The Ivy Coach Daily

March 23, 2022

Ivy Coach’s Famously Accurate Crystal Ball Finally Got One Wrong

Ivy Coach’s crystal ball is famously on point.

Over the years, Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball has predicted everything from universities going test-optional to our nation’s top colleges getting accused of not being truly need-blind to the slow but steady elimination of legacy admission to application surges at particular elite schools on the heels of deep March Madness runs. And our crystal ball, which has even been cited over the years on the pages of America’s oldest college newspaper, The Dartmouth, is overwhelmingly spot on. In fact, virtually every crystal ball reading this past year has proven correct — save one. Today, we wish to highlight our one incorrect prophecy. Because we will not now nor ever hide under the covers when we’re wrong.

We forecasted before this admissions cycle that most elite universities would not set new application records this year. Last year, for the Class of 2025, just about every highly selective university set an all-time application benchmark. Propelled by newly announced test-optional policies that encouraged applicants whom we termed Squeakers (students who thought they could sneak into top universities without SAT or ACT scores) coupled with students stuck at home instead of at school due to the pandemic with nothing better to do than apply to lots and lots of colleges, we thought the records of last year would at least stand for a year’s time. We we wrong. Early reports are indicating that many elite universities are setting application records for the Class of 2026.

Take, as an example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Last year, applications to MIT spiked by a margin of 66%. 66%! That’s like Wilt Chamberlin going for 100 points. But, unlike Wilt’s record, this record has already fallen. Last year’s 33,240 applications to MIT’s Class of 2025 have been eclipsed by the 33,796 applications to MIT’s Class of 2026. And MIT is not the exception but rather a demonstration of the rule at elite universities this year. Among elite universities that have already released application tallies, like the UC schools and Vanderbilt University, they are reporting new benchmarks. It’s a trend we anticipate continuing to play out as other elite universities roll out their data in the days and weeks to come.

So, yes, Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball finally got one wrong. But, we figure, if anything, we didn’t add to the stress surrounding this year’s admissions process for parents and students alike by forecasting new records — even if new records were to be. We can live with that!

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