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09/04/2019

How is selectivity assessed by US News?

QUESTION
How is selectivity assessed by US News?
Hello! Today I was surprised to discover US News does not consider Wake Forest to be as selective as certain other universities such as UNC Chapel Hill and NYU etc., for the site claimed that Wake is “more selective” while these other schools are claimed to be “most selective.” I was always told that this particular university is quite selective, and while searching the admissions statistics and reading about the long essays and other components of the Wake application, I was confused as to why US News made this assessment of Wake’s admissions policy. I have heard of many students who were rejected to Wake yet accepted to schools such as UNC etc. and am confused as to how US news assessment reflects this. Thanks to anyone who can help me out and explain how these policies are evaluated. 😀

ANSWER
It’s based on the following:

– acceptance rate: number of students who apply, number admitted, number who accept and number who attend (yield)
– class percentile ranking: number of admitted students who were in the top 10% of their high school class, and in the top 20%
– standardized test scores: average SAT scores (CR and math) and ACT scores for students admitted

So to compare Wake Forest to NYU, for example, you’d look at the two schools’ SAT scores, the percentile rank of the students admitted, and the school’s acceptance rate. So for NYU:

SAT Critical Reading: 620-710
SAT Math: 630-740
Admit percentage: 35%

And for Wake Forest:

SAT CR: 620-700
SAT Math: 630-710
Admit percentage: 34%

NYU averages higher SAT scores. WFU has a slightly lower admit percentage. Then you’d need to compare the class ranking of incoming students… And you’d do the same thing for UNC Chapel Hill. That’d give you some idea for US News…

But US News is not the only ranking source out there. How does Princeton Review rank their selectivity? The College Board? Etc…? Because the College Board considers them both “most selective”. So who do you listen to?

Seriously, though. I wouldn’t get too obsessed about stuff like this.