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Top Schools Swimming in Applicants After Dropping Tests Requirements While Other Schools Struggle

Top Schools Swimming in Applicants After Dropping Tests Requirements While Other Schools Struggle

“if they’re not looking at a test score, maybe I’ve actually got a chance”

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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Just submit your demographic info and we’ll decided if we want you into our quota. Feel free to lie if you can pass the lie off long enough to be disconnected from our university. Then, the blame is all on you and you will still benefit in the interim before you are outed by the woke mob.

I wonder how Evergreen and Oberlin are doing.

The Friendly Grizzly | February 22, 2021 at 2:46 pm

“if they’re not looking at a test score, maybe I’ve actually got a chance”

I was told it was always wrong to split it infinitive.

Cornell is just being smart. They get a $80 application fee from each of those additional 17,000 suckers. If my arithmetic is right, that’s an additional $1.36 million over what their admissions office would usually bring in. Most of those additional applications can be sorted by computer and ignored.

Cornell won’t admit any more students than they would have anyway, so that extra 17,000 suckers gives them a much higher rejection rate. That raises their “selectivity” standing on the widely published college ratings.

It’s rare that a college can successfully combine virtue signaling with bringing in more money and raising their selectivity ratings. But Cornell did it, all thanks to the extra 17,000 dummies who will pay $80 to get turned down.

    healthguyfsu in reply to OldProf2. | February 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    They’re not being smart because they’ve removed a nationally normed objective measure from the admission equation.

    Anonamom in reply to OldProf2. | February 23, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Exactly. And it has been part of the Admissions’ strategy for *all* of the highly/super selective schools for a long time; they’re just exploiting it now because they can.

    Also, I find it amusing how many people are confusing “test optional” with “test not considered.” They are not the same thing. And if you think that the top-tier students are not submitting their 1550+ scores, then you are kidding yourself. (Well, that would be for the super selectives. Cornell’s numbers will be a bit lower.)

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