Class of '25 Admission Rates are the new reality for Class of '26 and beyond.
Some of you know that I have been vocal that this admission cycle is brutal and caught many applicants off guard. Why? Because very few people thought that a.) applications numbers would skyrocket b.) deferred Class of '24 admissions would create fewer available spots, c.) standardized test scores would matter a great deal. I think next year will be equally challenging because many of the same problems with COVID-19 are going to linger. Plus there will be a flood of international students aiming to take some of those limited spots. There is pent-up demand from Int'l students who were locked out of the US due to student VISA challenges. I'm curious if you agree or not. Please feel free to add your own take on this.
The New York Times ran an interesting article on the effects of COVID on college admissions. Students are applying to more elite colleges, because low test scores "aren't" holding them back. This means that less elite, private institutions are struggling to fill in their classes.
Link to article:
My take is that Ivys and Elites lie, Stanford, MIT, CalTech will continue to be uber-competitive at 5% or less. Then your LACs like Swarthmore, Williams, Colby, Amherst, Barnard, Pomonas, and near Ivys like Vanderbilt, NWestern, UChicago will be forever under in the 6-10%. Your near elites like Georgetown, Notre Dame, Tufts, USC, UCLA, Berkeley will be in the 10-14%, and your V.Competitives like BC, BU, Middlebury, Colgate, Hamilton, Colorado, UMich, Tulane's will be in the 15-19%, and then your Big Researches like UNC, UVA, UCSD, UCSB, will be 20+% none of these will be struggling.
I think the only ones that are going to struggle next cycle are the T100-T500 schools that don't have a strategic plan in place. I was very impressed that schools like Syracuse (#58), Colgate (#20 LAC), Union (#44), and Bard (#54) all surprised because they have their act together. Colgate had a 102% increase in applications and Bard just got a $1 Billion commitment from donor George Soros to prop them up for the next 3 years. That would quadruple their endowment. I feel the smaller LACs like Lewis & Clark, Willamette, Wheaton, Whitman, will feel a pinch. It's like retail, no one wants to shop at Sears, Kmart, Macys, JCPennys, they all want Nordstroms, Montcler, Nike, Chanel, Lululemon, Zara.
I wouldn't be surprised if there is a huge higher education market consolidation over the next 5 years. I think 500-1000 colleges will either close or get absorbed by bigger more successful franchises. I also see a great opportunity for better and more prestigious online college degrees put together by consortiums of colleges like maybe 10 LACs getting together and offering online.
Wait... so maybe the amount of applications they receive will eventually drop down again?
What about UF? Where would they rank? Struggling or not?
I don't think the Univ.of Florida will be much affected since they keep getting more applicants and admitting better students. Plus they are a large state-funded school. More tax base= more UF budget.
Applications rates may go down if all the Ivys and Elites and LACS make SAT/ACT tests a requirement again. I don't envision that until the Class of 2027+. Next year is already for the most part Test-optional. I think many colleges LOVE LOVE LOVE the PR that admit rates are going down at their school and applications are up.
Will acceptance rates ever go up again? With such high endowments, could top colleges expand and make room for more students? Or will applications ever decrease again?
If history is any sort of indicator, I would honestly say that admit rates at Top 50 schools will only be getting harder in the future. Here is my reasoning. 1.) COVID-19 should have been a deterrent to application rates but they were the opposite because all colleges wanted to make tests optional. 2.) More Int'l students will be applying in the future because of more lenient student VISA access. 3.) Colleges all understand their "BRAND" value and want to keep it as high as possible thus limiting the supply to undergrads. 4.) Despite, growing endowments, many colleges don't use those funds to increase financial aid. For example at Columbia U., much of the financial aid going to undergrads is paid for by full-paying graduate students which comprise about 80% of their enrollment. Building more dorms takes 2-3 years of planning, funding, and construction & some urban campuses like NYU, Columbia, BU, NorthEastern have no land left unless they tear down something, or have a satellite campus.
omg I know acceptance rates are going down. Someone I know is an interviewer for Georgetown applicants and he said that something like 30% more students applied this year!!! That's not good news for me...
Georgetown 11.7% (2025) vs 15.5% (2024), and forget about test-optional because 93% of admits submitted test scores this cycle. 27650 vs 21318 applicatons last year (+30%)
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