This is a measure of the respectability and
wisdom of the recommender(s), as felt by the admissions committee.
Letters from people who are intellectually and geographically closer to the
committee will be felt more believable.
Recommendations not from CS faculty members may be counted
a couple notches lower.
In case of multiple letters, enter the believability of the
recommender who knows the most about you.
observing you as a ...
This is a measure of how much knowledge
of your abilities the recommender(s) have.
Interpolate from the common cases in the menu, or alternatively, count
the number of observed abilities from the list below, multiply by .2,
and select the closest value. In case of multiple letters, use the
union of abilities the various recommenders have knowledge of.
Some Relevant Abilities:
working in teams,
finding creative solutions,
integrating lots of information,
identifying what really matters,
presenting clearly, and
describing you as a ...
This is the basic measure of how good the recommender(s)
think you are as a prospect for graduate school. If they haven't told
you, and you're not able to ask directly, you can infer this from the
school and career they seem to be steering you towards. For
example, advice to go for research career starting at a top-10 graduate
school maps to a 3 on this scale, and advice to start with a masters
at any top-100 school maps to a 2.
An exceptional statement of purpose typically is one that indicates
unusual life experiences and a realistic life plan, and relates both
to likely success in graduate school.
Alignment with Institutional Needs
Applicants who align with the research or diversity goals of the
department or school are generally preferred. These factors vary from
school to school. It may be possible to glean them from mission and
vision statements. Frequently US nationals are somewhat favored.
Many public schools also favor in-state applicants.