Acceptance May Be Easier Than You Think

Inside Higher Ed: “The annual ‘State of College Admission’ report is important for several reasons. One is that it dispels the myth — propagated by many who write about college admissions — that it’s impossible to get into college. You know the articles about how one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be admitted to Stanford. Perhaps true for Stanford. But as the report — issued by the National Association for College Admission Counseling — demonstrates, it’s actually not hard to get into college. The average four-year college admits nearly two-thirds of those who apply, and this is true from year to year in the study, going up or down by a point or so.”

“This year’s report comes out amid a renewed national debate, prompted by the lawsuit against Harvard University, over the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions. NACAC asked colleges about seven student characteristics and how important they are in admissions. Despite the debate over race-based affirmative action (in which some say colleges should pay more attention to socioeconomic status as opposed to race), colleges reporting paying more attention to first-generation status than to race/ethnicity.”

“Academic factors… count, the report finds. Of the top eight factors, only one (demonstrated interest) is not based on academics. Demonstrated interest is a measure of whether an applicant is really interested, such as whether she visited a campus or engaged with the admissions staff … This year’s survey shows that early options are increasing in popularity among applicants. Further, the data confirm the conventional wisdom that, for most applicants, odds of admission are greater when applying early than regular decision.”