Waitlisted FR Applicants with ACT Scores

Kevin McCarthy
Reporting Analyst
Institutional Research
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
This visualization is meant to give the director of admissions an at-a-glance understanding of where, in terms of academic preparation, the waitlisted freshman applicants are compared to each other and to certain standard metrics. It is meant to be a tool to facilitate making decisions on which waitlisted applicants should be offered admission. A scatterplot was chosen for this visualization because it is important to represent individual applicants, not just averages, proportions, or totals. The choice of color for the individual dots is a powerful, additional layer of information to include in the chart. In this instance, the color represents whether or not the applicant is an under-represented minority (determined by race and ethnicity information on the application).
One of the director’s top priorities is maintaining the quality of the incoming class, so when deciding which waitlisted applicants to admit, the important contextual reference points are the scores with which an applicant would automatically be offered admission (represented by the blue zone) and the average test and GPA scores from last year (represented by the red dot).
When the report is run in IBM Cognos (SRU’s reporting tool) and the director mouses-over an individual dot in the chart, a tooltip is displayed with that applicant’s ID, ACT score, GPA, and minority status. This information enables the director to easily find the applicant’s file should they require more information to make an admissions decision.


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