Many Ivy League schools are seeing a rise in applicants after dropping requirements like the SAT. Meanwhile, smaller name schools are seeing a drop in enrollment.

The New York Times reports:

Interest Surges in Top Colleges, While Struggling Ones Scrape for Applicants

Prestigious universities like Cornell never have a hard time attracting students. But this year, the admissions office in Ithaca, N.Y., is swimming in 17,000 more applications than it has ever received before, driven mostly by the school’s decision not to require standardized test scores during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We saw people that thought ‘I would never get into Cornell’ thinking, ‘Oh, if they’re not looking at a test score, maybe I’ve actually got a chance,’” said Jonathan Burdick, Cornell’s vice provost for enrollment.

But while selective universities like Cornell and its fellow Ivy League schools have seen unprecedented interest after waiving test scores, smaller and less recognizable schools are dealing with the opposite issue: empty mailboxes.

In early December, applications to Cal Poly Pomona, east of Los Angeles and part of the California State University system, were down 40 percent over the previous year from would-be freshmen, and 52 percent from transfer students, most of whom started their higher education at community colleges.

A drop in applications does not always translate into lower enrollment. But at a time when many colleges and universities are being squeezed financially by the pandemic and a loss of public funding, the prospect of landing fewer students — and losing critical tuition dollars — is a dire one at schools that have already slashed programs and laid off staff.

 

 
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