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Admission Trends for the Class of 2022

Wondering if you will get into your dream college this year? This will help you better understand the trends and your possibility of acceptance.

In December many universities released decisions to their early action and early decision applicants. In January, Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina - and many more - released their decisions... University of Miami’s decisions came out last night!

So what is the trend this year? Unfortunately, it is the same as the past few years, with significantly greater numbers of students applying. Brown had 10% more applications this year than last, Yale 13%, UPenn 15%... The greater numbers of students applying results in a smaller percentage of students being accepted.

The same trend stands for state universities such as Florida State, Georgia Tech and University of Michigan, with their increasing application numbers causing a smaller percent of admits and/or greater number of deferrals.

Here are the early admissions rates from the most highly selective universities:

Why does the number of applications continue to rise year after year? There are many reasons, but here are four that contribute significantly to the trend:

  1. Simplicity. It is now easier than ever to apply to multiple universities. The Common and Coalition Applications allow students to simply add another university to their list, with some universities requiring only the main essay, some just one additional essay.

  2. Demographics. The second reason there are more and more applications is simply that the number of college age students is continuing to rise. Total school enrollment is projected to continue increasing until fall 2026 (data is only available to that point). From fall 2014 to fall 2026, enrollment should increase by 3 percent to 51.7 million students.

  3. Parents. Parents are now more implicated than ever in the college application process. Parents are very interested in seeing if their Johnny or Jane can earn admission to an elite university with the prestige, network, reputation and bright future it promises. And why not? You only get to apply to college once.

  4. Fear. Bruce Poch, a former admissions dean at Pomona College, one of the fabulous schools in the Claremont Consortium in California, was quoted by the NYTimes as saying “Kids see that the admit rates are brutal and dropping, and it looks more like a crapshoot,...So they send more apps, which forces the colleges to lower their admit rates, which spurs the kids next year to send even more apps."

With the increasing number of applications, who is able to gain acceptance into these universities and what percentage of students attend? According to a recent study, only 4% of undergraduates attend universities with acceptance rates of less than 25%. The majority of students - 43% - attend universities where the acceptance rate is between 50 and 74.9%.

So for those of you who are still awaiting not worry! If you applied to safety, target and reach schools, you will land at a university that is right for you and hopefully will be very happy at this time next year. If you haven't applied to a safety school, many colleges are still accepting applications.

For juniors, what do this year's admission rates mean for you? Should you even attempt applying to these highly selective universities? Well, that depends on your academic history, test scores, leadership and extracurricular experiences - and your financial situation. Make an appointment with us today to better understand what your safety, target and reach schools should be. The college selection portion of the college application process is the key element to gaining admission to your top college choices.

Julia Morgan

February 2, 2018

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