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2022-2023 College Admission Trends

To help those of you who are about to begin your college admissions journey, Berkeley2 Academy wants to provide you with the most current college admissions data and trends so that you can make strategically sound investments with your time and energy.

So, what trends are we unveiling from the most recent data concerning college admissions? Well, in general

  • Higher education institutions have reduced admission rates

  • Increased application numbers and greater global competition have made admissions more competitive

  • Early Action and Early Decision are becoming more popular among students and admission offices, but EA/ED admission rates vary based on institution

Let’s take a look at each of these trends more closely and analyze what this means for you.

Admission Rates are Decreasing

Why are admission rates so low? Well, for prestigious schools like the Ivies, Stanford, and MIT, low admission rates are normal. Not only are these schools academic powerhouses, but low admission rates generate prestige and advance school brands. However, we are now seeing admission rates dropping at public universities, which traditionally have been required to provide higher education to the residents of their respective states.

According to a recent study, admission rates at 18 prestigious public universities have dropped 21% since 2002. This is happening because state schools, like the University of California system, are now global brands that attract students from not only across the nation, but also around the world.

Application Quantity and Global Competition are Increasing

While admission rates are decreasing, recent data shows a 20% increase in overall college applicants with international applications increasing at nearly triple the rate of applicants in the United States since 2019–20.

The nationalization and globalization of admissions is also affecting Texas state university admissions. For the most recent 2022-2023 admissions cycle, both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University became members of the Common App. Prior to this transition, these universities exclusively used the Apply Texas application portal. However, since the Apply Texas portal is now an option rather than a requirement, both universities have opened pipelines to out-of-state and international students. Consequently, the number of non-resident applicants to Texas schools will only continue to increase. The most recent data from the Common App In the state of Texas, there was a 68% increase in the application portal’s use.

One upside to this is that the transition to Common App means your application workload has been reduced. Use the extra time you have to dedicate your energies into making your Common App applications truly stellar!

Early Action and Early Decision are Becoming More Popular

Another admission factor to take into account is Early Action and Early Decision (EA/ED). Data shows that the number of students applying EA/ED is increasing along with the percentage of EA/ED students comprising incoming classes. In fact, EA/ED is becoming a preferred choice of colleges to fill as much as 50% of their incoming classes early. Picking an EA/ED school that is reachable for you could be an amazing strategy to secure a spot at one of your favorite colleges by December of your senior year!

There is also a growing trend in colleges not releasing EA/ED data. For 2022-2023, Columbia, Cornell, Rice, Stanford, and Penn are among the schools that will not release their EA/ED results. Colleges may be hiding their EA/ED because they do not want to discourage applicants. Fortunately, some competitive universities, like Harvard and Yale, still provide insights into their EA/ED process.

The most significant question is what these institutions do with the applicants who are not admitted EA/ED. In the case of Yale, as illustrated below, the 67% of students who were not admitted EA/ED were rejected and not reconsidered for admission.

This is largely due to the significant increase in the number of EA/ED students Yale has seen in past years. The strain on resources and manpower are too significant to warrant a reconsideration of a large number of applicants.

Like Yale, Harvard has also seen a significant increase in EA/ED applications. However, unlike Yale, roughly 78% of applicants were deferred and only 9.5% were denied.

This data should not be taken as a discouragement to apply EA/ED! This is a small sample size of highly competitive and prestigious schools with well documented low admission rates. Private and public institutions often have different EA/ED admission rates, with some state schools giving EA/ED priority to in-state students. Also, the increased use of EA/ED to fill incoming classes shows the importance of applying EA/ED to your top choice school.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

At this point, you may have some significant questions about how the changing landscape of college admissions impacts you and your journey. This is completely understandable, and you should know that even with the increased competition in higher education, there is a place for you at a school that will fulfill your academic, professional, and personal goals.

In short, what this data shows is that college admissions require more forethought than before. A sound and strategic plan is necessary to make the college admission process efficient and productive. This is where Berkeley2 Academy can help.

We are here to help you navigate the ever-changing world of college admissions. Whether it be through our Sparks and Steps programs, standardized test preparation, or Gateway college admission counseling, we can help you break down the many aspects of college admissions into manageable and navigable components.


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