Roslyn HS Ivy League admission rates soar

Roslyn HS Ivy League admission rates soar
The Roslyn High School class of 2019's average SAT and ACT scores were higher than those of the previous class. (Photo by Teri West)

Roslyn High School student acceptance rates equalled or exceeded the average for every Ivy League university this year, in some cases more than doubling the higher institution's rate, Roslyn High School Director of Guidance Greg Wasserman said. 

Roslyn acceptance rates at Cornell University, Princeton University and Harvard University were all more than double the universities' acceptance rates. 

Of Roslyn students who applied to Cornell University 29 percent were accepted this year, while the university's admission rate is only 10 percent. A solid 13 percent of Roslyn applicants made it into Harvard while only 5 percent of all applicants did, and 11 percent of Roslyn applicants were admitted to Princeton University, which only accepts 5 percent of those who apply.

Roslyn's acceptance rate at Columbia and Brown University were both 1 percent above the national rate and at Dartmouth University it was 6 percent higher.

Yale was the only Ivy League university where Roslyn’s acceptance rate did not exceed the university's — both were 6 percent. 

“These are remarkable, when you compare the general acceptance rate to the Roslyn acceptance rate for every one of these,” said Board of Education Vice President Clifford Saffron at last Thursday's meeting where Wasserman presented the data. 

These statistics come at a time when most of the Ivy League school acceptance rates are decreasing as the number of total applicants reach unprecedented highs, Wasserman said.

The University of Pennsylvania admitted 3,345 of 44,960 applicants to the class of 2023, a record low acceptance rate of about 7 percent according to its student news organization, The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Of Roslyn students who applied, 12 percent got in.

“We have some just really unique opportunities for our kids,” Wasserman said. “Our kids are doers. They’re getting involved and that is being respected.”

Roslyn seniors applied to an average of 8.6 schools this year. Out of a class of 263, 130 applied to Binghamton University and 99 were accepted, Wasserman said.

Both the school district’s average ACT and SAT scores increased this year. The average ACT score bumped from a 28 to a 28.6. 

Critical reading SAT scores went up by an average of six points and math increased by an average of 11, totaling 642 and 669 respectively. In 2015, they were 602 and 634.

The guidance center worked to strengthen Roslyn High School’s relationship with universities this year, hosting representatives from several schools, including Binghamton and Duke, and held a college major fair in December. 

In the coming school year, it plans to motivate every junior to fill out his and her common application, which many schools accept, before the end of the school year.

“Then we don’t have to worry about the mechanics in the fall,” Wasserman said. “If we’re talking about any essays they couldn't get to, great. Let them focus on being seniors.” 

Wasserman said he also plans to pilot a summer program for college application and essay support and to start speaking to middle schoolers to help them envision what careers they might be interested in.

In May, the College Board announced that it would provide an expanded number of colleges with a tool to view a student's SAT score in the context of their school and community. It takes into account information such as the number of students at the high school eligible for free and reduced lunch and the median family income in the neighborhood.

Since the Roslyn school district's average median home purchase value exceeded $1 million last year, Wasserman said he does not think students will see much of a change in admissions because of the tool.

“Our students' profiles are strong enough on their own merits for the students to be admitted,” he said.

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