New Facebook App Tells College Applicants If They’ll Get In

Hoping to take some of the mystery and anxiety out of college admissions, AdmissionSplash, a new Facebook app might be the dose of reality college applicants need. The app basically rates your chances of being accepted into a particular school.

While the actual decision is of course made by real admissions counselors who can look beyond numbers and rankings, this app lets really just lets you know if you’d be a good fit for the school.

Why It Exists

Harvard and other schools are seeing a record number of applicants. Many of us want to attend an Ivy League school but is it the right place for us? Thanks to Admissions Splash, you can at least find out if you stand a chance of getting accepted. Why bother paying the $75+ application fee for a school you know is beyond a reach?

This app is basically the same thing as thumbing through a college guide and seeing if your test scores fall in line with those of a particular school. But since it’s on Facebook, it’s a bit sexier than that.

How It Works

The app asks students for their basic information: test scores, address, and other factors that affect admissions, like whether they volunteer or play sports. It then uses an algorithm to give users a desirability rating as well as the likelihood, ranging from “very poor” to “very good,” of getting into the schools. Admission Splash currently runs customized equations for about 1,500 schools that it developed using the admission data they release.

More Than Numbers & Rankings

Admissions offices often paint a picture of case-by-case application analysis that can’t be narrowed down to an equation. “Although high school grade point average and standardized test scores are important indicators of academic achievement used in UCLA’s admissions review, they only tell part of the story,” advertises UCLA’s prospective student website, for instance.

But AdmissionSplash’s equation, which definitely doesn’t take essays into account, has been pretty accurate in tests that use publicly available admissions profiles. In the case of UCLA, approximately 85% of students the app said would get admitted actually did.

The sample sizes of these tests are fairly small (88 people for the UCLA test), so I wouldn’t suggest posting AdmissionSplash results on one’s Facebook page before getting an acceptance letter. Using the tool as a way to compare schools’ competitiveness or to share a list of prospective schools with friends, on the other hand, seems like a win.

Whether it’s accurate or not, do you think Admission Splash is a useful tool? Would you have used it 20 years ago if it existed? Should students pick schools based on where they have the best chance of getting in or should they instead choose based on other criteria? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter, the Facebook page, or anywhere!

2 Comments

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  2. Matt Messinger

    February 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    As a former college counselor, I can speak to the anxieties parents and students have around college. And rightfully so. Like anything associated with the application process, I'd encourage students and parents (if they were asking me) to approach this resource and others with thoughtfulness. Yes, it provides some data, but it is not perfect data and shouldn't alone define a decision. Given the cost of college — and applying to college — it does seem this tool can help students and parents budget their resources appropriately.