Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Myth of the HS/County/City/Address Admissions Limit
I want to thank all of you who responded to our survey about the most popular myths (and to tell all of you who did not respond to answer our future surveys!), as this helps us understand the mindsets in the schools and communities with which we work. The most popular myth was "Only a certain number of students can be admitted from my school/county/city, etc.", with 41% of the vote! I always laugh when I hear this myth, because if you could see our office before decisions are sent out (both EA and RD), you would see a lot of last-minute file reading, number-crunching, and controlled chaos. Truthfully, we have no time, energy or manpower to figure out how many students from X location we should admit. We make decisions based upon an individual review of the applicant in comparison with the rest of the applicant pool. Even if we wanted to (and we do not!), we would not be able to actually make the kind of decisions this myth suggests.
Patrick Winter, a co-worker of mine and numbers-junkie, has done some amusing and unusual analysis of our freshman class from last year, with a look at all of the odd data that can be pulled out from this groups information. For instance, in the group of admitted students from last year, the most popular name for females was Sarah, and the the most popular for males was William. In addition, The astrological signs of Taurus, Gemini, Leo and Virgo were each 9% of the freshman class this year, while Capricorns were only 7% of the class. Does this mean that we dislike people not named Sarah or William? Do parents talk at ballgames and say "Well you know, the reason UGA did not admit my son was because they already had their limit of Capricorns". Of course not! But every year, we hear the wild stories about how we did not admit a student because of their city/county/zip code/school/blood type.
Just remember, ignore unsolicited admissions advice, work hard, read, and do your best (okay, the last three were just thrown in there because I couldn't think of anything else). Have a great day!