took off a bit of the pressure.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:Assume AO at school SAT range 1450-1550 reviewing 3 students app from same school everything else is the same except this part of their application and the school has 2 spots to fill
Student A TO
Student B submitted 1450
Student C submitted 1500

Student C will be the first, which of the other 2 will be have a chance?


Nothing is ever the same for a given applicant. If there's a slot to fill among a few left, institutional priorities will be it, whatever it is, tuba player, violist, etc.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Assume AO at school SAT range 1450-1550 reviewing 3 students app from same school everything else is the same except this part of their application and the school has 2 spots to fill
Student A TO
Student B submitted 1450
Student C submitted 1500

Student C will be the first, which of the other 2 will be have a chance?


Nothing is ever the same for a given applicant. If there's a slot to fill among a few left, institutional priorities will be it, whatever it is, tuba player, violist, etc.


exactly.

Plus, assuming 3 from same school, it’s these “pointy” extracurriculars that are not your ordinary newspaper, STEM-robotics club or model UN type of ECs/interests that differentiate.
Anonymous
I’m not reading the responses, but NO NO and NO
Anonymous
Sort of, in that TO applicants yield at a much high rate than students submitting test scores. W&L had some info on the applied, admitted and attended students broken into TO/scores submitted. TO were much more likely to attend.

So TO definitely matters for the entire population of applicants. But for your individual choice, you just have to look at 25/75 percentiles and competitiveness of programs for your kid. So a CS applicant, especially male, to a limited enrollment major would really need higher scores or stronger ECs.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Assume AO at school SAT range 1450-1550 reviewing 3 students app from same school everything else is the same except this part of their application and the school has 2 spots to fill
Student A TO
Student B submitted 1450
Student C submitted 1500

Student C will be the first, which of the other 2 will be have a chance?


Nothing is ever the same for a given applicant. If there's a slot to fill among a few left, institutional priorities will be it, whatever it is, tuba player, violist, etc.


This might be true for private schools but there are a lot of kids that fall in same range in public schools with large size of student body.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Assume AO at school SAT range 1450-1550 reviewing 3 students app from same school everything else is the same except this part of their application and the school has 2 spots to fill
Student A TO
Student B submitted 1450
Student C submitted 1500

Student C will be the first, which of the other 2 will be have a chance?


Nothing is ever the same for a given applicant. If there's a slot to fill among a few left, institutional priorities will be it, whatever it is, tuba player, violist, etc.


Exactly what I was thinking reading this post. God forbid, it's an essay that hits the reader. Or, they want another girl from the class. Or, or, or....

People are trying to engineer success, and you can to a degree, but there is randomness involved. I've done the same when hiring people.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:Sort of, in that TO applicants yield at a much high rate than students submitting test scores. W&L had some info on the applied, admitted and attended students broken into TO/scores submitted. TO were much more likely to attend.

So TO definitely matters for the entire population of applicants. But for your individual choice, you just have to look at 25/75 percentiles and competitiveness of programs for your kid. So a CS applicant, especially male, to a limited enrollment major would really need higher scores or stronger ECs.


W&L happens to have a high retention rate and a high graduation rate. Most of the campus is white and UMC. One TO glove doesn't fit all, does it?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:Assume AO at school SAT range 1450-1550 reviewing 3 students app from same school everything else is the same except this part of their application and the school has 2 spots to fill
Student A TO
Student B submitted 1450
Student C submitted 1500

Student C will be the first, which of the other 2 will be have a chance?


assuming SAT range here is 25-75%

Student A has all their eggs in one basket - with GPA and rest. they better be strong strong strong. think of that other basket as also having a score - it's gotta be a 95%.
Student B has their eggs distributed btw a good enough basket (at 95 now) and .. whatever is in the other basket. If there was one or two Bs making that basket a 94, you'd be fine.
Student C has two baskets too but one is a 97%. So, that leaves a little more wiggle room on the other side.

If student A has a 97% baskets -- a recruited athlete for example -- it's fine. But if you dont really know what's in those LORs, it's dicey
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