The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that as applications increase, college acceptance rates, “yield” rates, and enrollment predictability have decreased. A new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling presents data that explains some of these changes.
Some statistical highlights:
- For the fourth year in a row, 75% of four year colleges or universities saw an increase in applications. However, in 2008, 22% of those applicants applied to seven or more schools, in contrast to 19% in 2007. From 2001 to 2007, the average acceptance rate fell to 66.8%, from 71.3%.
- From 2001 to 2007, the average yield rate (percentage of students who accept an offer of admission) fell to 45.2% from 49.1%.
- More and more students are submitting online applications. In 2008, 72% of applicants filed online application, as opposed to 68% in 2007, and 58% in 2006.
Increased applications mean more work for admissions staffs. In 2008, admissions officers were responsible for reading an average of 459 applications. In addition, admissions offices spent an average of $1648 on each student who enrolled.
Although it is clear that applications are on the rise, it is unclear whether colleges and universities can respond to the increased need for financial aid. The report concludes, “Although many colleges were able to respond to increased financial-aid demand during the fall 2009 admission cycle, it remains unclear how far colleges can stretch their financial-aid resources.”
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