New Trends In Higher Education?
(All emphases by Always On Watch)
The rejection letters are began arriving last week as most colleges attempt to make their admissions' decisions before April 1. This year, because some 2,000,000 students, two thirds of this years graduates, are applying for a limited number available spaces. As a result, right now high-school seniors are forced to deal with adjusting their dreams and are beginning to consider attending colleges which are low on their lists of preferred schools.
The following is front-page news from the April 7, 2006 edition of the Washington Post: Colleges, Awash in Applications, Turning Away Even Top Students
"...Many of the best-known and most-selective universities announced record low admission rates this year. Yale set an Ivy League record, accepting only 8.6 percent of its 21,099 applicants. Last year, the school accepted 9.7 percent of its 19,448 applicants. Other record lows were reported by Columbia University, 9.6 percent; Stanford University, 11 percent; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13 percent; Brown University, 13.8 percent; Dartmouth College, 15.4 percent and the University of Pennsylvania, 17.7 percent.Another factor is playing in this year, perhaps to a greater extent than ever before:
"In the Washington region, George Washington and Johns Hopkins universities reported their lowest acceptance rates ever. GWU accepted 36 percent of its 19,250 applicants, compared with 37.5 percent of the previous year's 19,406 applicants. Hopkins's rate took a particularly precipitous drop, from 35 percent of 11,278 applicants to 27 percent of 13,869 in one year.
"'We were kind of struck by the fact that we were wait-listing and denying students that last year or two years ago we would have been happy to admit,' said John Latting, director of undergraduate admissions. Students, he added, 'that we would have admitted.'"
"The number of rejections is further inflated by the increased number of applications sent out by each student, reacting to the uncertainty of admission and the ease of online and common applications. This produces a self-perpetuating cycle: It is harder to get in, so seniors apply to more schools, which makes it even harder to get in, at least for the most sought-after schools."Many place too much emphasis on the necessity of admission to a top-of-the-line university. According to the above-cited article,
"Research indicates that attendance at a well-known school does not appear to give any long-term advantage to students, at least as measured by incomes 20 years after they graduate. College counselors advise students to look for a school that offers the size and range of courses and activities they are looking for and not worry so much about where it ranks on the U.S. News & World Report list."High-school seniors and their families would do well to remember that the Ivy Leagues are not the only route to a good education and a successful career. Furthermore, I have noticed that the status of attending a prestigious university often matters more to the parents than to their children. As lesser-known colleges receive some of the high-achieving applicants, those schools will improve. I think we may be seeing the beginning of an improvement in higher education. Despite this benefit, however, for certain specialized areas—including medicine and music, just to name two—the choice of institution does matter.
Over the next few weeks, high-school seniors have a difficult decision to make: what to do about being wait-listed. For example, colleges which have sent acceptance letters require a response by May 1, but those which have sent a wait-listed notification will not make their decision until June 1. Catch-22!
Of course, one freshman didn't have to worry about the above issues:
Former Taliban Spokesman Finds New Haven--at YaleHashemi grabbed up only one available space, but that space is at Yale.
"The Taliban’s former spokesman, Rahmatullah Hashemi, is now an undergraduate at Yale University, The New York Times reveals..."