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njjohan
09-11-2007, 01:10 PM
Any good Liberal arts colleges either in Bay Area or Boston/ Cambridge?

I know Tufts used to be LAC, but its grown a bit recently. Oh yeah, and how much do the Ivies value alumni parents? (Both mine went to Harvard, and I was wondering what bearing that would have on my chances of getting in, if and when I apply.)

Fee
09-11-2007, 03:02 PM
You're a legacy, you'd probably get in with just about anything short of a criminal record. ;)

How active have they been in the alumni association?

ohplease
09-11-2007, 03:09 PM
You're a legacy, you'd probably get in with just about anything short of a criminal record. ;)

How active have they been in the alumni association?

If the poster's parents were just plain old alumni, then the legacy part of most admissions formulas gives you a bit of an advantage, but it's no guarantee. There are LOTS of rejected children of Ivy alums running around.

If their parents have a building named after them, then it's another story.

Fee
09-11-2007, 03:12 PM
I know, I was being a bit facetious (hence the wink).

Phil
09-11-2007, 03:29 PM
If the poster's parents were just plain old alumni, then the legacy part of most admissions formulas gives you a bit of an advantage, but it's no guarantee. There are LOTS of rejected children of Ivy alums running around.

If their parents have a building named after them, then it's another story.
I've got a cousin who had the grades, test scores and extra cirriculars to get into any college in the country. Additionally, his grandfather and two uncles went to Harvard. But he didn't get accepted. I don't know why, but being a white, suburban American kid might have something to do with it-Harvard is going for "diversity" these days.

Oh, btw, he WAS accepted to Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford and Williams.

35ft6
09-11-2007, 03:38 PM
I've got a cousin who had the grades, test scores and extra cirriculars to get into any college in the country. Additionally, his grandfather and two uncles went to Harvard. But he didn't get accepted. I don't know why, but being a white, suburban American kid might have something to do with it-Harvard is going for "diversity" these days.

Oh, btw, he WAS accepted to Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford and Williams. So when he doesn't get accepted, it's racism. Could you have just as easily said being white helped him get into Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford, and Williams?

He should choose Yale. They only accept the best. At least according to my ex-roommate, who's getting his phd at Princeton after being accepted everywhere. But Harvard said he would have to teach after completing his doctorate as a condition of acceptance. Apparently, being white didn't hurt him. Perhaps if he were black he wouldn't have had to teach. Who knows.

Phil
09-11-2007, 04:17 PM
So when he doesn't get accepted, it's racism. Could you have just as easily said being white helped him get into Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford, and Williams?

He should choose Yale. They only accept the best. At least according to my ex-roommate, who's getting his phd at Princeton after being accepted everywhere. But Harvard said he would have to teach after completing his doctorate as a condition of acceptance. Apparently, being white didn't hurt him. Perhaps if he were black he wouldn't have had to teach. Who knows.

No, it's not "racism"; it's afirmative action. Having top grades and exceeding all other acceptance critieria got him into the other schools-not the color of his skin. No one gets into these schools these days because they are white (unless they're a Bush or something). His friend, who is not white and who had lower test scores (but still very good) and not nearly the extra cirricular activities, was accepted to Harvard. I don't think Harvard's acceptence standards are arbitrary...there's a reason for that happening.

He ended up choosing Stanford because the West Coast appeals to him more than the "brand name" of an Ivy school.

MTChong
09-11-2007, 04:23 PM
Admissions at all top schools nowadays are a crapshoot. That said, affirmative action does seem to play a huge role in many of their admissions decisions.

To the poster,
there are bound to be many liberal arts colleges in the Boston area, but that's still too small an area -- in all of Massachusetts, there are plenty. Expanding that to the New England region only adds more potential colleges to the list.

Before throwing out names ,what type of school and environment are you looking for; and will you be a competitive applicant regardless of the institution?

ohplease
09-11-2007, 04:45 PM
No, it's not "racism"; it's afirmative action. Having top grades and exceeding all other acceptance critieria got him into the other schools-not the color of his skin. No one gets into these schools these days because they are white (unless they're a Bush or something). His friend, who is not white and who had lower test scores (but still very good) and not nearly the extra cirricular activities, was accepted to Harvard. I don't think Harvard's acceptence standards are arbitrary...there's a reason for that happening.

He ended up choosing Stanford because the West Coast appeals to him more than the "brand name" of an Ivy school.

In truth, I'm of the opinion that it really doesn't matter. High school seniors qualified for these schools are so incredibly capable nowadays that choosing between any of the top tier schools is the kind of problem you want to have.

