Some universities seriously skew acceptance rates, Georgetown only does it a little bit

Let us take quiet moment to reflect on the dark days of the Common App that essentially summed up the dismal, disheartening experience of the college admissions process. Do you remember looking at various schools’ minuscule acceptance rates and having the simultaneous desire to both cry hysterically and jump out a window? Well, fear not, my friends.

Unsurprisingly, some of the nation’s most “prestigious” universities have admitted to purposefully skewing their admissions data by including incomplete applications in the total calculation of their acceptance rates. At Washington and Lee University, approximately one in six of the nearly 1,100 applicants for the class of 2016 were never even finished. But hey, it’s all good, it isn’t like it caused a 5 percent drop in their acceptance rate or anything.

To be fair, Washington and Lee is in some impressive company—Vassar, Pomona, Bowdoin, and Haverford have all also admitted to incorporating a small number of incomplete applications into their admissions totals. As for dear old Georgetown, incomplete applications accounted for a mere 5% of the reported application total in 2012. Vox guesses we can let that one slide, considering the University doesn’t use the Common App (a move that would up the total number of applications each year).

It is no mystery that colleges and universities in the United States have become a tad bit obsessive in projecting the image that their institution is so exceptionally selective that no mere mortal has any viable chance of getting in. Can we agree that 5.79 percent is both a little pretentious and frightening? In addition to insanely low acceptance rates, exaggerating off-the-chart standardized test scores and unattainable class rank statistics (George Washington University, anyone?) are enough to scare any rational prospective high school student from applying.

While the appeal in having the most competitive, quantifiable admissions statistics is understandable, numbers and figures usually do not accurately encompass the holistic benefits a particular school provides for its student body. In Vox’s opinion, ‘cura personalis’ is a far catchier description of our university than our 2013 acceptance rate.

Then again, 16.6% ain’t too shabby.

Photo: Kirill Makarenko/Georgetown Voice

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