did collegevine update their chancing engine, because I went from a 65-70% chance to 5-13% chance?
Even though I don't work at CV, I think the new chancing engine reflects the 2020-2021 acceptance rates versus the 2019-2020 rates. Some top schools were 40% to 75% harder to get into this cycle. For instance, Columbia was 73% harder, and Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, UPenn, and Yale were like 41% to 43% harder. The only exceptions to this rule were some large privates like WashU which was flat, and others were actually easier like Lehigh, Macalester, Fordham, American, and GWU.
So if you have mostly Top 20 schools or Top LACs (Liberal Arts colleges) on your list you will see a ding if you do not have a 98-99% percentile SAT or ACT score to report.
What many CV members are not fully aware of is that the most successful applicants this cycle still had test scores to submit.
School Name / % who submitted SAT/ACT / % who didn't submit
University of Pennsylvania 76% 24%
University of Notre Dame 69% 31%
Vanderbilt University 61% 39%
Boston College 61% 39%
MIT 93% 7%
Boston University 58% 42%
Wellesley College 50% 50%
Georgetown University 90% 10%
University of Virginia 72% 28%
Wesleyan University 59% 41%
Duke University 56% 44%
Emory University 69% 31%
Middlebury College 50% 50%
Rice University 80% 20%
Washington University 59% 41%
As you can infer, if you had a test score you had an exponential advantage at schools like MIT, Georgetown, Rice, and other Ivys and Elite colleges.
Therefore, if you want to improve your chancing range, it's imperative that you find a way to submit a high test score when you apply. You will have to find the time this summer to test prep and possibly take your first SAT or ACT. Aim to take is 2 to 3 times but not more because, after 3 attempts, it is my opinion that you get docked for trying to game the system. To test this theory out, check the box "I do not have any test scores", and check the box you are applying test-optional. What I saw is a significant drop in my chancing range across my college list. -10% or greater.
The 2nd factor that is a controversial one is that in this cycle many of the top colleges went out of their way to accept as many BIPOC low-income students as possible because they were the most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those students were in bad school districts where grading stopped completely, technology failed and all opportunities to build significant ECs. For instance, at Princeton, 68% of their admitted class identifies as a person of color. So if you are a CIS White upper-middle private school applicant, you are going to have to be a Top 10% applicant not just a Top Quartile applicant to stand a chance of getting into Princeton right now. Is it fair? Most elite colleges feel that it is their duty to give a hand up versus taking away the ladder. To test out this theory, just check off the box either Black only, or Hispanic only, or Indigenous only, and also that you are part of a marginalized group. When I did that my changing rang went up +10% points. When I checked the box, I will not be applying for financial aid, my chances went down as well about +5%.
For those of you who have had all the requisite attributes for a successful college application, you will not see any significant variance in the chancing range. So if you were 30% to 44% at Harvard maybe it's the same or better at 35% to 45%.
While this may disappoint a lot of CV members, I think it's a great thing to be able to provide the most accurate guesstimate of what your real chances are versus a blind guess.
Hang in there.
I think this is the time where we come to realize that our chances aren't as good as we thought they were
I think it is updating based on last year's admissions. Due to test-optional, it has been harder for students to get into higher-level colleges because there are more applicants.
Hey, I had the same issue too. Starting to wonder if theyre updating it based on this past year’s admissions with covid and everything.
Many, many colleges have admitted significantly less applicants this year because of COVID. Top schools are getting a lot more applicants, so they have to be a lot more selective. College Vine is probably using new statistics from this year as most colleges have finalized their freshman roster for Fall 2021.
I hope this helps!
Another thing I would like to note is that when it updated some of my less important info erased like class rank. I still haven't looked through it all so I don't know if I need to add anything else again.
Hey, yeah. They updated the chancing engine. I too had that change!
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