There is an article in today’s “Los Angeles Times” that discusses how high school seniors are applying to more colleges than ever before. It must have been a slow news day with all of the rain in LA as this is not a new trend in college admissions. Rather, it’s one that has been growing for years. The article cites how prestigious colleges received an average of 7% more college applications this year.
Writes Larry Gordon in the article, “Students using the increasingly popular Common Application sought admission on average to 4.53 campuses for the coming fall term, up from 4.32 for current college freshmen. That increase may seem small but could be significant at some schools, according to Rob Killion, the Common Application’s executive director. About 525,000 students used the service and 414 colleges participated this year.
In a national survey, UCLA researchers found that 17.8 % of current college freshmen had applied to eight or more colleges, up from 15.9% the previous year and 7.8% a decade ago. Some counselors say the Common Application’s ease encourages some frivolous applications, making it harder for colleges to figure out how many offers of enrollment will result in students showing up to fill classes and dorms. Critics also blame the jump in numbers on colleges’ aggressive recruiting tactics, including waived fees and ‘no sweat’ applications with much of the information filled in at some schools.”
Prestigious colleges and universities such as the Ivy League universities are recruiting students who they know don’t have the courses, grades and standardized test scores to make the admissions cut. So why are these colleges recruiting them? Because the college’s acceptance rates drop and their rankings go up in “US News & World Report.” It’s always all about the rankings. Students are led to believe that when Yale University sends them literature Yale wants them to attend. They get excited about attending Yale. They begin thinking about life in New Haven. They apply and then they get denied admission. This is a trend in college admissions but, hopefully, by raising awareness of this trend, applicants will be less likely to be surprised when they are denied admission by a college that sent them these colorful brochures.
Read our related Newsletters – Admissions Class 2011 A Record Breaking Year for Applications to Ivy League Colleges, and Our Weak Economy and Its Affect on the Highly Selective College Admissions Process.
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