Key College Admissions Trends
What are some of the important trends that you see in admissions that would be important for prospective students to know and understand?
Our admissions officials discuss a number of interesting trends, such the importance of researching colleges, consideration of early decision/early action programs, diversity issues, and more.
Lisa Knodle-Bragiel, Linfield College
I don’t envy students going through the college search process today and, yet, I think their opportunities to explore colleges across the country are by far greater than they were 20 years ago. As a marketing person myself, I am both frustrated by and positively challenged by the several application and admission options for prospective students. I guess we are now at a time in higher education marketing history where there will continue to be debates regarding topics such as Early Decision/Early Action, Two-part application processes, Need-Blind schools, new and enhanced SAT or ACT exams, and others. While it is my job to “sell” my college, I believe it’s more my job to help students make the right educational decision for themselves and to be honest with them about their options. Even as a marketer, I always tell students to cut through the beautiful leaves and brick buildings and get to the truth. I tell them to try not to get so hung up on the admission trends. Yes, to understand them, but figure out for themselves their top five to six schools. If they’re still at a list of 100, they’ve got a job to do.
Chris Lucier, University of Michigan
The recent Supreme Court decision will move all selective institution to a more thorough, individualized review. Colleges and universities may ask for additional information, additional essays or personal statements, and more letters of recommendation, to allow them to conduct a holistic review of the student. Therefore, it will become more important than ever for student’s to thoroughly research the admission requirements of the schools they are interested in, and to begin the application process early. Don’t procrastinate!
Marc Camille, Xavier University
A concern I’ve got is that students are applying to too many colleges and are making decisions of where to attend based on strictly financial versus fit characteristics. I’d like to see students get back to the point where they are applying to colleges because the college actually does fit the desired characteristics for the student, not just because the student might be better off financially going there or because the college wowed the student with its marketing efforts. Of course, this is a bit pie in the sky, and I realize that in the age of information technology and ever escalating costs, this will likely be the trend for some time. But I’d advise students to do their research and homework on the “fit” at a college.
John Blackburn, University of Virginia
Students should be aware of the issues related to early decision and early action and how those programs can affect their admission. See the book entitled, The Early Admission Game.
Allen London, Mercer University
The New SAT/ACT with the writing component is probably the single greatest issue facing college bound students who are beginning high school this year. Having them understand the impact this new test will have on them and the colleges to which they will apply is extremely important.
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