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Scary US admission myths

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I just heared 2 myths from my friend about top colleges in the US:

1. Recommendations written by a US-citizen are automatically better than a recommendation from a non-US citizen. Idea being that colleges can phone up the english-speaking ''trusted american fellow'' (as my friend put it) and discuss the applicant

2. SAT I and SAT II scores mount up to 70% of your admission factors, with school grades, recommendations, extracurriculars, work experience, character, talent, alumni relations mounting 30% - if that's true, why do I bother going to school then?

3. Alumni relations are the second most important admission factors, beside SAT scores

I hope these myths are all a lot of ****. Can anyone verify this?

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1. Recommendations from well-known individuals in the international community will help. eg. prime minister of your country. However your 1st point is a myth.

2. will be true for state schools. but not true for private schools.

3. Alumni relations will give you an edge. but they are not second most important. IF you are as qualified as the top 10% of applicants to a uni, and u have alumni relations, then you are most likely in.

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Thanks Forester!

In an earlier thread someone (cannot remember who, but I think it was Forester) said that a average C student got into Harvard because his dad was playing golf regularly with the President and he got him to write a reccommendation. The student failed his first semester though and had to leave Harvard

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well yea, not many people know the president personally :angry:

I got close to taking a picture with the prime minister haha and that's just about useless.

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Are you serious? Prime Minister's recommendation could help?!

I live in Switzerland, but there are tons of foreign dignitaries around that could give me a rec. Do you think the ex-Prime Minister of Togo could work in my favour? :)

I believe the part about SATs seems to be true to a certain extent, although I do know of cases of people from very difficult backgrounds who got into top unis with really poor SAT results.

And yes, alumni relations seems to help... if not they wouldn't put all the legacy questions on the uni admission forms!

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Never did understand the hype of studying in the US, myself...and I wouldn't be surprised if all those "myths" were actually true.

they are not all ture. i can promise you that.

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You can get into Harvard without doing the SATs if you have an IB mark

That is unfortunately not true - I wish it were

From Harvard's website it explicitly states:

''Applicants must submit the results of the SAT I or ACT and three subject SAT IIs even if they submit the results of their school leaving exams (e.g.,GCE A levels, International Baccalaureate, etc.). The January administration is the final testing date for students applying to the Freshman Class.''

http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/...ests/index.html

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I just heared 2 myths from my friend about top colleges in the US:

1. Recommendations written by a US-citizen are automatically better than a recommendation from a non-US citizen. Idea being that colleges can phone up the english-speaking ''trusted american fellow'' (as my friend put it) and discuss the applicant

2. SAT I and SAT II scores mount up to 70% of your admission factors, with school grades, recommendations, extracurriculars, work experience, character, talent, alumni relations mounting 30% - if that's true, why do I bother going to school then?

3. Alumni relations are the second most important admission factors, beside SAT scores

I hope these myths are all a lot of ****. Can anyone verify this?

1. VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY TRUE!!!!!

2. This is true for large colleges (as in large population) but for smaller colleges, it NOT true at all

3. How did bush get into Yale??? :)

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That is unfortunately not true - I wish it were

From Harvard's website it explicitly states:

''Applicants must submit the results of the SAT I or ACT and three subject SAT IIs even if they submit the results of their school leaving exams (e.g.,GCE A levels, International Baccalaureate, etc.). The January administration is the final testing date for students applying to the Freshman Class.''

http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/...ests/index.html

Unfortunately thats just the "official" policy. As someone closely related (i.e. family) to a person who sits on the board of admissions at both Harvard College and HMS, I can guarantee you that there are a quite a few people who get in without taking the SAT (but they may have equivalent qualifications in another exam...)

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I just heared 2 myths from my friend about top colleges in the US:

1. Recommendations written by a US-citizen are automatically better than a recommendation from a non-US citizen. Idea being that colleges can phone up the english-speaking ''trusted american fellow'' (as my friend put it) and discuss the applicant

2. SAT I and SAT II scores mount up to 70% of your admission factors, with school grades, recommendations, extracurriculars, work experience, character, talent, alumni relations mounting 30% - if that's true, why do I bother going to school then?

3. Alumni relations are the second most important admission factors, beside SAT scores

I hope these myths are all a lot of ****. Can anyone verify this?

LORs are extremely important and so are your high school grades and SAT scores. However, SAT scores can take up more value if the adcom feels that there is excessive grade inflation in your HS grades (this they will know from your school's profile). Secondly, LORs from non-US citizens do not automatically carry less value (that would be quite racist actually...) Generally, most top tier US colleges and universities require a teacher evaluation form and not just a recommendation. On that form, there is usually place for the teacher to list his/her credentials (i.e. years of experience, degrees, universities attended, etc.) The teacher will then be asked to evaluate the student based on some criteria listed on the form and also provide a letter of recommendation. These letters are scored based on the adcom's impression of the teacher's credentials and the corresponding evaluation given by the teacher for the student.

Alumni relations or faculty/staff relations do play a role in admissions but are not the be all end all of the process.

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