“‘But they did everything’ They took all the hardest classes, aced the tests, spent summers in interesting ways, contributed to meaningful service programs, wrote amazing essays by themselves, and even got the teacher who is generally unimpressed to write a passionate letter. What more, you ask, could they have done? The answer here is nothing.”
Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D
I write this after the most selective schools in the country have released their decisions and left so many people scratching their heads. Most of these schools have a single digit acceptance rate and Harvard announced that their 2023 admit rate was 3.71%. If I told you that there was a 90%+ chance of a tree falling on your driveway tonight and crushing your car, you would move the car. But human nature has a level of optimism and that leads to people focusing on the chance of admission-there is a 3-9% chance of getting in. And every year, when the Ivy schools and schools of their ilk release their decisions, I hear about people that are shocked. Patrick O’Connor is counselor and a sage voice in the college admissions world. He explained this better than I ever will be able to so I am going to share his post, “College Admission and the Best in Class“.
If you got the answer you wanted, congratulations! And if you didn’t, I hope Patrick O’Connors piece helps you understand why it is so hard to earn acceptance to an ultra-selective school.