College Admission Secrets Rarely Known in China

Published on: 2011-01-12, latest updated on: 2012-05-22

I. “Demonstrated Interest ” in the Application

NACAC's 2010 study of college admissions told us that most universities use”阐明的兴趣”(阐明的兴趣) as a factor in their admission decisions. So what can show a student's "demonstrated interest"Demonstrated Interest 的兴趣”is an applicant actively contacts the university, such as attending campus tours or to contacting the admission office to ask questions and so on. Why do admission officers care the demonstrated interest? Because giving acceptance to students who showed demonstrated interest can lead to higher enrollment rate, while high school enrollment will increase the university's ranking and visibility.

To show your interest in a university, you should be sure to do the following three things:1) Visit the campus ; 2) Use social media and e-mail to have a moderate amount of contact with the university; 3) Carefully write the essay "Why apply to our university."

II. Social Media(大众媒体)'s Role

You might not know more and more universities now review what students have published online. Hence, if they find a student shows a bad behavior, such as drug and alcohol abuse, or other things that the admissions officers believe may have a negative image on a student, it may affect the student's admission. Although the majority of the schools have not spent that much energy on checking social networking sites in the past, the number of schools doing checking is rising year by year. A clear trend has emerged within the last five years.

A recent survey shows that 38% of schools that use social media to research students' backgrounds said that visiting a student's blog usually result in a negative assessment on the student's admission, compared to only 25% of the respondents of university admission officers saying that the background investigation enhances their views on applicants. One admission officer even admitted that they rejected a student who wrote online that he was not interested in their university. Online background checks are not limited to admissions decisions. A report by he National Council for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) announced on April 29 stated that 26% of the universities use web background searches for special admission programs or scholarships.

Currently, the background investigation mainly focuses on the content on Facebook, and mainly focuses on the already admitted students. Therefore, students, who currently studying in the United States, should not put any thing that could have potential negative impact on their college admissions in their Facebook or other sites. So far, we have not heard of the background investigation in Chinese students in Chinese web sites. But it is worth noting that in China there are some sites require registered with real names, and admissions officers from some American colleges and universities who are responsible for admissions in China can read Chinese. Although you can delete speeches and pictures that are against you in your blogs, but what about if the article had been forwarded by others and no longer controlled by you? For example, in China there are many video segments of high school students passed over the network known as”XX door ”If the protagonist was a student who has been just accepted by a U.S. university, and that kind of the video went to admissions office, the student's admission decission would definitely be revoked.

Of course there are students who make good use of social media to get information about the schools, and acquire more useful information than that directly from the official university website or promotional materials.

III. Race (种族)

U.S. universities generally regard ethnic diversity campus as an important consideration. They think that students from different races can learn to understand different cultures, and that will play a positive role in the university. Therefore, many universities generally give preferential policies to minority students that have poor academic achievements, such as black and Latino students. Unfortunately, because Asian students generally study very hard, and a lot of Asian applicants have achieved excellent academic scores, although Asian-American students are minorities, to gain admission, Asian students will need to show a much stronger background in all aspects than other ethnic minorities.

IV. Gender

Many universities face a common situation: there are more females who meet the admission requirements than males. Schools, in order to maintain gender balance, have to cut some girls who qualify, with the result that in some schools admissions will be easier for boys than for girls. Here we refer to an quote from the admissions officer of Middlebury College:

Many schools are seeing a growing gender imbalance in their applicant pools, and this also is the case at Middlebury. We’re not at 60% females in the applicant pool yet, but we’re getting close. That can create a perception that we have to lower our standards for males in order to get a 50/50 class, but that is absolutely not the case at Middlebury – the males we admit and matriculate are every bit as strong as our females who are admitted and matriculate. But, we do have to turn away a greater number of highly qualified females than we do highly qualified males.*

V. Family Reasons (legacy )

Many elite universities give priority of admission to those students whose parent or sibling is a graduate of the university, which is commonly referred to as legacy. A familiar example is the relationship of George Bush's family (George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as the daughter) with Yale. We mentioned some time ago the example of when "John F. Kennedy was admitted to Harvard" for the same reason. A recent survey conducted by William Bowen of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation showed that in schools that have a legacy policy, compared with those with no legacy, applicants whose parents or siblings were students of this school had a 19.7 percent higher acceptance rate * *. Another study by Thomas J Espenshade showed that legacy was equivalent to adding 160 out of 1600 points (Math and CR ) to the SAT test.***

6. Athletes
如果你能被大学教练看中,成为美国大学校运动队成员。 你在录取上得成功机率就大大增加。几所名校中,只有斯坦福大学没有降低运动员录取标准。有关各个学校在录取运动员中降低分数招收的详细信息可以阅读 Comparing the Acceptance Rates of Athletes to the General Public .



*: Interview excerpts with Middlebury Dean of Admissions, Getting in edu

**: Richard D. Kahlenberg, 10 Myths about legacy preferences in college admissions, The Chronicle of Higher Education

***:Thomas J Espenshade, etl. Admission preferences for minority students,  athletes and legacies at elite universities, 2004