College decision season is at full steam. Most seniors in high schools all over the world have probably heard back from the colleges they applied to back in the fall, and some seniors might have already committed to the school of their dreams.
With Covid-19 and the removal of SAT requirements for most colleges this year, it goes without saying that this year’s application season was unique. The college admission process was already competitive, but with all of the factors that were at play this year, colleges appear to be harder to get into.
When asked if colleges are more demanding to get into or if there are simply more people applying, there is no clear answer: both factors play a large part in the college admissions process. Without a doubt, colleges are becoming more selective as more and more students are finding many ways to stand out. It’s not all about good grades or the number of clubs you have been involved in anymore. As more students are taking AP/IB/ College courses in high school, there is so much more than a student has to do to stand out now than students 20-30 years ago. Since everyone is taking APs and getting decent SAT scores, grades and test scores alone aren’t the only factors in what makes a student stand out, and in this way, colleges are getting harder to get into.
With the removal of the SAT requirement for most colleges this year, many schools have seen a drastic increase in student applications. UC’s have reported around an 18% increase in applications with UCLA having almost 200,000 applications this year, a record-breaking number. Schools can only admit a certain amount of applicants every school year. As requirements change, more students are willing to take the chance and apply for higher-level schools. Growth in student interest and a limited amount of space is another cause for rejections of admittance.
Both factors play huge roles in the college admissions process. As we progress further it will only get harder to get into these big schools with even bigger names. This year was definitely an outlier from the previous years but it may be a glimpse at what the future holds for college admissions. To all the seniors who are waiting to hear back from some colleges, good luck, and for those who have been accepted and are planning where to commit to, know that you will prosper wherever you end up.