The Ivy Coach Daily

November 5, 2021

The Motive of Elite Colleges to Not Release Admissions Statistics

Cornell chooses not to release admissions statistics — until the school has no choice but to do so (photo credit: Sach1tb).

Each and every year, we release the admissions statistics for America’s highly selective universities. Now, some of these schools release their data at the conclusion of the Early Decision / Early Action and Regular Decision rounds of admission. And yet other such schools — a growing number of elite schools in fact — don’t release the data. Rather, it eventually becomes publicly available through the annual Common Data Set. So why are a growing number of elite universities — like Cornell University, Stanford University, and Princeton University — not releasing the data at the conclusion of admissions cycles as they once did?

Well, these schools claim they’re not releasing the data so as not to add to the anxiety surrounding the highly selective college admissions process. These schools, which for years have released press releases touting their record-breaking application numbers and record-low admission rates — now suddenly argue that announcing admission rates of below 10% — in fact, below 5% in some cases — will only scare students. It will only add to their stress in an already stressful process. So because these schools are so good at heart, they refuse to publish the data until they have no choice but to do so.

Yet loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well that America’s elite colleges don’t always tell it like it is. Are these schools really just not releasing the data out of the goodness of their hearts? Or are they not releasing the data so as not to discourage students from applying? After all, when a school releases a 3% overall admission rate, it might well discourage a student from submitting an application since they might think they don’t have a shot. But by not disclosing the data until they have to, these students might otherwise submit applications, not fully realizing just how competitive admission will be.

What do our readers think? Are these elite universities not releasing the admissions statistics out of the goodness of their hearts or is their motive to increase applications, lower their admission rates, and manipulate the all-important US News & World Report annual college ranking. Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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