Every year brings a few new college admission trends. Some things, however, never seem to change. It is a stressful time for applicants who are still hoping to receive an acceptance from their first choice school. In fact, the college admission process continues to cause anxiety for teenagers and their families. Many parents find that applying to college today is dramatically different from when they went to school. They wonder what to expect next. Here are a few new trends for 2012.
Trend #1. Continued Increase in College Applications. Most universities experienced an increase in applications with many students increasing the number of schools to which they applied. Students feel that by casting a wider net they will have more choices in the end. Almost 85% of college applicants are applying online which may be one of the reasons why students are applying to more schools.
Trend #2. More Schools Are Using Wait lists. At least when students receive an acceptance or rejection, they know where they stand. With the increase in wait lists being used, too many students are in a state of limbo hoping that they will be accepted to a school from the wait list. This can be a false hope since colleges are actually taking fewer students off of their wait lists than they did last year. Only about 25% of applicants ever make it off the wait list. At some schools, the number is a lot less.
Trend #3. Southern Schools Have Taken on a New Popularity. Almost all admissions offices in the South have noticed an increase in college applications. Many of these schools are just being discovered by students around the country and this interest continues to grow. Students prefer the weather and they also like the strong academic programs that characterize many schools in the South. Students also like the more laid-back atmosphere.
Trend #4. There Is An Increase in International Students. Chinese teenagers are flocking to U.S. colleges and universities as never before. Many colleges are actually recruiting international students to provide more diversity and a global perspective to their schools. Universities also realize that international students who want to study in the US and are willing to pay the full price for their education are sometimes more appealing than US students who require financial aid.
Trend #5. Different Factors Continue to Gain Importance in College Admissions. While strength of curriculum, grades and test scores continue to be defining criteria for college acceptance, the college essay has taken on a new importance. Colleges feel it is the one piece of information that can help them discover something unique and interesting about a college applicant. Schools also want to see a perceived interest on the part of students who are applying. Making a campus visit, requesting an interview with a school representative, and having communications with the school show them that you care enough to take the next step. Only then, do they consider you a serious applicant.
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