Admissions Trends

Not Your Parents’ College Admissions…or Even Your Older Cousin’s!

I applied to three colleges, visited one, and wrote zero essays. Upon realizing the complexity of today’s college process, I immediately sought expert guidance from iCC.

Deerfield, IL parent
Gone are the days when applying to college meant “filling out a few forms” and perhaps “writing a college essay.” Today, most students must simultaneously write numerous essays, manage multiple online application platforms, and meet varied deadlines. Colleges expect students to follow specific procedures for submitting test scores, transcripts, and recommendation letters and often have different policies regarding standardized testing. Colleges also differ in terms of whether they admit students by major, school, or the university as a whole. They also offer various admissions plans that can potentially maximize admissions chances. Over the past few decades, the number of spots in freshman classes at most colleges has remained relatively consistent while the numbers of applicants for those same spots have exponentially increased.

Decades of Declining Admissions Rates

Then and now...

*The chance of any one applicant being
accepted to USC plummeted from 69%
in 1980 to less than 17% in 2016.

For Out of State Students...

Out-of-state students face similar challenges in earning acceptances to flagship public state universities. According to the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the university accepts approximately two-thirds of in-state applicants, resulting in “much lower acceptance rates for out-of-state applicants.” Because of the growing number of out-of-state applicants, UW-Madison’s “out-of-state acceptance rate has dropped steadily.” Similarly, the University of Texas-Austin is especially selective for out-of-state students due to a state law requiring the university to automatically admit eligible in-state students.

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