Ivy Coach is featured in today’s “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania. The piece, written by Sophia Leporte, is entitled “Penn received record number of applications to the Class of 2020,” and as the title alludes, applications to the University of Pennsylvania are up this year. In all, 38,792 students applied for admission to the school in Philadelphia, a figure that combines the applications from the Early Decision and Regular Decision rounds. This means, based on our compiled Ivy League Statistics, that applications to UPenn are up 4% this year as compared to last year. And, as the piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” correctly points out, applications are up 22.5% from just five years ago. That’s quite a jump.
As we’re quoted in the piece, “Brian Taylor, director of the private college counseling practice Ivy Coach, attributed the later deadline to an increasingly common strategy among colleges to increase the number of applicants to the school. ‘Penn is not the only school to do this. It’s been a trend for the last three years. It started with Hurricane Sandy, but now schools just do it with no excuses and are doing it just to secure more applicants,’ Taylor said. Taylor does not believe that the later deadline changes the way most students apply to schools like Penn and attracts only procrastinators.”
It seems that once universities started realizing that by extending the deadlines even only by a few days that applications would increase, they started capitalizing on it. And why not. Many procrastinating high school seniors do their applications at the last minute and simply can only do so many in those few days before the deadline (we strongly recommend that students don’t make this mistake!). So then the deadline passes and they take a breath and maybe they think, “Well, I guess I could apply to Penn.” And then they write a terrible 650-word essay on why they want to go to the University of Pennsylvania, the vast majority of which can be applied to any school in America. But at least applications are up, right? But the University of Pennsylvania is by no means the only culprit here — many highly selective colleges capitalize in the same or similar ways.