Using SQ results in university admission

Private colleges usually spend more time reading applications than do large public institutions. They try to grasp the full range of talents an applicant offers, beyond high school grades and SAT scores. Admissions officers compare recommendations and extra-curricular activities, even though they know such comparisons are difficult. That's why Harvard's Director of Admissions has written: "One can appreciate the appeal of a numerical scoring system such as you describe for the 'Social Quotient.'" Students who get above average SQ scores can help their admissions chances by describing how their talents relate to their high SQ.

Public universities offer few opportunities for candidates to present their non-academic skills, such as SQ. Schools that read a personal statement/ essay provide a window for applicants with above average SQ scores to get them included. But both public and private admissions officials have emphasized that SQ scores should be accompanied by a description of that applicant's success in interpersonal activities. Sometimes a good SQ score can validate the leadership claims of a candidate who has few official positions, as in the case of a real UC Berkley applicant (unfortunately before SQ was invented).

Western Association for College Admission Counseling held a conference in May 1998, in which Social Quotient was first presented publicly. The above UC Berkeley case was the focus of the presentation, which was well received by an overflowing crowd of college admissions officials (from Stanford, University of California campuses, and others) plus many high school counselors. The above recommendations on using SQ in college admissions were also discussed at the conference. Recommendations stem from a summary of twelve on-campus interviews.

Useful page on college admissions, with many links:

Sloan's communications with Admissions Offices:

Admissions Personnel comment on SQ (look for the names in green)

February 1999 letter (sent to 30 selective colleges)

SQ vs Recommendations mailed with 2/99 letter

May 2000 e-mail update (sent to US News top 50 Universities and top 40 liberal arts colleges)

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