The college admissions process used to be relatively predictable. However, an unprecedented change occurred in the collegiate system over the course of the last five years. The most notable difference was rising tuition rates. If higher education is on your radar, you need to know about these critical admission trends before you apply.
#1 High Application Numbers, Low Admittance
Many top-tiered colleges and universities are seeing an influx of student applications in record numbers. The fact that many colleges are foregoing the standardized testing requirements could be at play.
Just the same, this rise in admission requests doesn’t mean more students are getting into their dream schools. Schools are actually admitting fewer pupils at this time. This trend may continue. Students can prep by applying to other colleges as a backup.
#2 Low Application Numbers at Low Performing Schools
The flip side of this admission coin is that students aren’t applying to the lower-performing schools as much as they once did. With more options available than ever, many are setting their sights at higher caliber schools and ignoring weaker colleges. Lower-performing schools receive fewer applications as a result. That trend is likely to continue.
#3 Transfer Rates Are Dropping
Another notable trend in college admissions is fewer students transferring from one college to another. One reason could be that many schools are now offering more online components, allowing students to continue learning from anywhere. This option provides students greater flexibility, which could explain the drop-in transfer rates.
This change is great news for students. Transferring schools can often come with higher tuition, more time spent making up classes that didn’t transfer, and an overall adjustment to a new campus as well as new professors and peers.
#4 Standardized Testing May Lose Importance
Some schools have dropped the requirement for standardized test scores. This trend could continue and might even render standardized testing obsolete for certain degree programs.
Of course, numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities still require those scores, so students should be mindful of this when considering whether or not to opt-in or out of the ACT or SAT. The shift in emphasis on testing doesn’t necessarily render it useless.
#5 Diversity Is Increasing
College admissions are showing one notable trend you can almost certainly expect to continue: Applicants are more diverse, and people among broader demographics are gaining acceptance letters. Colleges are expanding recruitment strategies to draw in students from more low-income and diverse communities while also targeting first-generation college students. School policies are leaning toward greater equality and inclusion, which could also mean more accommodations for people with disabilities.
#6 More Online Opportunities Are Available
Let’s admit it: Online college coursework used to be the ugly stepsister of college admissions. People saw it as inferior to a brick-and-mortar education when all along, it just offered greater flexibility for both disabled and non-traditional students. Working students, older students, parents, and others have enjoyed the benefits of online university programs.
You may notice that most colleges are now offering more online coursework. This trend is likely to continue as technology allows for more interactive classes from a distance. Online colleges and universities will at some point become equals in the eyes of employers; fewer people will see them as a second-class option.
Trends never stop shifting, but the entries on this list represent the most pressing and impactful changes you can expect if you or someone you love is considering applying to college. Ultimately, colleges are becoming more adaptable and accommodating, and that’s great news for potential students. This flexibility could make getting an education easier than ever before and help you achieve the career and lifestyle of your dreams.