Misleading admission stats for public schools

September 20, 2006 at 6:47 am 3 comments

Posted by Dee

I never realized until after speaking with a friend today how misleading the admission statistics for the top public universities can be!

When you’re applying for some of the better state schools in the US, realize that their admission rates may seem high compared to private schools, but in actuality, for an “out-of-stater,” the admission rates are nearly the same, if not lower.

For example, UC Berkeley’s overall acceptance rate is 23.4%, which, as compared with Harvard’s 9.3%, is pretty high. But, if a non-Californian applied, they’d be looking at a 20.2% admit rate out of the 4,446 out-of-state applicants, which is lower than even the acceptance rates at top schools like Cornell or Duke. For international students, competition into state schools is even worse! At UC Berkeley last year only 11% of international applicants were selected.


Entry filed under: Admissions, California, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Public schools, Statistics, UC Berkeley.

Too much news; back to some wise words Money, money, money… for college

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kramtark  |  September 23, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    Don’t private schools, in general, also have lower admissions rates for out-of-staters?

  • 2. Dee  |  September 24, 2006 at 1:17 am

    I looked into the admissions rates a little closer, and, honestly and unfortunately, I couldn’t actually find any statistics that showed that acceptance rates were lower for out-of-staters at private schools.

    However, what I could find for private schools is the percentage of their incoming class from various geographic regions. For Duke’s Class of 2010 for example, 14% of students are from North Carolina, most amount from any one state.

    BUT, don’t take this at face value — just because at private schools there may be a trend that a high percentage of students from in-state attend, there are many lurking variables (like maybe plenty of non-North Carolinians were accepted to Duke, but they decided to go elsewhere, or maybe more in-state students applied in the first place so they constitute a larger portion of the class), and one cannot assume that this means they actually accept more in-state students!

    In general, I think a lot of private schools actually try to up the number of out-of-state students. (Stanford for example was committed to increased geo-diversity last year.) And even if private schools are accepting more in-state students, which, again, I’m not sure is completely accurate, the difference is nowhere near that of public institutions.

  • 3. Edie Steinhoff  |  November 16, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    I’m having trouble locating statistics about student admission by state to different universities. Does anyone have any websites where this information can be found?


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