Admit it, the 2010-2011 college admission season was the toughest on record. Last week, Crisp Consulting + Coaching began examining this admission season to identify factors that will assist students and families with the upcoming college application process. Fewer students have been admitted with acceptance rates among many schools falling below 30 percent. After speaking with several college admission officers, educational planners and college consultants, let’s examine why this admission season was extremely tough and how application trends will affect 201-2012 admission cycles.
The Common Application. Designed to promote equity and access in the college admission process, wider acceptance of The Common Application has inflated application rates. Columbia University accepted The Common Application for the first time in 2010 – 2011 and experienced a 32 percent increase in application. Selective schools have seen an application increase of 40 percent As this trend continues, many schools could experience 350,000 applicants for a few thousand spaces. Thus, the competition is becoming steeper than ever.
The Cross Application. More students are applying to schools but most schools are not increasing enrollment. This makes for an unforgiving formula. In addition, these students are applying to multiple schools . Greg Roberts, dean of admission at The University of Virginia notes, “A few years ago, kids were applying to four or five schools, but now, it’s not uncommon to apply to 10 or 12 or even 20 or 30.”
The Changing Application. In 2006, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Virginia eliminated their early-admission applications. In responses, seniors began applying in mass to the non-binding early-admission options of Yale, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Chicago. Non-binding admission allows students to explore multiple options at selective schools and, in turn, increases the application pool and the competition. Reacting to this application trend, Harvard, Princeton, and University of Virginia will reinstate early-admission programs. These changes will continue to change the admission process.
Preparing for the coming college admission process will take time and effort. Creating a plan that focuses on an intentional educational plan that emphasizes academic, financial and social fit will create strategies for acceptance that will ease the frenzy and stress expected in the upcoming college application cycle.
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Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works 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.