Admit it. The new rules of the engagement

Admit it, the college admission process continues to change. With most undergraduate applications due this week, it is important to identify several trends that continue to change the admission process.  These will heavily affect applicants in the new application cycle where tuition prices continue to climb, spots in the freshman class become more coveted and the digital age becomes the application norm.  Put simply. the game has change and Crisp Consulting + Coaching would like to identify a few of the new rules of engagement.

Rule No. 1. The Application Tide is High.
The children of the Baby Boomers are entering college in increasing numbers. In 2006 there were approximately 2.5 million high school graduates.  In 2011 there are more than 3.3 million and the number is expected to rise over the next few years.  Only 50 percent of the parents of 2011 graduates applied to college.  More than 75 percent of the class of 2011 applied to college A record number of graduates coupled with a greater percentage applying to college has caused an onslaught of college admission applications.

Rule No. 2. More is More. Students are applying to more schools. A few years ago applying to more than three or four schools was considered absurd. In fact, in 1975 less than 3 percent of students applied to more than seven schools.  Today more than 25 percent of students are applying to seven or more schools with many students submitting applications to 15 or more colleges. According to a recent article in the New York Times,  UCLA, Brown and Stanford are experiencing an annual 7-10 percent growth in applications.  This can result in almost 60,000 applicants vying for just a few thousand spots.

Rule No. 3. Demand and Supply. The number of applicants and applications continue to rise at a rate that is unmatched by enrollment growth.  Providing new courses can be expensive and opening a new college is basically unheard of.  A substantial growing pool of applicants for a basic fixed number of spots is making the admission process more competitive and difficult.

Rule No. 4.  The Road More Common. The Common Application has made it accessible to point, click and submit applications.  According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling research, four-year colleges received an average of 43 percent of their applications online in 2004. This number increased to 68 percent in 2007 and 80 percent in 2009.

These trends and how well you understand their impacts will affect your application. Yet, with a thorough focus on academic, financial and social fit there is no need for frenzy and anxiety. There are some factors that will serve you well in the college admission process. Plan ahead,  strive for the best academic performance, get involved in your school and community and seek successful strategies and seasoned counsel in the admission process.

Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant working with families in Asheville, Charleston, and Savannah  to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success.  As a former professor, administrator, and teacher,  Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.

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