Fall 2012 Admission Rejected Due to Lack of Personality

Raghuram Sukumar Admission 41 Comments

Personality and College Admission

Universities typically have track record for percentage of applicants admitted (Admission Selectivity).

Good Test scores doesn’t get you admission.

Your Application should express personality.

Top Universities have low selectivity.

Did you consider selectivity while selecting the universities?

For instance,  lets look at  Admission Selectivity for few universities

  • Harvard  University – 7.2%
  • Princeton University – 9%
  • Rice University – 21%
  • NYU – 38%
  • Virginia Tech – 67%
  • University of Wyoming – 95%

When you are applying for Graduate School as an International student, did you consider Admission Selectivity into account?

US Universities Strict About Admission

Here is a comment posted by Rahul Today.

Just for the information guys this is my personal experience and 3 of my friends experienced the same.

So I’m not sure of the conclusion i am making but

  • GRE – 319 (1330 1450 in old gre)
  • TOEFL –  105
  • BTech 71%
  • Decent LORS and SOPS.

Got rejects from 3 universities Purdue, UMASS, Amherst and PSU (it really hammered my confidence )

One of my friends got rejects from Syracuse with a similar looking profile.

So what I think is us universities has become a little strict in giving admission these days ..so chose your universities wisely.

Academic Profile vs Admission

There should be a march between Students profile and admission committee expectation from applicants profile.

Having Top GRE Scores, doesn’t guaranty your admission.

There could be 100’s of other applications with similar profile. That’s where your Statement of Purpose comes into play.

Remember – Applicants are not evaluated based on mere numbers like in India ( cutoff).

Lack of personality  + Application to Selective University  =  Likely Admission Rejection.

Have you expressed your personality through your application documents?

Bonus College Admission Tip –

Don’t copy your Statement of Purpose.

If you have started by searching in Google “Sample Statement of Purpose of Computer Science“, you already gave up an opportunity to express your unique personality.

Image Credit


  1. Thanx for the info bro!!
    Can i know whether if we get any edge if we are an technology based entrepreneur ?
    My ques might look absurd,but jus wanna know whether it matters for a seat in MS and not only for a MBA?

    1. It depends on the branch or discipline that you apply for.

      If you are going to app for a Hifi Technical Discipline, I gues you wont have an edge.
      But, if you apply for some Management kind of course you could have an edge

      1. Thanx yashie for the reply 🙂
        i am in dilemma about what to for,since i have interest in both the things technology & Management 🙁

  2. i did search for sample sops but i didnt copy it :O just took an idea anad wrote my own!!!! plzz dont scare me now when i think i m very close to it

  3. hii hsb this was my original comment …and i guess i dint copy any sop from google or for that matter from anywhere i took around 15 days to write it and got it edited from an expert but views were mine and i dont think it was too bad a sop ..But yes i agree to you on university selectivity rate where i made a mistake because i had this misconception that only top ranking universities (US News Rankings) will give me nice high paying jobs so that i would be able to get rid of the loan as quickly as possible but my friend told me that this is absolutely wrong because they have high paying jobs in lower rank universities like IIT Chicago and now i have applied to IIT Chicago Minnesota twin cities, Rutgers , NCSU and USC Few being high rank ..
    I wanted to share this with maximum readers so that others dont make the same mistake as I did and i dint find a better place to write than HSB .

  4. I can attest to that. Maybe that’s why higher education in India is in the rut that it’s in, everything is based on one damn entrance test and absolutely nothing else. No personality development, no soft skills testing or anything of the sort. All under the control of the useless (95% of the time) government, whereas Harvard, MIT etc have complete autonomy and that is the reason why Indians (and Chinese, for that matter) are willing to pay huge amounts to try getting in there.

    PS – HSB,, amazing picture, totally fits in with the article! 😛

    1. Is easy to talk about the quality of top schools. But, its value can only be realized when someone actually attends the program.

      I had several different photos of the same person to choose from. Others pictures were too revealing and sexy for this post. This one seem to convey the personality message.

    2. Hi,

      I agree with your post. IIT’s are no where comparable even with Community Colleges of US. After all, high schools in US are far better than IIT’s in India.

      IIT’s lack what we can find in just small community colleges.

      – Vignesh

      1. Hey Vignesh, I think u never got the taste of IIT & I’m sure u really couldn’t beat JEE or GATE

        IIT is not comparable with top most colleges of U.S in various aspects.

