Admission Trends & Colleges: Holistic Factors & Increasingly Flexible Application Requirements

As we covered in the last blog, increasing numbers of applications have driven colleges to recruit greater numbers of students, especially from nontraditional applicant pools, and prefer to admit applicants who have shown greater amounts of commitment to attending the college when accepted. Beyond increasing applications and their consequences, other admissions trends for 2018 include colleges changing their policies concerning how and what they consider in the admissions process. In addition to increasing consideration of demonstrated interest, colleges are considering a greater number of soft factors, like student work portfolios and multi-media (video, images, etc.) submissions, in addition to hard factors like GPA and test scores. This trend has been dovetailed by a decreasing emphasis on test scores, with many colleges opting for greater test score flexibility (allowing students more choice in what kind of tests they can submit) or dropping consideration of test scores all together as test-optional policies increase in popularity. Together, more holistic admissions and greater application flexibility means it is more important than ever that a student be able to speak for their value beyond their academic achievements. At an increasing number of schools, demonstrated interest, genuine passion for your studies, and intent to give back to the campus community will be more likely to be the deciding factor in admissions than a high test score or attendance at a competitive high school alone.

In short, college admission is becoming a more holistic process, where traditional hard factors like test scores, and GPA will be increasingly equal in weight to an increasing number of soft factors like personality, samples of work, evidence of increasing responsibility and engagement in your communities, and demonstrated interest.

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