The beginning of the calendar year means early-decision results have been mailed and the application season is in full swing. What’s up and what’s next as we embark on a new year and build our next classes? These recent articles offer some insight into trending topics in the world of admissions.
The debate continues on whether early admission unknowingly discriminates against low income, first generation undergraduate college students. If the barrier is truly finances, then a binding early-decision program may not be the best option. However, most institutions will release students from that commitment if financial aid is not sufficient. Read more about how early-decision programs are working to help lower income applicants here.
While published last January so perhaps not fitting for the “recent articles” label, the fact that the ‘Turning the Tide’ report referenced in this article has received endorsements from more than 85 higher education stakeholders, including all Ivy League school admissions deans, makes it worth another read. This plan suggests that instead of test scores and transcripts, schools should give more weight to personal essays, recommendations and community service. The hope is that considering the personality and character of applicants would provide admissions personnel with a better picture of each student.
Early-decision application responses are starting to enter mailboxes, and while the majority of undergraduate applicants are still waiting to finish their applications, some lucky students are already mentally decorating their dorm rooms. The lowest early-admission percentage thus far goes to MIT, with only 8%, while the highest is William & Mary, on par to fill next year’s freshman class with 33% of those accepted early decision.
Admissions officers at Penn have partnered with local organizations to ease the application process for underrepresented high school students. Students benefit from the opportunity to gain skills that will set them up for success during their studies. Admissions officers gain actionable insight into the issues affecting low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minorities as they transition to college, insight that may help develop strategies that address attrition and drive retention.
While the prerequisites for medical school never change dramatically, there are some other aspects of the graduate school application that vary from year to year. From increased competition to more attention being paid to applicants’ social media presences, this article explores the trends to expect this year.