Trends in College Admissions

The college admissions process is becoming increasingly competitive every year, which is most evident in the top universities across the United States. Because of this trend, there are well-deserving students who do not get accepted into many of their aspired schools. There are three key factors as to why the overall admissions rates have been progressively decreasing.

1) Higher Yield Rates

A yield rate refers to the percentage of students who decide to attend a school after being admitted. Yield rates are increasing among the nation’s top universities, which consists of the Ivy Leagues, elite liberal arts colleges, and specialized state schools. This is because students opt to attend the most prestigious university that they are accepted to.

Students who submit their application in the early decision phase yield 100% because of binding agreements, and a higher yield rate is correlated with popularity, and thus, more applications. With more applications, the overall acceptance rate is destined to decrease.

2) More International Applications

The number of applications that top schools receive has been increasing by approximately 10,000 every year. This is the result of both booming populations and increasing international students seeking quality education abroad.

One well-known example is the University of California system. In the past five years, the number of out-of-state applicants has increased by 47%. Because of the influx of quality applications, the admissions rates of UCs and other prominent state schools are continuously decreasing.

3) Increased Concentration in Well-known Schools

Reputation in the post-undergraduate world is a strong factor as to where students decide to apply to colleges. Students want to have an immediate advantage on their resume through the name of their alma mater.

Furthermore, the established general rankings and word of mouth has made acceptance to a top university a common goal most students hope to achieve by the end of the college decision phase. These schools receive more applications, and thus, have lower admissions rates.


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