The college freshman admission results have all come out last week. It’s another brutal year with a record low acceptance number. This year, Harvard acceptance rate is going down to 3.19%, lowest in its history. Although three of the Ivy League schools opted not to release their admission data right now, the five that revealed theirs have all showed a big increase in the number of applicants and the fierce competition for the coveted spots.
And why is the admission getting so cut-throat? One reason is that SAT has become optional in almost all colleges this year. Needless to say, the dropping of this crucial requirements has enlarged the candidates pool significantly, same as the year before. However, the dropping of SAT has done nothing to alleviate the pressure Asian students are facing. If anything, the dropping of SAT only makes the college application more tough since standard test score is one of the strength of Asian applicants . There are horror stories of top Asian students get rejected—perfect SAT score, straight A, and stellar extracurricular activities are no guarantee of a spot in the best colleges.
It is said diversity is the top priority in the college admission this year. We don’t know how this translate into the admission numbers, but we do know that for years Malaysia usually gets 2 admission for Harvard University, but this year, the number jumps up to 6. This may hint a strategic shift in U.S. policies on East Asia and it may have a profound effect on the admission result of students of Chinese descent.
We also learned that the review and evaluation have changed in several aspects. Since the emphasis on standardized tests has been weakened, more attentions are paid to the uniqueness of individuality, contributions to society, and other related qualities . This makes the student’s application materials—essay writing, personal experiences, recommendation, personality revelation, and extracurricular activities—particularly important.
We have seen quite a few cases, in which students with top grades (being the number 1 or 2 of the school) have not been chosen by top schools. On the other hand, some students with lower GPA but a better personal profile are selected by top universities.
AIC Education has been consulting and guiding students for many years, accumulating a lot of experiences and skills along the way. We strive to help students reveal personal characteristics and strengths; improve the quality of personal statements; help select the best angle to present students’ material; assist in steering students away from mistakes or pitfalls. This year, we have overcome the challenges and disadvantages, and achieved wonderful admission results again:
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||2|
|Carnegie Mellon University||1|
|NYU (1 Stern)||1|
|University of Michigan||1|