        By the way, it really absurd that US high schools are far better than IITs.

        You have immature high school mind , that’s why you r comparing high school with an Engineering Institute.

      2. Dude,

        IITs are Good. But not the Best in the world.
        Getting a seat in IIT is far more difficult than getting into a Community College in USA.
        And IITs have achieved more than normal Colleges in USA.

        If you compare IITs with Top notch univs in USA, I would agree that they fall behind.
        But comparing with a community college just shows that you are not capable of getting into an IIT..

        All the best..

        1. Yashie,

          Agree with everything you said except “And IITs have achieved more than normal Colleges in USA.” If that is true, how come the so-called normal colleges in America are still in the top 100-200, while any of the IIT’s is not even in the top 300? And don’t even get me started on the topic of quality of research output.

          1. @Riddle- Hey U r probably very mistaken about the rankings of IITs. Just google these standard rankings n see urself where IITs stand-
            1. QS world university ranking
            2. Times Higher Education ranking
            3. Shanghai rankings.
            Moreover, India currently is a developing countries so there is a little bit of brain-drain.However just know India is only 60+ years Indepedent n US is more than 200+. When India is also reaches that duration , it will also have sufficient infrastructure to offer to its people, its education system, IITs etc. Hope u understand what I mean.

            Good luck

          2. *aj88rai – It’s ironic that you are mentioning those rankings to prove your point, when they completely prove you wrong. I think you should look at the rankings once yourself and see where the IITs are.

            In QS, the first ranked Indian uni is IIT-Kanpur at 306 In the Times H.E rankings, first indian school is IIT-Bombay at 301-350.
            And not to mention by the time I saw the Indian unis on the list, I already passed over a HUGE number of “average” American colleges.

            So, with all due respect, I think YOU should do your homework next time.

          3. Hey Riddle,

            The point is, IITs are just technical institutes. But the universities in USA also support science and Arts. In that way may be they are in the top.
            But, in the field of Technology there is enough research going on in India too..

            Ya, I accept that there are some issues like reservation that are damaging the reputation of IITs.

            But, some Clemson university or some UT, dallas is anytime ranked lower than Top IITs and IISc. Sorry to name the universities. But you can always check the ranking chart for that matter.


      3. LOL @Vignesh 😛

        Don’t ever poke at your own country’s pride !I know you are not an iit alumni as well as never could dream about getting into IIT or never had a chance to enter or check out an IIT campus.Where all the world is waiting to grab the IIT graduates,you compare with community colleges in USA

  5. I got rejects from 4 universities for Fall 2012 for electrical engineering.But my application was approved for another program @Maryland.

    University of Pennsylvania
    Boston University
    University of Maryland

    I got 1270 ( Q=720,V=550) in GRE.
    108 in TOEFL
    71% in B.E

    1. What was the program they offered from UMD (U of Maryland). I got the same sort of reply from the university.

      They offered me Telecom and Management instead of Communication and Networking.

      1. Yes I think it’s the same as yours.Telecom.It’s some sort of cross disciplinary program between Engineering school and business school.Also it’s coursework based without any aid

  6. heyy…. How about UCF university of central florida.. college.. does this university also comes under selectives one.. as mentioned afore…. ??? HSB pls pls pls Please Please Please Please Please Please answer this ques. TIA.

  7. I wrote my own SoP without copying from any1… Maybe it helped, i don’t know… I got selected in Purdue, Stony Brook and UMass – Amherst… GRE 321/340 and TOEFL 109/120; Percentage = 81.8…

    Must say that I got rejected in few low ranked universities such as Maryland-College Park, U of Pittsburgh and in Minnesota – Twin cities… At the end of the day, no one really knows the secret ingredient behind US grad admissions…

    1. Curious to know what you applied for MS/ PhD and in which field.
      Judging from your statement of low ranked Univs I assume it is NOT biology!

  8. Hi all,
    I think I am sailing in the same boat as everybody else is.
    I have applied for PhD in Human Genetics.
    Masters-9/10 cgpa
    Publication-National and International

    Got rejected from MIT, Vanderbilt University.
    Other universities have not contacted me yet. I am stuck up. Until when shall I wait to hear from them?? Is it true that not all univs send you rejection emails?

