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Stanford language proficiency breakdown.

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Stanford language proficiency breakdown. [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2006, 16:52
Not sure where to post these admissions statistic tidbits that I run across so I'll continue to post them here in this form. The following is from an as yet unconfirmed source and lists the language proficiencies of the class of 2007 at Stanford:

Arabic ...(4)
Bengali ...(1)
Bulgarian ...(1)
Chinese - Cantonese ...(8)
Chinese - Mandarin ...(27)
Czech ...(2)
Dutch ...(2)
Farsi ...(1)
Finnish ...(1)
French ...(66)
German ...(17)
Greek ...(2)
Hebrew ...(1)
Hindi ...(6)
Italian ...(9)
Japanese ...(9)
Korean ...(7)
Malay-Indonesian ...(1)
Polish ...(1)
Portuguese ...(22)
Russian ...(6)
Serbian ...(1)
Spanish ...(95)
Swedish ...(1)
Thai ...(2)
Turkish ...(1)
Urdu ...(1)

No surprise that Spanish, French and German are well represented because these are the typical choices available to most US high school students. And I believe that most college-prep high school curriculums require learning a second language.

The other numbers probably give some indication as to the breakdown of the international and ethnic demographics represented. Sure, I once met a guy from Germany that was proficient in Chinese, but you get the picture.

Going by pure guesswork based on volume of posts in forms like this, and from admissions consultant reactions, Stanford probably gets 3-500+ qualified applications from ethnic Indians and Chinese (both from the US and those in India & China/Taiwan). Tough nut to crack indeed.

Again, these numbers have not been confirmed, but they were posted in a reliable blog. Also, as we know, Stanford is super-tough (maybe the toughest); but it's numbers like these that truly bring the enormity of the task into perspective. Seriously, Finland and Sweden are technologically modern countries, yet the languages are represented by only 1 student each, including those that might actually have applied from within the US?
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Awesome Due Dilligence [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2006, 02:27
Where are you getting all these stats from ?? To know that < 10 Indians are admitted to Stanford GSB in a given year and about 100-120 of them have GMAT scores >= 760 (Estimated based on number of total GMAT test takers from India in 2004 = ~10K, take 1%) is very useful in putting things in to perspective. Most probably a majority of them are applying to HBS/S/W all the top schools and many will have engg degrees from IITs (ultra selective schools) with high GPAs, work experience with tech giants like Google, MS, Intel etc.

Do you have more such stats on Wharton/Sloan/Kellogs etc?
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2006, 08:26
I just called Stanford yesterday, and as always I have a question about 'quota' and/or 'under-represented minority preference' They denied again.

So if 100-200 Indians are very qualified out of 600 Indian applicants to top 5, of which let's say 50 are super eliate candidates in terms of the 'total package', why not admit all 50?

Why are hey bent on saying that they take only the best applications.
If < 10 Indians are admitted, it surely means that they (admissions committee) are nothing but a bunch of liars and racists.

The language thing does give quite an indication though.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2006, 09:04
Hindustan,

You're going overboard saying they're "racists", just because they don't select from a ultra-competitive pool so they can ensure diversity does not mean they're racist (I'm Indian, so there's no bias here).

When you look at the best business schools, part of the value is really in bringing in diverse set of people and giving them a chance to learn from each other. If everything was brought down to a couple of metrics, imagine the class! All the Americans would be from MIT, Stanford, Princeton (undergrads) and all Indians would be IITans with techie background - it would be boring and miserable because most would be similar.

It is a challenge, but look at it from a different perspective. If you were adcom, had one candidate who had a decent GPA, great recos, average GMAT but a really unique profile (e.g. police captains or national geographic documentary shooter etc) and then 3 other IIT/REC whatever with very similar profiles - who would you get in so you have some diversity?

I agree that all these adcoms aren't straight forward in saying that "yes, we do ensure diversity by not selecting some ultra-bright Indians/chinese/white" but that doesn't make them racist. It's a hard situation to be in - where statistics stare and tell you otherwise, but adcoms deny it. Sort of like diplomacy where both countries know they're lying but go ahead just the same.


Hindustan wrote:
Why are hey bent on saying that they take only the best applications.
If < 10 Indians are admitted, it surely means that they (admissions committee) are nothing but a bunch of liars and racists.

The language thing does give quite an indication though.

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 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2006, 09:06
Hindustan wrote:
I just called Stanford yesterday, and as always I have a question about 'quota' and/or 'under-represented minority preference' They denied again.

So if 100-200 Indians are very qualified out of 600 Indian applicants to top 5, of which let's say 50 are super eliate candidates in terms of the 'total package', why not admit all 50?

