A Chinese-American girl got a score of 2400 in her SAT (the U.S. university entrance) exam, so she merely applied for three famous universities including Harvard University and Princeton University, confidently. Unexpectedly, both Harvard and Princeton rejected her application.
In fact, the top U.S. universities, such as Harvard and Princeton, reject the applicants with perfect SAT scores every year. However, different from previous years, the U.S. elite universities reduced their acceptance rates this year, so this year has been called the hardest admission year.
Statistics show that, among the 253,472 applications for the U.S. Ivy League, only 8.925% were admitted, which means that more than 90% of applicants were turned away.
The U.S. universities who hit their new low acceptance rates are extremely concentrated and basically integrated the top 50. These universities share the characteristics favored by Chinese students. First, for Chinese students, they choose universities according to the ranking and their options are concentrated on the top 100. Secondly, they mainly focus on comprehensive universities, as a result, the regional universities and the ones with outstanding liberal arts colleges have been unattended. The last character is that Chinese students merely choose popular majors.
Interestingly, Chinese students who live in the United States share the same characters with Chinese students who want to apply for American universities. Under the circumstance that the U.S. universities have stable enrollments, if Chinese students both in China and America focus their application on certain American universities, the admission rates will hit record lows again inevitably.
The reason the admission rates of American universities cause widespread concern is because a large number of applicants who get high scores on SAT were rejected. In the eyes of many Chinese students and their parents, the role of SAT score is further magnified. Although SAT is called “American college entrance examination”, SAT score is just a necessary requirement to apply for American Universities. Actually, neither the U.S. Ivy League nor other top 50 U.S. universities have clear score requirements on SAT. As for the reason why Chinese students are keen to get high scores on SAT, another important reason is some training institutions mislead applicants’ understanding except for the traditional concept of the college entrance examination.
It is undeniable that for Chinese applicants, American universities value the influence of TOEFL and SAT scores. The widespread phenomenon that Chinese students excessively embellish their application materials makes American universities have troubles when choosing outstanding students from a number of similar applications. Therefore, TOEFL, SAT and other standardized scores dominate a large proportion in the admission process of oversea Chinese students. The admission officers’ concern of the scores of standardized test in turn results in the prevalent trend that Chinese students take a given exam for several times to pursue a high score, while to balance the effect, American universities adjust the scores of these standardized examinations as well as the admission policies.
Actually, American universities are gradually adjusting their admission standards for Chinese students to the “American Standard”. As we all know, except for GPA (grade point average), TOEFL and SAT scores, students also need to provide the extracurricular activities they have participated in and among the admissions requirements, the proportion of extra-curricular activities accounts for over 50% and the one who was admitted by famous American university due in part to his appetite for instant noodles was a typical case.
Earlier, the instant-noodle boy in Fujian province was admitted. The admission officer at University of Rochester explains that his admission partially results from his enthusiasm for Ramen noodles. In fact, the admission officer really regards as important his independent idea, which is the quality the leading American universities are needed.
In spite of the so-called hardest admission season, more and more mediocre Chinese applicants were surprisingly admitted by the U.S. elite universities. This precisely reflects American universities’ admission policy change on Chinese students. American universities, especially the famous ones, do not have fixed admission standards. For Chinese students who want to stand out from the “hardest admission season” or the more difficult ones afterwards, they need to remember the fundamental principle is to become a distinctive but real person.