Insider Tips

Dissecting New Admit Data

Post by Mimi Doe

It’s that time of year when regular admissions results are coming out. Most of our seniors  apply in the early round, so they knew of their results back in December. That said, some applied with non-binding Early Action or in the regular round and await results coming in daily.

Some schools this year are being fully transparent with their admit data. Note Johns Hopkins’ Class of 2020, for instance.

And Stanford.

Top colleges want to build diverse classes and they want to brag. Johns Hopkins says:

                Nationally and internationally recognized inventors and researchers, founders of businesses and socially conscious organizations, globally ranked athletes, and published authors and journalists are among the 2,539 students Johns Hopkins University has admitted to the Class of 2020. These students join the 559 future Blue Jays already admitted under the early decision plan.

                One student patented an electronically engineered tennis racquet. Another found a way to create an artificial leaf that’s better than a real one at photosynthesis. Another won a film festival award for a public service announcement on domestic violence.

Can you project into the future and write a sentence about yourself and what a school would brag about? 

Then there is class rank. Grades/rank and scores determine your range of schools.  You can see that schools report this stat.  Johns Hopkins noted this about the incoming freshman: Students in the top 10 percent of their high school class: 95 percent 

What’s your class rank this year? Is it on your transcript? Have you asked your guidance counselor? Rank is ultimately based on your GPA junior spring and how competitive your class is. Even if your school doesn’t officially rank, the school profile typically indicates a grade distribution that shows colleges where you are in your class. Request a copy from the guidance office so you can see what colleges see.


And, if you are an international applicant, note that most schools are fairly secretive about their quotas.  Johns Hopkins and Pomona, who have just released 2020 admit data, are transparent.

Pomona Class of 2020: 11% international students
Johns Hopkins Class of 2020: 8% international students

Is it more difficult to get into a U.S. college as an international applicant? Well…do the math. If Pomona had a 9% acceptance rate (see: and you are a non-U.S. citizen, then your odds are essentially 1%.  They took 3 kids from Hong Kong this year out of hundreds who applied.

Scores matter. We hate standardized tests as much as you do, but they help determine the range of schools to which you apply and past averages can be helpful information. Note the following about Pomona’s Class of 2020 SAT scores:

Class of 2020 at Pomona: Median SAT scores are 730 critical reading, 730 math and 740 writing.

And, that’s MEDIAN scores.  So, if more than 1/2 the class has a hook, see below, then your scores need to be even higher:

Domestic students of color make up the majority of the admitted class at 52.3 % this year at   Pomona.

We share this data not to be depressing, but to help you see that the key points in admissions are:

  • Grades/Rank
  • Standardized Test Scores
  • Going above and beyond to have a focused academic edge with awards or achievements to back that up

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