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.

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

*2021 admit rate; Princeton declined to release its 2022 rate to “tamp down the anxiety of applicants”

Then and now...

* 2021 acceptance rate; Penn declined to release its 2022 acceptance rate.

**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...

Many public flagship state universities are especially competitive for out-of-state students.  The chart below illustrates the selectivity of some of the nation’s top public flagship institutions:

Overall 2022 Admit RateIn-StateOut-of-State
University of Texas-Austin28.7%100% automatic admits
~10% non-auto admits
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill16.8%43.1%8.2%
University of Virginia19%28%15%

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