Weird acceptance/rejection patterns

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Weird acceptance/rejection patterns

Post by InquilineKea » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:34 pm

So my mom often browses through the grad student admission forums for undergrads at the Chinese universities (e.g. that of her alma mater USTC), and she sometimes notes that some students have really weird acceptance/rejection patterns (one was rejected by all 15 but harvard; another was rejected by all but MIT). Of course, these patterns are usually the exception rather than the norm. But I'm wondering - has this ever happened in the case of domestic applications too? (perhaps in the case of highly unusual applications where one really stands out in one area, and has major weaknesses in another area?) Graduate admissions is A LOT more random than undergrad admissions, so I can see it as more likely to happen than undergrad admissions.

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Re: Weird acceptance/rejection patterns

Post by grae313 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:07 pm

I bet this is a lot more likely with international applicants simply because there are probably more highly qualified international applicants than there are available spots. For example, if an international applicant applies to the top 10 schools and has an excellent application, but each school has ten times as many similarly qualified international applicants as they have spots for, then I could see something like that happening.

For domestic applicants I would find that much more surprising. If you're Harvard or MIT caliber, you're probably getting into a few more good schools as well. But anything can happen, really.

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