Are College Acceptance Rates Hurting Higher Education?

April 01, 2016

high school student applying to college
The number of students applying to college seems to rise every year, and 2016 is no exception. Colleges and universities across the US are seeing an increase in number of applicants yet again, and many are reporting record numbers. Princeton’s acceptance rate for the newly admitted Class of 2020 was a startling 6.46%, working out to 1,894 students accepted out of nearly 30,000 applicants. Harvard accepted only 5.22% of almost 30,000 students as well. Yale and Cornell also reported record numbers of both applicants and acceptance rates. But how important are these numbers to the applicants themselves?

It’s important to keep in mind just what acceptance rates represent, and what other facts and figures there are to take into consideration. Total number of applicants plays a role, and it’s a number that is often overlooked. An acceptance rate of 6% is meaningful, but a school that only accepts 600 students is going to be that much harder to get into.

Test scores, GPA, total tuition cost, enrollment numbers, and plenty more figures are also important to consider. For high schoolers applying to college, keep in mind that acceptance rates aren’t everything. With over 3,500 colleges and universities in the US alone, there are always options. Other high quality, top tier schools have higher acceptance rates, yet are still considered to be some of the most competitive in the country (for example: University of Michigan - 26.2%, UCLA - 17.3%, Notre Dame - 21.2%).

As the number of applicants rises and the acceptance rates fall, will students become less likely to apply? If the standard of admission is so high, should students continue to apply to schools that are considered “reach” targets? According to Yale’s recently reported statistics on the Class of 2020, of the almost 30,000 students that applied, almost 12,300 had GPAs of 4.0 or higher. That sheer number of highly qualified students is high, which begs the question: should students themselves be more selective? Will colleges continue to push for more applicants to lower their acceptance rates?

If you’re looking to find out how to beat the odds and get accepted to your dream school, search our database to find students who got in. You’ll see their test scores and GPA, application essays, and advice questions about the college application process, all of which can help you get into college.

Sources: NJ.com, The Crimson, Peterson’s, Huffington Post.  

 

About The Author

Drew Evans
Drew Evans

​Drew is a content and social media guru. When he’s not working, he loves to photograph, play music, play sports, and travel. He is also weirdly obsessed with Thai food, Girl Scout cookies, and learning new languages (even though he’s not fluent in any). For any editorial ideas, contact info@admitsee.com.




Browse Successful Application Files

hulya559
Harvard ‘21


Accepted to Harvard, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, Emory, USC

Hi! I'm a Harvard PreFrosh interested in service, economics, math, and philosophy excited to help you.
clee94
Harvard ‘17


Accepted to Harvard, UVA, USC

Hi! Harvard senior (brother in class of '19 here as well) studying Economics and East Asian Studies while journalism, wood design, dance, baseball, cultural, & professional groups.
w_quan
Harvard ‘20


Accepted to Harvard

Excited about the world.
b_rod
Harvard ‘20


Accepted to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, UVA

Lover of physics, math, and chess. Football player and bass player. California born and raised.

New Posts

Student Insight: How to Approach Transferring Colleges
Student Insight: How to Approach Transferring Colleges
January 09, 2018

Not sure if your current university is the best school for you? Consider your transfer options. No one really expects to go through the application process again after senior year in high school. But things...

How To Succeed on MCAT Test Day
How To Succeed on MCAT Test Day
January 05, 2018

Stressed out about your upcoming MCAT? Our friends at Magoosh will help you through MCAT Test Day! You’ve prepared for the MCAT for months, you’ve selected the right date for you—and it’...

Brown University Class of 2022 Results Released
Brown University Class of 2022 Results Released
December 21, 2017

Brown University admits 738 early decision applicants from the largest early admission application pool Brown has had since the early application program started 16 years ago. The 738 students who received good news from Brown make up 21.1% of...

Load More Posts