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Why We Do It

Low admission rates are key for universities to secure high rankings in college ranking reports (e.g., US News & World Report). High rankings attract top-quality applicants and alumni contributions as well as reinforce institutional prestige. Accordingly, universities aggressively pursue applications from students regardless of their chances of admission.

All of us typically avoid activities with very low probabilities of success. However, the pull of your college dreams, shared by your family, makes students susceptible to universities’ aggressive marketing.

Admissions departments at top-tier universities promote “holistic” admissions:  valuing each applicant’s academic and life journey separate and apart from other applicants. In other words, you have as good a shot at admissions as any other applicant. The statistics do not bear that out.

Private guidance counseling services offering online admissions calculators also overstate probabilities of admission to top-tier schools, as demonstrated in the tables below. Without the belief that admissions into top-tier universities were within reach, you and your family may not spend money and time on numerous AP/Honors courses, endless extracurricular activities, SAT/ACT and college application tutoring, submitting a dozen college applications, and, with parents, numerous school visits. You may actually find yourself with the free time to socialize, imagine, and explore.

Please know that we do not pass judgment on how universities construct their student bodies. We are, nonetheless, committed to transparency in admissions. You and your families deserve it.

Probability of Admission Calculations

Profiles1 Top 4 Avg2 TiA3
Student 1 11% 1.3%
Student 2 14.1% 8.3%
Student 3 7.6% 0.3%

1 Three different top-tier student profiles created.
2 Averages from College AI, College Vine, My College Calculator, Princeton College Consulting.
3 TiA stands for Transparency in Admissions.

Profiles1 Top 4 Avg2 TiA3
Student 1 22.9% 4.0%
Student 2 31.9% 17.2%
Student 3 14.7% 0.9%

Our model captures the information that universities use to determine admission offers.