2021-2022 Common Application Data

The Common Application has released data from the 2021-2022 admissions cycle on the number of students who applied to colleges through their platform through February 15, 2022. In all, 1,161,560 first-year applicants applied to a total of 853 universities which are member institutions of The Common App. This marks a 13.9% increase from the 1,019,363 students who applied just two years ago during the 2019-2020 admissions cycle. We suppose Common App. didn’t release the data from last year on account of the figures being so significantly impacted by the pandemic. And the overall number of students applying to colleges on The Common App. — and this is a figure that extends beyond the selective and highly selective universities across America — wasn’t the only trend.

There’s a piece up on Inside Higher Ed that focuses on trends among this year’s Common App. users.

As Scott Jaschik reports for Inside Higher Ed in a piece entitled “The Applications Keep Coming,” “There were large increases in underrepresented minority and first-generation applicants. Underrepresented minority applicants increased by 17 percent over 2019–20, while first-gen applicants increased 21 percent. The number of first-generation applicants increased at nearly twice the rate of other applicants over the same period. However, about 56 percent of domestic applicants resided in the most affluent quintile of ZIP codes nationwide. Applicants from the bottom quintile made up 6 percent of the applicant pool. These trends were similar to those of prior years. Among domestic applicants, growth was positive across all regions except for New England and the Mid-Atlantic. The number of distinct international applicants increased by nearly triple the rate of domestic applicants since 2019–20, (33 percent versus 12 percent). China, India, Canada, Pakistan and Nigeria were the leading home countries for international applicants. The share of Common App colleges requiring test scores decreased further in 2021–22 to 5 percent after reaching an historic low of 11 percent in 2020–21…This year, 48 percent of applicants included a test score. That figure is up slightly from last year’s total (44 percent) but is way down from two years ago (76 percent).”

It will be interesting to see the Regular Decision figures at America’s highly selective colleges. Will the number of first-generation college students and underrepresented minorities surge among the admits to Ivy League and other highly selective universities or will these numbers not rise so dramatically at these specific institutions? Basically, are the increases the case across the board of colleges…or mostly at the vast majority of universities across America, which happen to be not selective. Our guess? There are going to be gains in first-generation college students and underrepresented minorities at America’s elite universities this year…perhaps even more so than at their less selective peer institutions. But only time will tell! So stay tuned.

 
 

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