All these schools could pick several completely different incoming classes from the number of outstanding candidates available to them. No kid who's truly qualified for this level of school isn't getting into a good option for them, even if their particular circumstance doesn't involve the one place they had their little heart set upon.

Stanford instead of Harvard is like ice cream instead of cake - nothing to complain about.

As far as affirmative action - if you miss out on a top tier school, it ain't race that's keeping you out. You're just not a compelling enough candidate. Suck it up and go do well at a lower tier school. Plenty of people have.

WBF
09-11-2007, 04:56 PM
I've got a cousin who had the grades, test scores and extra cirriculars to get into any college in the country. Additionally, his grandfather and two uncles went to Harvard. But he didn't get accepted. I don't know why, but being a white, suburban American kid might have something to do with it-Harvard is going for "diversity" these days.

Oh, btw, he WAS accepted to Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford and Williams.

Uh.

My friend was a legacy. He's a white, suburban american kid with B's!. His cumulative was a 3.3 or slightly less. He got in.

Our anecdotes mean nothing.

Phil
09-11-2007, 05:01 PM
In truth, I'm of the opinion that it really doesn't matter. High school seniors qualified for these schools are so incredibly capable nowadays that choosing between any of the top tier schools is the kind of problem you want to have.

All these schools could pick several completely different incoming classes from the number of outstanding candidates available to them. No kid who's truly qualified for this level of school isn't getting into a good option for them, even if their particular circumstance doesn't involve the one place they had their little heart set upon.

Stanford instead of Harvard is like ice cream instead of cake - nothing to complain about.

As far as affirmative action - if you miss out on a top tier school, it ain't race that's keeping you out. You're just not a compelling enough candidate. Suck it up and go do well at a lower tier school. Plenty of people have.

How do you know race isn't a factor in admissions? Are you an admissions officer at Harvard? If one person of non-white origin, with no other "compelling" characteristics is accepted over a white candidate with a superior record, I'd say affirmative action is a factor. I doubt Harvard plays eenie meenie mynie mo in its selection process-I'm sure they are quite methodical and know exactly who to choose in filling out its freshman class.

Now, Stanford is nothing to scoff at and my cousin wasn't upset at all-in fact, that was his second choice after Harvard, with Yale and Penn as back-ups (Some back-ups; my back-up school, all those years back, was the local community college). But the reality is, being white bread and American makes some students very un-compelling candidates for the school that is looking to round out its diversity targets. It's as simple as that.

Phil
09-11-2007, 05:03 PM
Uh.

My friend was a legacy. He's a white, suburban american kid with B's!. His cumulative was a 3.3 or slightly less. He got in.

Our anecdotes mean nothing.
Legacies get in. We aren't really talking about that route in. While my cousin had relatives who went to Harvard, neither of his parents did. Your friend got into Harvard with those grades, even as a legacy? That's sad.

MTChong
09-11-2007, 05:41 PM
I tend to agree with you on this matter sir Phil. A 3.3 is low no matter what the kid has done; and I say this just having gone through the applications process with, perhaps, the most competitive applicant pool yet -- until this coming year's I'd imagine.

However, professors at Princeton (read: Ivy League; elite private college; etc) did release a study in which they isolated variables of race, SAT scores, and legacy/athletic ********. The legacy-status kids and athletic ******** did reap benefits, but not as much as being African-American (or internationals -- doesn't have to be Americanized) or Hispanic or any other underrepresented minority (URM). Keep in mind, ohplease, that Princeton released the study. The two professors found that were an applicant white, nothing would change. Were an applicant Asian, s/he should deduct 50 points from his/her SAT. A Hispanic would gain an equivalent of around 180 SAT points whereas the African-Americans and "blacks" gained a 250 point increase. This is back when the SAT was out of 1600.

ohplease
09-11-2007, 06:23 PM
How do you know race isn't a factor in admissions? Are you an admissions officer at Harvard? If one person of non-white origin, with no other "compelling" characteristics is accepted over a white candidate with a superior record, I'd say affirmative action is a factor. I doubt Harvard plays eenie meenie mynie mo in its selection process-I'm sure they are quite methodical and know exactly who to choose in filling out its freshman class.

Now, Stanford is nothing to scoff at and my cousin wasn't upset at all-in fact, that was his second choice after Harvard, with Yale and Penn as back-ups (Some back-ups; my back-up school, all those years back, was the local community college). But the reality is, being white bread and American makes some students very un-compelling candidates for the school that is looking to round out its diversity targets. It's as simple as that.