Why are hey bent on saying that they take only the best applications.
If < 10 Indians are admitted, it surely means that they (admissions committee) are nothing but a bunch of liars and racists.

The language thing does give quite an indication though.


I don't think schools have a quota per say, but they do like to bring in a diverse class, and in that case who has the "best applications" is highly subjective. You could also say that IB or MC kids get discriminated against because hundreds apply with work experience from top firms and high GPAs from elite undergrads and high GMAT scores and plenty of them get rejected. So while there are many applicants in any certain group that may be superelite based on one set of criteria, they are certainly not superelite in every single element...a handful maybe, but not 50. If you put in 50 people of the same nationality with the same type of work background and life experiences in a classroom you are going to have a very boring discussion. The first guy will say something and the rest of the 49 will just agree. Then try putting 50 people from every walk of life imaginable in that same classroom and the discussion will be much richer.

Also, that language list provides very limited data. It would not tell you how many second generation Indians are coming from the US or other places, so clearly it is not a measure of "racism".
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2006, 09:30
The numbers are from a blog in the BW forums. The original source is the Stanford website for recruiters. As I mentioned above, it is unconfirmed but I believe the source is legitimate.

Now, regarding the your comment that there might be 50 super-elite Indian candidates (or Chinese candidates) - no doubt I totally agree with you. That's why I have pointed out time and again that people in these over-represented groups who believe that they have legitimate shots of admission with 650 or 690 or even 710 GMAT scores are just dreaming. There are dozens and dozens of applicants with 760+ scores with interchangeable background and it will be more or less to distinguish yourself simply through "writting better essays" or whatever. The average GMAT at Stanford is 720, and the average GMAT for those from these highly competitive demographics is probably 750+ ... yes that's right, the average.

I have also pointed out elsewhere that quotas are against the law in the US. Calling up a school and asking whether they use a quota is a waste of time. The Bakke supreme court decision specifically states that quotas are illegal. However, the same decision says that race may be used as a factor in admissions. Highly divisive decision that has been around for a lot of years. If the sujbect interests you, you can find 50 books about it.

Regarding the comment that they are racist? No. I honestly believe their stated policy that they want diversity. When you say there might be 50 qualified candidates, that's not really true. They want a class that reflects different views and opinions, and having 50 Indian/IT/Engineers has aboslutely no appeal to them. They want a diverse class so, regardless of what adcoms tell you to your face, you are in fact competing with the others that have the same demographics as you. If they happen to have higher GPA & GMAT, better undergraduate school, better work experience and better extracurriculars, then it's going to be d@amn near impossible to beat them. It's nothing to whine about, it's just the way it is. Chinese and Korean undergrad hopefuls have been fighting the same uphill battle at places like Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley for years. Average GPAs and SAT scores for Chinese and Korean undergrad applicants obbliterate all other demographics, including the rich white folks, yet they are admitted in much smaller numbers.

About 8-10 years ago (as I recall off the top of my head) race was removed as a factor in UC admissions (including Berkeley and UCLA). The demographics changed from about 30% asian to well over 50% asian, even though the applicant pool was only about 20% asian. It only lasted a year and they quickly adjusted their policy, but by merit and scores along, tons and tons of asians are turned away from the best colleges each year so other may be admitted.

Necromonger and ap663 are exactly right. Becuase they want a diverse class you must distinguish yourself from those with the same basic demographic. The simple fact is that there are just loads of people with the exact same Indian/It/Engineering/Male background and, just remembering that these are business schools (not engineering or CS) should make it clear that they will not skew their student body with a single group.

I did also note, while browsing the Stanford recruiting website that 52% of the Class of '06 and 47% of the Class of '07 had Humanities/Social Sciences backgrounds. That makes me pretty excited with my English & law degrees.

Anyhow, the numbers weren't meant to inflame anyone. I hate it when people rant and rave about statistics. There's no use arguing about them, that's just the way they are. As mlohani and Hindustan pointed out, they serve mainly to put things into perspective. Of course, Stanford is probably the most selective of all the schools, so things will be different at other places. But you can look at the statistics at any school and assume that there is an extremely high correlation between lower than average GMAT scores and with diversity admits. A very large potion of those admitted with below average GMAT scores are admitted because of diversity factors. At many business schools, being a woman is such a factor (a duke adcom said it was a very favorable factor). On the flip side of the coin, nearly all of those from over-represented demographics must score higher than the average GMAT. That's just the way it is.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2006, 10:16
Pelihu,
Do the language proficiences you mentioned above represent first language? Or is it based on how many languages one speaks. I assume it is the latter. This would make more sense if we add up the numbers in your list and it probably represents about 2-3 languages per candidate.
  [#permalink] 19 Oct 2006, 10:16
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Stanford language proficiency breakdown.

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