The application sensation

Curious how most admissions offices are faring in the midst of a decline in traditional, college-bound teens? Apparently, not too bad according to some recent data shared by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Students are applying to more colleges than in years past and fighting for coveted spots at selective schools.

Caralee Adams of Education Week shares some stats and highlights from a recent NACAC webinar series entitled “The State of College Admission” that includes data from the upcoming 2012 College Admission Report (set to be released on November 28th).

Panelists from the webinar, like Katy Murphy, director of college counseling at Bellamine College Preparatory, shared some of their first-hand experiences with the eager applicants.

“We limit students to nine applications, but it’s remarkable how much push back we get,” said Murphy. Parents ask to have a student apply, just to see if they can get in. Murphy also cited her struggles with students understanding the value of the “best-fit” versus a name brand. “For students to be happy and challenged,” she added, “the fit really needs to be there.”

NACAC data shows that the average number of applications that colleges receive has gone up nearly 60 percent in the past decade which translates into lower acceptance rates. Thus causing additional stress and anxiety among prospective students (and their parents) and presenting a challenge for the admissions staff.

Panelists suggested making the application harder to give students a reason to think about why they are applying to a certain school.

NACAC is rolling out their annual State of College Admission Report on November 28th — free to members and available for purchase by non-members. To find out more about the report or watch the webinar series associated with the report data, visit

Read the rest of Caralee Adams’ blog post, “Students Reaching Higher and Wider in College Search” from Education Week.

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