I never said race wasn't a factor. I said (and am saying again) that if you're on the bubble, and what kept you out was an allegedly "unqualified" minority candidate getting in, then you probably didn't deserve to get in, and likely wouldn't have done very well even if you had.

The vast majority of kids in these places get in with plenty of room to spare. Kids would be better served making themselves into more compelling candidates than burning the time or energy worrying about either legacy status or affirmative action. If you think otherwise, more power to you.

No one ever said elite schools are purely about academics. If you're not interesting, either through hard work or by birth (race OR privilege), than you're not getting in. In fact, nowadays, even if you are, there's good odds you're not getting in. Congratulations, you just learned the world isn't fair.

njjohan
09-11-2007, 10:50 PM
Admissions at all top schools nowadays are a crapshoot. That said, affirmative action does seem to play a huge role in many of their admissions decisions.

To the poster,
there are bound to be many liberal arts colleges in the Boston area, but that's still too small an area -- in all of Massachusetts, there are plenty. Expanding that to the New England region only adds more potential colleges to the list.

Before throwing out names ,what type of school and environment are you looking for; and will you be a competitive applicant regardless of the institution?

Well that's the thing, since I live in the UK (tri-national,) I can only convert to gpa roughly... The reason I said Boston or Bay Area is that I'm looking for an urban area with good public transport. And if by competitive, you mean good academically, then sure, I will be a competitive applicant.

Essentially, being tri-national (US/UK/Dutch) would probably help, as of course do good grades. Then when you throw in the fact that my parents went there, I feel my chances are pretty good. But that's just me, a naive teenager.

Oh, and I'm also considering the Claremont Colleges.

MTChong
09-11-2007, 11:56 PM
Well that's the thing, since I live in the UK (tri-national,) I can only convert to gpa roughly... The reason I said Boston or Bay Area is that I'm looking for an urban area with good public transport. And if by competitive, you mean good academically, then sure, I will be a competitive applicant.

Essentially, being tri-national (US/UK/Dutch) would probably help, as of course do good grades. Then when you throw in the fact that my parents went there, I feel my chances are pretty good. But that's just me, a naive teenager.

Oh, and I'm also considering the Claremont Colleges.

I'm confused by what you mean when you say your parents went there; they were in the Boston area? That means absolutely nothing to admissions officers unless your parents actually went to that school in particular.

I also doubt the tri-nationality will help you there as in the end, you're white. Only underrepresented minorities reap the benefits of affirmative action.

The Claremont Colleges are a very strong system; if you're looking for maths and sciences or engineering, Harvey Mudd is amazing. Pomona and Claremont McKenna are both stellar schools as well -- with the added benefit of the five college consortium. If you're looking for a liberal arts college, I'd urge you to apply to them. [That said, I'd also suggest Dartmouth, which isn't technically a Liberal Arts College but more in between and has a very LAC feel according to the students there].

Some outstanding and well-known liberal arts colleges in Massachusetts include Williams, Amherst, Holyoke, Holy Cross. Schools such as Williams and Amherst have high SAT scores and GPAs with their middle 50% of SATs ranging from 1320-1530. However, merely being in that range, numbers-wise, still means nothing on admission. You have a better shot, that's for sure, but you're still against applicants with the same statistics; it's a crapshoot.

BreakPoint
09-12-2007, 12:39 AM
I've got a cousin who had the grades, test scores and extra cirriculars to get into any college in the country. Additionally, his grandfather and two uncles went to Harvard. But he didn't get accepted. I don't know why, but being a white, suburban American kid might have something to do with it-Harvard is going for "diversity" these days.

Oh, btw, he WAS accepted to Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford and Williams.
I may be wrong, but I always thought that having a legacy only helps in admissions if one of your direct parents went to the school. I'm not sure if grandfathers and uncles count as much.

Oh, and I think it's "diversity" as long as you're not Asian, because I've heard about lots of Asian applicants with perfect SAT's, grades, extra curriculars, etc. that get rejected from the Ivies for no reason other than that they're the wrong race.

BreakPoint
09-12-2007, 12:43 AM
He should choose Yale. They only accept the best.
Maybe that's true. My niece just got accepted to everywhere EXCEPT Yale. So she's going to Princeton instead.

My cousin did go to Yale, though, so I don't know. ;)

BTW, if this is true, how do you explain GWB? Yes, I know he's a legacy but still. ;)

BreakPoint
09-12-2007, 12:53 AM
I'm confused by what you mean when you say your parents went there; they were in the Boston area? That means absolutely nothing to admissions officers unless your parents actually went to that school in particular.

