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Why great ECs (International/National) signal rejection now?

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So....I have been browsing this year's admission discussion thread on Chinese Quora. 

The strange thing is that I found this year, great ECs actually signal rejection. One girl had perfect IB grades (7.0/7.0) every year and had been an active participant in many organisations. Besides this, she is a writer that had her work published (with thousands hundreds views on social media) and a photographer earning a great deal. She got a straight rejection from one of the Ivies. Another guy, had several national/international awards, features, programs and a 40/42 predicted, also got a rejection from a top 5 school. On CC, a guy with a post published on Huffington post also got a straight rejection from an Ivy. However, those with ECs that are not as strong as them and scores similar to them were admitted from those schools. What does this mean?

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6 hours ago, Aquilina said:

So....I have been browsing this year's admission discussion thread on Chinese Quora. 

The strange thing is that I found this year, great ECs actually signal rejection. One girl had perfect IB grades (7.0/7.0) every year and had been an active participant in many organisations. Besides this, she is a writer that had her work published (with thousands hundreds views on social media) and a photographer earning a great deal. She got a straight rejection from one of the Ivies. Another guy, had several national/international awards, features, programs and a 40/42 predicted, also got a rejection from a top 5 school. On CC, a guy with a post published on Huffington post also got a straight rejection from an Ivy. However, those with ECs that are not as strong as them and scores similar to them were admitted from those schools. What does this mean?

People with great ECs are a dime a dozen, therefore as 90%~ of applicants tend to be rejected, naturally most people with "great ECs" also get rejected.

Anyways internationals just don't fare as well as nationals in the competition. You also need to factor in just from what schools those students applied from e.g. typical feeder schools like UWCs/Eton/Raffles etc. or ones that have never seen a kid go to an Ivy. And even from the most prestigious high schools, those universities can only accept so many of them – after all they need ~90% of their student body to come from America. 

Besides, without seeing the full extents of their application, it's really hard to tell – even with so many credentials, just maybe they didn't get as good a recommendation, or didn't write the best essay? And also, you'll always have to take things you hear from online forums with a grain of salt. Sure, they're probably true, or maybe they're not. 

That said, I can understand where you're coming from. I know people who have gotten into Ivies with much fewer credentials than those that got rejected – hell I knew a guy with sub 1300 SAT get into Yale, and rumor had it was because he's first generation college. I know the best ever student from my school with a perfect GPA and the most amazing ECs e.g. international award recipient, met with the President, interviewed on TV, founder of a non-profit organization etc. get rejected to her top schools. But then from another school, a barely A- student with few activities gets into Harvard. 

So what's the morale of the story? I honestly don't know, and it's not a priority for me to find out. People have been trying to crack Ivy League admission secrets for decades now and there's still no definitive conclusion. 

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