During the months of March and April, as folks in the college admissions community stressed about how many students across America would be taking gap years next year, we expressed that the vast majority of American students would not choose to take gap years. Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball forecasted that these anticipated figures were inflated. Sure, it’s not ideal to begin one’s college experience amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic, but what are rising first-year college students in America to do if they’re not beginning their college experience this fall? Are they to galavant across Europe? Build a house in Nicaragua? During a global pandemic? It defied logic.
We Predicted Projected Gap Year Figures Were Inflated
Early returns indicate that Ivy Coach’s crystal ball was spot on. As we wrote before the May 1st deadline for students to render their college decisions, “We believe the media is overhyping the percentage of students who will be taking gap years next year. Look, the number is going to be up — no question (especially among international students). More students will be taking a gap year next year than any year in history. But the vast majority of domestic students will not be pursuing gap years next year. They’ve already finished Netflix.” Who hasn’t finished Netflix? And Amazon, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Hulu.
Harvard’s Yield Holds Steady
Let’s take Harvard University as a case example to debunk this myth that so many American students will be taking gap years next year. As Benjamin L. Fu and Dohyun Kim report for The Harvard Crimson in a piece entitled “81 Percent of Class of 2024 Admits Accept Spots in the College Amid Pandemic Uncertainty,” ” 81% of admits to Harvard’s Class of 2024 chose to matriculate this coming fall. The figure is down only slightly from the 82% of admits who chose to matriculate to Harvard’s Class of 2023. And, in fact, the yield figure for the Class of 2024 was even higher closer to the May 1st decision date when 84% of admits responded they intended to matriculate this fall. So the yield figure may still very well slip — which would lead Harvard to admit further students from its waitlist — but it’s not like we’re talking about a 20% slip in matriculants. We’re talking about a 1% drop!
Ivy Coach’s Crystal Ball Ignores the Hype
You see, in highly selective college admissions, where there is noise, there is often nonsense. Elite colleges are making a whole lot of noise right at this moment about not requiring SAT and ACT scores next year, but of course these schools still want to see these scores. Reporters, private college counselors, school counselors, parents, and students made a whole lot of noise about how American students would take gap years next year, and yet after the dust settles…we discover more nonsense! So what should this teach you? Don’t always buy into the hype. Listen to reason. Listen to Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball. It’s famously accurate for a reason.
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