Rachel B. Rubin, a doctoral candidate in education at Harvard University, recently surveyed over 60 of the most selective colleges in the U.S. She found that, individually, elite schools are actually very consistent in their admissions practices; it’s only when you look at them at a group that their decisions appear to be random.
The problem might be that they all say they want the same things—they all cite the same criteria, and in roughly the same order. In reality, there appear to be substantial differences in the methods elite schools use for choosing their students. While some use academics (i.e., transcripts and test scores) to make their initial cut, others initially look at fit (i.e., essay, recommendations, and personal qualities).
Click here to get more info on Inside Higher Ed.