5 months ago
Admissions Advice

How are they considering grades and SATs after pandemic? What is GPA or grades have fallen since virtual education start

Looking specifically at ECU, UNCW and ASU.

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2 answers

5 months ago[edited]

The big takeaway about grades and standardized test scores during the pandemic (we are still in the pandemic btw) are the following points.

1.) All colleges made submitting test scores optional or in some cases blind (like the UC schools and Caltech). This created a huge surge in applications to the best colleges in America. So Top 20 schools like the Ivys, Stanford, Duke, and the best liberal arts colleges like Colby, Williams, and Amherst got anywhere between 20% and 50% more applications. This pushed admit rates down.

2.) The pandemic created vast structural problems with effective teaching, grading, attendance, class participation, office hours, and inequity because many low-income students didn't have laptops or WIFI service. The direct result across the country is that all GPAs were down regardless of whether you attend the best boarding schools in the country or a public school in East Los Angeles. Therefore, all college admissions were aware that many students had a physical gap on their transcript from last Spring and some had that gap this Fall as well. Many students had to show a Pass/Fail report card for one or two semesters and other students who were graded suffered from lower GPAs. This obviously was advantageous to those who had the best technology, the best WIFI, and the best family support system in their homes, primarily upper-income families who had private bedrooms for their children outfitted with the best tech.

As a result of this recent admissions cycle, we know that anyone who applied to a top school with excellent test scores and GPA benefitted from having those data points. Despite the propaganda, that test scores didn't matter, at some elite schools like MIT, over 90% of the admits submitted test scores, and many also had SAT Subject II test scores and SAT Essay Scores to submit as well. As you go down the list of schools according to rank and tier, test scores mattered less to schools that had more than 50% admit rates. The same goes for GPA. If you were a top 1% test taker and had a UWGPA of 3.95-4.00, you really weren't that affected that much with a 1-semester GAP in grades. Maybe your 3.96 would have been a 3.97. The pandemic had more severe effects on average students who saw their 3.0 go to a 2.5 because they received some low marks or failed some classes.

When we talk about the 3 schools you listed, their admit rates are 65%, 79%, and 86%, so they are about 20 times easier to get into than the best Ivy colleges at 3.43%, 3.66%, and 3.98%. These three schools' admit rates didn't change very much during the pandemic because of standardized test scores or GPA.

The President of ASU recently commented in an op ed that he viewed Top Tier US colleges not as serving's the best interests of the public but as luxury brands. If Ivy League and elite colleges only take A students with the best credentials, then they are supporting a caste system no different than how Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci cater to the rich. His M.O at ASU to make higher education easy to access for all Americans regardless of race, religion, or other demographics. Rather than limited each class size to say 1500, ASU has no upper limit matriculating say something like 15,000 freshman and 52,000 online students. IMO, they are like the Target or Amazon of colleges. Every college has its market segment and if you just want a 4-year degree, you have hundreds of choices, more than there are channels to watch on your television.

Just my 2 cents.

5 months ago

As you know many colleges are test optional so many aren't even considering SAT or ACT. If your grades have slipped since virtual education mention that in your application.


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