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Are the Collegevine chancing results skewed in any way?


So I checked my chances for Pomona (9% acceptance rate) and it shows up as a 76-84% chance. Should I trust such a result? Is the data on the chancing calculator skewed by a particular anomaly for that college?

I also have similarly "inflated" looking chances, I think it's just because it's not looking at you, it's looking at what percent of students LIKE YOU have gotten in in the past?
AllyG is correct and I have gone into more detail on why that is the case and how you can verify the basic methodology yourself by looking at various scatterplots of colleges you are interested in applying to below.

3 answers

answered on[edited]
Accepted answer

I'm at 80-84% for Pomona too. The best way to explain how they get at these numbers is to look at a scatter plot of the Pomona which is provided on other websites like Niche. The X-axis is the GPA 0-4.0 and Y-axis is the SAT/ACT say 1000-1600, 20-36. Assume that CV has the same kind of scatter plot for all its colleges and thousands of data points for each college from students who were accepted, denied, or waitlisted. So for Pomona, the scatterplot will look denser with Green Acceptances as the GPA/SAT/ACT goes toward the upper left corner correct? And there will be a splattering of Red rejections in most of the other quadrants. Redder as you move to the lower right corner correct? That just means that if you have a 3.0/1100 for instance, you have very little chance of getting in compared to other applicants in your quadrant. For Pomona, the 9% is if you add up all the Green versus the Red on the entire scatterplot. But if you just look at the quadrant were applicants have close to a 3.9-4.0 unweighted and 1500-1600 SAT or 34-36 ACT, there will be like 75-80% green versus red symbols. Does that start to make sense to you? The reason why harder schools like MIT/Caltech have lower CV ranges is that there are many applicants that get rejected with perfect 4.0 and 1600/36 test scores. So CV has figured out that even if MIT/Caltech has published acceptance rates not dissimilar to Pomona, they have a higher caliber of applicants in general, and of those applicants say 85% get rejected even if they have perfect test scores. I'm certain CV uses other criteria in the chancing algorithm like SAT IIs, APs, ECs, etc so that makes the result more believable than just the GPA and SAT/ACT. I hope that helps explain why you would not have a 9% chance to get into Pomona but a much higher one. On niche, I have like a 56% chance at Pomona because they only use GPA and SAT/or ACT. On CV, it's higher like yours because they use all the other criteria as well.

answered on

I've seen several questions related to the chancing on this site recently, all questioning whether the chancing results were overly favorable, and some indicating that their percentage changes recently increased, despite nothing on their profile having changed. This happened also with my son's chancing results, where he had a handful of schools that were reaches, and those same schools are now targets, even though his profile has not changed in that same time period. I think that the chancing calculator has recently been changed, which is resulting in some more favorable percentages, perhaps due to some new underlying assumptions about the effect that Covid will have on admissions. I can't guess as to whether the newer, more favorable chancing results are accurate, unfortunately.

answered on[edited]

So I’ve answered a bunch of chancing related questions and the important thing to note is CV is an algorithm and uses data so it can’t weigh essays LoR. Also you may not “hit it off with your AO” if your AO is in a grouchy mood s/he can decide to just deny you becuase s/he liked another applicant better becuase of insert random reason. The algorithm is in my opinion is slightly over inflated at top schools but not HYPSM caliber schools. As a rule of thumb if a school has sub 25% admit rate it is always a below 60% chance at the high end.

But for other schools an algorithm is not a human so it is flawed but with that said compared to every other chancing tool CV is the best hands down.

Hope this helps and comment if you need clarification.

@adri is referring to Pomona College (9%) in not Cal State Pomona (55%) acceptance rate. The Pomona eligibility index is for Cal State Pomona.
Whoops I’ll go edit that.