Seat grants vs choice ranking

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    • #11644 Reply

      Hey fellow parents!

      My question is about how ranking affects offers. In the question, I’ll refer to two SE programs — a more competitive program ‘A’ and a less competitive program ‘B’.

      I’ve always heard that if a student was interested in two competing programs, they would want to select the most competitive ahead of the less competitive. This makes sense to me. If the student scored high enough to get into ‘A’, having that program listed first would grant a seat there. However, if ‘B’ were listed first, the system would grant the student a seat in ‘B’ and stop considering choices even though the student scored high enough to make it into ‘A’.

      My question is about possible risks of missing out on a seat in ‘B’ because they had put ‘A’ as their first choice. Can you tell me if this scenario is possible? Our student lists their choices as #1-A, #2-b. However, they didn’t score high enough to make it into A. At the same time, there were many other kids who put ‘B’ as their first choice. The system looks at these ‘rank B first’ kids and assigns them seats in B and that program fills up. So, our student misses out for a seat in B even though they scored higher than some of the ‘rank B first’ kids. The take-away here would be that it’s unwise to list more competitive programs first because you might miss out on a less competitive program to students who might have scored lower, but listed it first. To ask it another way, will a program seat ever be offered to a student who scored fewer points than a student who scored more points but listed the program lower on their list?

      Does that make sense? Is it possible or do I have that wrong?


    • #11645 Reply

      Before any offers are made, all students who tested are ranked first. Those who are higher in rank are made offers before lower ranked students. So, if a higher ranked student did not score high enough for program “A”, they will be considered for their 2nd, 3rd, and so on choices and will be made offers before the computer moves on to the lower ranked students. So, no, you are not risking program “B” by putting program “A” as your first choice.


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