5 Biggest Trends in College Admissions


Found this really interesting article on the 5 biggest trends in College admissions.

I personally think a few of these are pretty self-explanatory and stuff we all know and acknowledge but there were a couple points that I thought were quite illuminating.

What are your thoughts?


Most of these seem to be relevant mainly to highly selective colleges and students in elite high schools.

A typical student in a typical high school who will attend a community college or moderately selective local university that admits by formula (of GPA/rank/tests) is not affected by these trends. Indeed, some of these trends (such as starting to think about college earlier, may be disadvantageous for students outside the elite high schools.

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Quote from the article:

“This has led students to take as many Advanced Placement courses as they can fit into their schedule, sometimes leaving them with no lunch period and hours of homework each night. Growing research suggests that schools offering the AP curriculum are only teaching to the test, the AP exams at the end of the year.”

I have never heard a single top school who expects applicants to take as many AP’s as they can. That is simply a lie. They have consistently expressed interest in students who have taken a rigorous program, including some AP’s if they are available, but they have also consistently told students that taking a very large number of AP’s will not impress them.

They have also told parents and students consistently that it is much better to take a more modest number of AP’s do well at them, and be able to submit a well-rounded application overall.

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I particularly like the point about the importance of impact, not just leadership. It’s as easy for a high school student to get caught up trying to earn a leadership title as it is for an adult in a business, and it’s easy to forget why we want those positions in the first place. It’s a particularly tough spot when you could gun for a “higher position” (like head student) but you know you’ll have a greater impact in a different role (like head of arts). It’s good that the application is evolving to recognize the student that decides to be the arts leader.

It’s very interesting to the evolution of the Common Application into a more inclusive, accommodating application.