    1. Email the Universities stating that you would like to know the status of your admission. Email the specific department, w/ your name and application number , if any. Send this email right away, its March mid already!
      Yes it is necessary for all Univs to send rejections; most send emails while some other send paper mails ( yes to international addresses too! )

      If you haven’t had an interview with the Univs you have applied to, your chances are very dim. I am just stating facts, generally if the Univs see you as a prospective grad student , you should have ,by now, had an phone/skype interview or at least an interview scheduled in the coming weeks.

      1. Thank you for your reply.
        I didn’t get into any.
        Wonder what they look for? I had a pretty decent profile, I think.
        The problem is, that I don’t have any choice now. I cannot afford to waste another year and apply for fall 2013.
        What do I do now?
        It seems you live in states.

  9. hii…………if i got low score in tofel………………can i get admission in us universities for ms???????I got good score in gre…and also good acadmeic result….plz give me rply soon……………plz help me…….

    1. what are your exact scores? and please specify what field are you interested in ?

    2. Universities usually don’t consider TOEFL score as admission criteria (that’s more or less the case in UW-Madison). TOEFL is just a language test which only the international students need to take — to ensure that they can follow the classes in English. Only need to qualify a minimum cut off score which is very low. After admission, the low scorers will be asked to take English language tests or language courses in the first semesters.

  10. please paste few universities with high selectivity. thank you

  11. Thanks all for the education. Mine is a hydra-
    Headed problem. I am a medical doctor who
    Graduated 2yrs ago. Although I wish to do my
    Residency in the U.S. I,d love to broaden my
    Scope by doing a masters programme first in
    Economics or MBA. I know about the GRE but
    Please do you know of chances of getting those
    Programmes. Thank you in advance.

  12. hii all .. just consider one more thing may be you guys already know this . USA universities work on first come first serve one of my friends got admit from ncsu with a pretty average profile

  13. Hey HSB its a very gud post thnks for the information and wht i feel is that people back in india thinks that they wht ever if they some power & some gud marks in there belt & im no exception i was the same couple of yrs back, wht they/we dont understand is we shd have some min personality to match with our profile plz dont take this in a bad way i dont want to tease or hurt anyone……..
    thnks for ur time

  14. I completely agree with the post. Sample SoP should only be used to get the structure correct. The more genuine, original and fresh is your SoP, the greater chances you’ve to getting into the school. But, one need to spend very very good amount of time putting down your ideas, with regular modifications and proofreads to get to that.

  15. I totally agree with HSB. Unlike India, US schools take an holistic approach to their admission decision, in other words, it’s not just about marks. Express yourself in your SOP, show them that you’re really interested. I’m talking from experience. My gre score was on the low side but that didnt stop me from applying to the top colleges. In the end though I got some rejects, I also got few admits. I got admits from nyu, usc and i’m wait-listed in Columbia. I knew I would get through because I put my hear and soul to my SOP and I did not got through any consultancies to work on my application

  16. I totally agree with HSB. Unlike India, US schools take an holistic approach to their admission decision, in other words, it’s not just about marks. Express yourself in your SOP, show them that you’re really interested. I’m talking from experience. My gre score was on the low side but that didnt stop me from applying to the top colleges. In the end though I got some rejects, I also got few admits. I got admits from nyu, usc and i’m wait-listed in Columbia. I knew I would get through because I put my heart and soul to my SOP and I did not go through any consultancies to work on my application

  17. @Riddle-It seems you have yourself never done homework ever. As Yashie has said above, IIT are just technical institutes and not a university. why don’t you go see the Science and technology sections in these rankings… probably u just google university rankings. BTW do u know a graduate from MNNIT Allahabad (India- Mind u it’s lower ranked than IITs even) got a pay offer of 200,000+$ p.a. so I would suggest you to first of all know what is a university and what is a management/technical institute.Hint for u : The latter is course/field specific.
    Good luck and spread ur awares.

  18. Hi,I regularly follow HSB.I am now preparing for GRE.I have an aggregate of 84% in Btech. I want to do MS
    in embedded systems or vlsi.Can I know what are the best Universities in USA.What are the finacial requirements after getting admission in a university.
    Please reply me………………………….I am in a great need

  19. Hi.
    I completely agree with the last comment you made(extra tip for admission).
    But then what about the services which are offered for writing SOP’s? Are they useless??

  20. I completely agree with this post. I have a GRE score of 330 and a TOEFL score of 114. I got a reject from all the univs I applied to. I guess my SOP and LOR weren’t that good enough.

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