The answer to your question was in his OP:
Oh yeah, and how much do the Ivies value alumni parents? (Both mine went to Harvard, and I was wondering what bearing that would have on my chances of getting in, if and when I apply.)

max
09-12-2007, 11:40 AM
Also: Kenyon, Beloit, Oberlin, Knox, Sewanee, Williams, DePauw.

MTChong
09-12-2007, 01:43 PM
The answer to your question was in his OP:

Thanks for the clarification Breakpoint. I must've skipped it or disregarded it as there's a disconnect between Harvard and LAC.

That said, legacy will only help so much; you have to be a competitive applicant first or you can just watch your hopes go down the drain. Further, legacy helps, but it'd help a lot more if your parents made some significant and substantial "contributions" to Harvard; or if they made some significant strides in their field of study that have lead to world wide acclaim.

Phil
09-12-2007, 10:43 PM
I never said race wasn't a factor. I said (and am saying again) that if you're on the bubble, and what kept you out was an allegedly "unqualified" minority candidate getting in, then you probably didn't deserve to get in, and likely wouldn't have done very well even if you had.

The vast majority of kids in these places get in with plenty of room to spare. Kids would be better served making themselves into more compelling candidates than burning the time or energy worrying about either legacy status or affirmative action. If you think otherwise, more power to you.

No one ever said elite schools are purely about academics. If you're not interesting, either through hard work or by birth (race OR privilege), than you're not getting in. In fact, nowadays, even if you are, there's good odds you're not getting in. Congratulations, you just learned the world isn't fair.
I don't think being accepted to Yale, Penn, Williams and Stanford on the basis of achievement is "on the bubble", but you must have your own, private definition. If Harvard is accepting legacies with 3.3 gpa's, then doing well in college is probably not their primary criterium for candidate. "Compelling" for Harvard and some other schools merely means that a candidate is from the right ethic or national background that will help achieve the current year's diversity targets.

In the example I cited, the candidate wasn't concerned about legacy status or his ethnicity, but regardless, ethnicity was probably the deciding factor in his not getting into Harvard. If Yale, Penn and Stanford thought this candidate was compelling, there's no reason why Harvard wouldn't-Harvard just has a different standard, and one that a candidate has no control over.

movdqa
09-13-2007, 03:29 AM
I may be wrong, but I always thought that having a legacy only helps in admissions if one of your direct parents went to the school. I'm not sure if grandfathers and uncles count as much.

Oh, and I think it's "diversity" as long as you're not Asian, because I've heard about lots of Asian applicants with perfect SAT's, grades, extra curriculars, etc. that get rejected from the Ivies for no reason other than that they're the wrong race.

One approach is to take Harvard Extension Classes and then apply to the full-time program. I read about a girl that took this approach and got in on a full scholarship. She didn't learn how to read until she was 11 or 12 and had never gone to school.

njjohan
06-17-2008, 07:51 AM
well both are published authors, one is a fairly prominent academic in modern chinese history.

MTChong
06-17-2008, 01:36 PM
Fair assumption that you're applying this fall, or have you already finished the process? If so, where are you headed?

And if not, what schools are you considering then -- have any idea?

njjohan
06-17-2008, 02:01 PM
Fair assumption that you're applying this fall, or have you already finished the process? If so, where are you headed?

And if not, what schools are you considering then -- have any idea?

nope, nope, just conducting early research. class of 2014. but its all on the right track - got into the best 6th form college of its class here in the UK and am winding up my GCSEs tomorrow.

heycal
06-17-2008, 10:35 PM
I may be wrong, but I always thought that having a legacy only helps in admissions if one of your direct parents went to the school.


That said, legacy will only help so much; you have to be a competitive applicant first or you can just watch your hopes go down the drain..

Isn't legacy just one factor among many, many different ones these days? I think I read somewhere that it's not really worth all that much anymore, and something they assign a numerical value to just like they do if you can play violin or soccer or whatever. And it's certainly not enough in most cases to get a seriously subpar student into Harvard like in the example provided by another poster, so perhaps there is more to that story.

MTChong
06-17-2008, 10:39 PM
Isn't legacy just one factor among many, many different ones these days? I think I read somewhere that it's not really worth all that much anymore, and something they assign a numerical value to just like they do if you can play violin or soccer or whatever. And it's certainly not enough in most cases to get a seriously subpar student into Harvard like in the example provided by another poster, so perhaps there is more to that story.

Which is what I said. It's only so much. Again, not every school is the same. Some schools will assign numerical values and have a cut-off for applicants to even be considered for admission. For instance, I know UCSD has something available somewhere on their website that breaks down how they consider their applicants.