I not-so-fondly remember this time last year when, like every other university-bound high school senior, my stomach constantly churned with anticipation and anxiety waiting for college decisions.
My friends and I rarely had a conversation that didn’t eventually become, “So do you think [insert name of selective university] will accept me? I mean, I think my SAT scores are high enough, and I really like my essay, but so-and-so is applying there, and she has a perfect score and more volunteer hours than me.”
As if these conversations weren’t obnoxious enough, now there’s an app for that!
AdmissionSplash, launched last week
AdmissionSplash, which was created by two students at George Washington University, was tested – with fairly positive results – on 75 students admitted to New York University and the University of California Los Angeles. Between 90 and 97 percent of the decisions were accurately predicted.
Just for fun, I tried it out.
I picked Duke as my college, filled in my fairly decent test scores and high school GPA, checked yes, I volunteered in high school, and no, I don’t think I have any chance of getting recruited for sports. At the end, AdmissionSplash told me that my chances for acceptance at Duke University were only fair, and the accompanying yellow emoticon seemed to say, “Be careful.”
The questionnaire, however, never asked me what my application essay was about, if I had good letters of recommendation or even if I held any leadership positions in high school, which is contrary to the way applications are read here at Duke.
In March 2010, Chronicle reporter Jessica Lichter wrote an in depth series about the admissions detailing the process of getting in. She wrote:
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"But reading applications is not an entirely qualitative process. Both readers assigned to an application rate an applicant on a five-point scale in each of six categories: curriculum, achievement, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities and personal qualities, essay and standardized testing."
I hope that if this application gains popularity, that high schoolers don’t invest too much emotion into the results because, cliché as this may sound, you can never really predict what that decision letter is going to say.