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Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply??

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Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2011, 13:26
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I know of someone who has a horrible GPA, GMAT and little work experience and was encouraged to apply to Schulich. He called the school, basically told them how bad his file is and they still encouraged him to apply. Can someone explain this lol?
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2011, 14:36
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Most apps are 200-250... and depending school, they receive thousands of applications. I'll use CBS for example since that's where I'm matriculating. 6,500+ applications.. 250 a pop... $1,625,000 a year just in application fees. In order for the adcom to may a fair salary and travel around the globe to attact top talent... they need to be pulling in good funds, no? With CBS adcom traveling so often, and boarding a staff relatively large (there's more than a handful on the directory), it's not free :)
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2011, 14:51
Speedreader wrote:
I know of someone who has a horrible GPA, GMAT and little work experience and was encouraged to apply to Schulich. He called the school, basically told them how bad his file is and they still encouraged him to apply. Can someone explain this lol?


Because they appear more selective the more students apply (they have a limited number of seats every year).
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2011, 12:24
I also think its the money.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2011, 13:04
Money definitely a reason.

Also, some rankings factor in selectivity; increase the applications denominator, keep the admits numerator steady => magically more selective.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2011, 16:19
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Money has noting to do with it, in the grand scheme of things it is cheap money for the school. Applications aren't a money making thing for the schools.

The real reason is to appear more selective. If 1,500 people apply to HBS and 1,000 are admitted, it doesnt look as good as accepting 8% to people who look at schools. Selectivity is factored into some rankings, and it gives students/alums the feeling of being one of the elite. In reality there are a small percentage of students who are a surefire admit to wherever they apply, then a lot that get into some schools they apply and not others. There is so much overlap at schools with top applicants, very few people every pull a clean sweep.

A few years ago we looked at applicants on here for top programs and found the vast majority got at least one admit to one of the top schools. In the end you never really know unless you try. That said best to be realistic. If you are borderline candidate for Duke you probably dont want to only apply to Stanford, HBS, and Wharton.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 12:51
I doubt money is even remotely a factor. HBS could ask for $2,000 an app and they'd still get plenty. I agree with river, this is a game of perceived selectivity and exclusivity.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 14:26
While I recognize your point I do disagree to an extent. If selectivity was the case then why not lower price to $200 like Cornell? Some schools have app fees that are sub-200 too. If you raise the fee, then you will get fewer applicants as people really question if it's worth applying if they have poor odds which then will increase your overall % admit and lower the "selectivity". While I believe it's a fine balance, to discredit the notion that money may be a factor I think is short-sighted. When you have a staff that has to get paid and thousands of applicants.. people want a paycheck and travel isn't free. Sure tuition covers a lot for the university... but the faculty isn't free, facilities aren't free, etc. So anyway you can cover more of your expenses makes sense to me.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 15:40
Totally agree. Hard to find a better ROI than sending out a mass email encouraging people to give you another application fee.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 19:04
Even though making money might not be a primary motive, I am sure schools welcome extra money. Someone pointed that Columbia made $1.6million just out of application fees. That's a substantial amount of money and I am sure it would cover a part of the travelling and lodging expenses.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2011, 20:57
gijoedude wrote:
Even though making money might not be a primary motive, I am sure schools welcome extra money. Someone pointed that Columbia made $1.6million just out of application fees. That's a substantial amount of money and I am sure it would cover a part of the travelling and lodging expenses.


Well you need to think that a school like Columbia has a substantial staff for admissions, some of whom are going to be better paid than you would probably think. Add in benefits, overhead, support staff, marketing materials, traveling to numerous areas for meetings, renting space for events. At best they make some money but there isnt going to be a 50% margin. If they want to add 500k to their bottomline they are better off adding a few more students than trying to get a few thousand more applicants.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply?? [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 04:52
Oh absolutely River I agree with you on that. It's not a "money making" scheme for the school. My statement isn't that they are trying to generate profit for the school... it's that they have all these people apply because it 1. increases selectivy % and 2. covers sizable costs of the admission expense. If a school knows they're going to admit only X number of students but still needs to maintain the cost of the admission process... the more apps... the more that is covered. I would expect that they probably break-even at best.. but knowing it's a sunk cost and the department is a necessity.. I think that is still a fine margin.
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Re: Why do schools encourage everyone and their mom to apply??   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2011, 04:52
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