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ADMISSIONS TIP:  Acceptance Rates: Don’t Obsess Over Them!


My recent newsletter: 2018 Acceptance Rates: Myths to Understand  shared some important information to hopefully clarify why you should NOT be concerned or focused on these data. For the curious, the newsletter did conclude with a chart of the previous two years of acceptances rates at several universities.
If you didn’t see your colleges of interest on my list, you can find more information by reviewing these statistics at individual college websites. Acceptance rates do provide a baseline metric in building your balanced college list of reach, match and “safety” choices. As discussed in my newsletter on selecting a college (see sidebar for link), focus your efforts on creating a list of universities that fit you in these three ways: “academic”, “social” and “financial”.
Acceptance rates are aggregate numbersthat give you a sense of the degree of competitiveness of a given university, but it’s more important for you to research the academic profile of the most recently admitted class as an indicator of your chances of acceptance to a particular college. You’ll find this information, along with acceptance rates available at the university website.
An invaluable source of information on application numbers, acceptance rates and some fascinating statistics on admitted students is available in the COMMON DATA SET INITIATIVE where colleges can voluntary release this information in detailed reports aimed at providing accurate information about their incoming class profile. The easiest way to find this information is to search for “University Name + Common Data Set”. The reports are exceedingly and overly detailed.
Another option, although slightly less reliable is College Navigator . Again, the point to be appreciated and understood is that aggregate acceptance rates vary widely by major, gender, location and your actual academic profile. So please don’t focus on aggregate numbers which aren’t personally relevant to YOU.
Another informal indicator of your chances of acceptance and which I previously mentioned is Talk.CollegeConfidential where a few hundred discussion threads provide self-reported “results threads” of student profiles of admitted, waitlisted and denied applicants at nearly every college.
Here’s the link to the results thread for: