The Ivy Coach Daily

May 24, 2021

On Universities Not Releasing Admissions Statistics

A recent piece up on Inside Higher Ed features a quote from Emory’s admissions leader that elicits an eye roll from us.

Why do some universities choose to not publish their admissions statistics until they have no choice but to make them public when releasing them to the federal government? Well, if you ask admissions officers at these tightlipped universities, chances are you’d get a response that goes something like this: “We don’t want to contribute to making the college admissions process more stressful for all. It’s already so stressful as it is!” As a case in point, in a recent article up on Inside Higher Ed by Scott Jaschik entitled “A Great Admissions Year, for Some,” he writes, “At Emory, John F. Latting, associate vice provost and dean of admission, said there are fears that getting too selective could scare off applicants. ’In most of America, it raises the intimidation factor,’ he said. ’And that’s not what we want.’”

Allow us to call nonsense on Mr. Latting’s statement as the leader of Emory’s admissions office is not being totally forthright. As our loyal readers know all too well, a core objective of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog is to debunk misconceptions about the highly selective college admissions process, to speak truth to power, and to keep everyone honest about the process. When an admissions czar tells it like it is, we’ll praise him or her. But when an admissions czar makes statements to the press that aren’t as forthright as can be, we’ll call him or her out in a heartbeat. And so, Mr. Latting, we believe you when you say that you don’t want to raise the intimidation factor. But if you really didn’t want to intimidate students, you’d admit more. You’d raise your admission rate. You’d expand your incoming class at Emory. But, no, we don’t believe the reason you don’t wish to “raise the intimidation factor” is because you’re worried about making the college admissions process more stressful. Rather, we believe it’s because you don’t want to discourage next year’s crop of applicants from applying. You want another application surge, another year in which the admission rate at Emory drops to a record low. The reason some schools choose not to release their admissions statistics is for this very reason — to not discourage the next crop of students from applying, to serve their own interest.

But enough about what we think. What do our readers think of Mr. Latting’s comments? Do our readers believe Mr. Latting doesn’t wish to “raise the intimidation factor” so as to decrease anxiety or so as to not discourage future students from applying to a school with a low admission rate all, essentially to boost Emory’s ranking in US News & World Report? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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