Posted by Sponsored Post Posted on 23 May 2024

Top College Admission Trends: Interesting Facts And Statistics

The year 2023 was a time when the educational system in the U.S. witnessed one of the major milestones. The Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action dominated discussions. Most students and even educational establishments felt confused because of the changes. Moreover, on January 2, 2024, Harvard University President Claudine Gay left its post.

On the bright side, colleges registered an increase in undergraduate enrollment since the pandemic and a significant surge in early admissions. One thing’s for sure —  2024 is poised to be a significant year for college admissions. Other trends, such as changes in application processes, rise of AI writing tools, and shifts in enrollment patterns, are also expected to emerge or persist, exerting substantial influence. Thus, these changes mean that it could be interesting to explore other trends, which is what we do in this article. 

A Change Of Heart: Universities Are More Accepting Of AI

Most people immediately assume that it is a big problem that students are using AI when writing admission essays, and it’s true that this is an issue. However, many overlook the fact that colleges and universities use AI to facilitate their admission process — and this could negatively affect students if the educational industry doesn’t collaborate with the government to standardize the usage of AI in education. 

A survey in 2023 revealed that half of higher education admissions offices used AI to review applications. Furthermore, in 2024, 80% of higher education officials are planning to incorporate AI into their review processes.

What specific purposes do they use AI for? Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Pennsylvania developed AI tools to analyze college application essays for key personal attributes like leadership and perseverance. These tools assist in identifying applications with desirable qualities that human reviewers might overlook.

According to the Intelligent survey, institutions already employing AI use it to review transcripts and recommendation letters. AI is also used to assess personal statements, identify AI-generated essays (there’s irony here), and conduct preliminary interviews with candidates. Confidence in the use of AI for admissions grew even more between early and late 2023. 

Therefore, admissions personnel will continue to warm up to AI usage despite lingering ethical considerations. Universities could integrate ethical components into their AI courses or curriculum, uniting various disciplines to ensure thorough consideration of ethical implications. 

Students Write Authentic Essays

People of color nationwide are concerned about the Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action. Now that there’s no checkbox for race on applications, students are unsure if they should mention race in their essays. Clearly, the decision was to reduce systemic racism, but this change may require some adjustment from students and colleges.

Moreover, it means university leaders need to put in extra effort to ensure their campuses are diverse and reflect the real America. One way to do this is for universities to look at different parts of the application to get a full picture of the student. This includes leadership, activities outside of class, grades, community service, etc.

So, what should students do? Write genuine and authentic essays and not hesitate to seek essay help from more experienced writers. Also, experts recommend that students be themselves in their essays. If a student’s race, religion, or culture has shaped who they are, they should write about it. 

But they shouldn’t rely solely on it to define who they are. For example, if a student had to learn English on their own and now they’re a great debater, they should talk about it because it proves how hardworking, persistent, and intelligent they are. Colleges and universities could think about adding extra questions to their applications that make students think about aspects like their background, experiences, and values.

Education Abroad

One interesting trend is that more U.S. students are now looking for ways to enroll into European universities, and there are numerous reasons for that. First reason is lower costs; for example, Harvard costs about $54,269 each year, while Cambridge University in Europe charges between £25,734 (~$32,209) and £39,162 (~$49,015) per year. 

Another reason is saving one year as a result of shorter educational programs — in Europe, students study for three years, not four or longer. Lastly, Cambridge accepts more students, with a 10% acceptance rate compared to Harvard’s 3%.

U.S. colleges need to figure out why so many students are choosing schools outside the U.S. Is it because U.S. education costs too much? Or is it because students think it isn’t as good? These are important questions that need answering to avoid failure in the education system. 

Conclusion 

Since the pandemic started, significant changes have occurred in the process of college admissions, and it appears that more changes are on the horizon. This year is expected to bring significant developments, including increased use of AI, more genuine student essays. Additionally, questions arise because of the end of affirmative action, and a variety of interesting perspectives on college preferences. Therefore, it should be interesting to observe these trends and how they impact the educational system in the U.S. 




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