Why college applications are down

Posted on April 14th, 2014

Many top colleges received fewer college applications this year than in previous years. This has alarmed some education advocates worried about students not graduating high school, going on to college and getting their degrees.

Historical declines in college applications

Even the elite Ivy League colleges aren’t immune to this trend. Applications at Dartmouth were down a whopping 14% for the Class of 2018.

It was the biggest decline in 21 years.

Why college applications are down

Applications are down at many colleges this year, including top schools like Harvard University and Dartmouth College.

The decline at Dartmouth was probably at least due somewhat due to recent reports over sexual harassment and fraternity hazing on campus, but it’s part of a trend at many top colleges, including Harvard, which saw a decline of 2.1%.

Declines in midwest, northeast to blame

But it’s not as much of a crisis as you might think, say Bloomberg’s Janet Lorin and Ken Anselment, dean of admissions at Lawrence University.

They say this is part of a national trend that education groups predicted would start in 2009 due to population declines and fewer students graduating from high school in the Midwest and Northeast.

With fewer applications this year, Anselment says this is a “student’s market.”

It’s a really good time to be a high school student applying to college.

Elite colleges still competitive

Applicants to super-competitive colleges like Stanford University might disagree. The college turned down 95% of its applicants this year. And Anselment’s own college, Lawrence, saw an increase in applications this year as well.

To learn more about why applications at many colleges are on the decline, watch the video of Anselment’s appearance on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock” here.

Category: Choosing a College

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