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New Facebook App (Sort of) Tells College Applicants What Their Chances Are

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This past week I came across a new Facebook App, AdmissionSplash, which seemed to get some people really excited.  By entering in standard data such as GPA and SAT/ACT score, the app would let one know their chances of getting into their targeted schools.  One could also enter in additional information such as race, religion, and extra-curricular activities to increase the accuracy of the prediction.

I toyed around with the application using various profile to see if it passed the common sense test.  Overall, it did.  Running from non-selective state schools all the way up to Harvard, the app can provide a decent screen for those who don’t have appropriate guidance.  I see this application being valuable to students in public schools who may have been led to believe that they are well positioned to gain admittance into a selective college, when the fact of the matter is that they stand little to no chance of getting in.  If this app can save thousands of students from spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in failed college applications, then I suppose it would be worth promoting.

I also appreciated that they adjusted the prediction based on race, but I found that on this measure they came up far short of accurate – they simply did not weight this category enough.  I will cover this topic n more detail in the future.

Besides race, which the app fails to properly account for, there are several reasons this app should not be trusted on an individual basis.  First, this app does not even take into account some of the greatest drivers of college admissions – legacies, faculty kids, development cases and athletics (in addition to race, both positive and negative).  Second, this app does not take into account special circumstances that the child has endured, which can swing a questionable applicant’s package to an offer of admissions.  Third, this app does not account for essays or recommendations, which can swing a strong prospective applicant’s package to a rejection.   Finally, this app does not account for advanced skills or accomplishments of the student, which can make all the difference in an application.

Fortunately for most of the readers of this blog, homeschooled children stand a far better chance of getting into even the most selective colleges than this app would lead you to believe.  I will share advice on how to increase those chances in future posts.

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1 Response to " New Facebook App (Sort of) Tells College Applicants What Their Chances Are "

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