Author Topic: What College Admissions Offices Really Want  (Read 107 times)

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Offline WTTCHMN

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What College Admissions Offices Really Want
« on: September 10, 2019, 12:12:55 PM »
What College Admissions Offices Really Want

Elite schools say they’re looking for academic
excellence and diversity. But their thirst for
tuition revenue means that wealth trumps all.

The colleges with high average SAT scores — which are also the highest-ranked colleges and the ones with the lowest acceptance rates and the largest endowments — admit very few low-income students and very few black and Latino students. In fact, Boeckenstedt’s chart shows an almost perfect correlation between institutional selectivity and students’ average family income, a steady, unwavering diagonal line slicing through the graph. With only a few exceptions, every American college follows the same pattern.

Each year, colleges offer larger and larger “tuition discounts” — another term for merit aid — in order to attract the students they want. In 2018 the average tuition-discount rate for freshmen at private, nonprofit universities hit 50 percent for the first time, meaning that colleges were charging students, on average, less than half of their posted tuition rates.

If colleges were simply giving each student the same 50 percent discount, that would be challenging enough for enrollment managers like Pérez. But the discounts they offer vary widely from student to student. In fact, if you pick any two freshmen at the same college, they are very likely to be paying completely different tuition rates. Those rates are based not on the true value of the service the college is offering or even on the ability of the student’s family to pay. Instead, they are based on a complex calculation, using sophisticated predictive algorithms, of what the student is worth to the college and what the college is worth to the student.

The consultants many colleges hire to perform those calculations — known in the trade as “financial-aid optimization” — are the hidden geniuses of enrollment management, the quants with advanced math degrees who spend hours behind closed doors, parsing student decision-making patterns, carefully adjusting their econometric models, calculating for admissions directors precisely how many dollars they would need to cut from their list price to persuade each specific Chloe or Josh to choose their college. Outside the ranks of enrollment management, the work done by the companies that employ these back-room prodigies is almost entirely unknown. But collectively, they play as big a role as anyone in shaping American college admissions today.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/10/magazine/college-admissions-paul-tough.html

Offline zubs

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Re: What College Admissions Offices Really Want
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 01:20:20 PM »
The biggest determining factor of admission is how much money you will give as an alumni.
Universities run models on race, family income, major...etc. and figure out the probability of alumni donations.

example:
Timmy only has a probability of $100/annum in donations while Jake has $1,000/annum. (ceteris paribus)
Jake's getting the acceptance letter!

 

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