By now, students have either heard from colleges or are anxiously awaiting a decision over the next few days. However, the statistics are already being released. Seven of the eight Ivy League schools have lower acceptance rates this year. Interestingly, decreased acceptance rates occurred whether or not there was an increase in the number of applications. Fortunately, as applicants should remember, there are over 2,000 schools across the United States where students can receive a quality education, and not be faced with intimidating acceptance rates.
Here is a sneak peak of the latest Ivy League acceptance rates:
- Cornell, whose applicant pool totaled 40,006, admitting 15.15% this year.
- Columbia reviewed 33,531 applications, and admitted 6.89%.
- Yale received 29,610 applications, and accepted 6.72%.
The pressure is mounting for high school seniors as they await decisions from colleges. Many schools post notification dates of early April on their websites, while some, like Brown which promises March 28, will let students know even earlier. For many, the pressure can be almost unbearable. Jack Brodsky, a senior at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, has been doing his best to focus on his other interests, but finds it harder as the day approaches.
Hillary Hewins, director of College Counseling at Leman, explains this anxiety: "This is the first time that they're no longer in control of the process." A decrease in admissions rates has also added anxiety to the process, leading many to apply to more schools than ever before.
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While almost all students take the SAT or ACT at some point in their high school careers, their scores are not always reflective of their true abilities in the classroom. According to this entry posted on The NY Times Choice blog, a growing number of colleges continue to recognize this by making standardized testing optional for applicants:
"If you are a student who wants to opt out of the standardized testing game, you now have two alternatives: you can withhold your scores from test-optional institutions, or you can apply exclusively to schools on this growing list, dropping out of the testing process entirely. Fairtest.org, a standardized testing watchdog, points out that more than a quarter of all American colleges and universities are now test-optional in some form."
This is a positive change for students who struggle with standardized testing or have a strong belief that it shouldn't be used to evaluate applicants. As a result, many colleges are adding more and more essay questions, as personal statements often tell colleges more about students than test scores do.