vpv - thanks for all that information. As I'm sure you can
understand, GPA does weigh heavily in admissions decisions. However,
a stellar GRE score can overcompensate for a poor GPA. Unfortunately,
when translated into a 4.0 scale, your GPA is indeed very low - to
convert you need to divide by 25. So a 100 converts to a 4.0, a 75 to
a 3.0, a 50 to a 2.0. This means your undergrad GPA would be assessed
as a 2.68. Your Masters GPA is very good and should not be a problem
- as long as you can deliver on very high GRE scores. Madras is an
excellent institution and well-known (although not as well known as
IIT Madras) - so that should weight in your favor.
The program you are applying to is jointly managed by mathematics and
statistics. These are typically among the least competitive programs
in terms of admissions (and among the hardest to actually graduate
from...) Lack of competition on entry will work in your favor,
although there are currently TONS of Chinese and Indian students
trying to make their way into any department they can gain admission
to (including very archaic ones such as Slavic studies... ;-)
Your experience will help but is not directly related. So, what's
working in your favor?
+ Very good Masters GPA
+ Degrees from well-known and respected school
+ Honors/awards e.g. chartered accountancy score (assuming you can
back this up with a certificate or something)
+ Some work experience that is vaguely relevant
How could you improve?
+ Stellar GRE (Chinese students typically come in with close to perfect scores...)
+ More relevant work experience, if you can move into financial
analysis on the research end and spend a year or so there that will
+ Publish something in a well-respected journal, even if it is
practitioner level and not acacademic
You should try writing firstname.lastname@example.org to see how she will
respond given your credentials etc.
Finally, applying and being rejected will not reduce your chance to be
accepted in the future, so there is no harm in trying. Also, you
could get on a waiting list and eventually make it in. I would
suggest you apply to 5-6 programs and hope for the best.
Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Clarification of Answer by
21 May 2004 15:13 PDT
vpv - hi, and thanks for your clarification request.
Ashland's motivation is quite different from Stanford's - Ashland is
dying to get their hands on students like you, while Stanford is
trying to figure out who of all the superb candidates it sees to
admit. So of course Ashland and similar schools will be more
The simple division is in fact how GPAs are translated. This if from
personal experience. I graduated from the Technion in Israel with an
undergrad in engineering - was in top 15% of my class, but tests are
quite difficult at the Technion as they seem to be in Madras and so my
equivalent GPA was more like in the top 30% of an "American" class. I
know that this is how MIT, Cornell, U Mich and Stanford translated my
GPA. They then factored in that this GPA came from the Technion,
which is the equivalent of IIT Madras or MIT - but this factoring is a
qualitative and not a quantitative process. It is just one more
factor taken into consideration together with your experience, your
various honors and awards, your test scores and your admissions
It is possible that a specific department at a specific University has
developed some formulae - but this would be insider information and
not something that would be posted on a public site.
How else may I help you?