By Jessica Forinash, Director of College Counseling
This year has been unpredictable as we navigate the pandemic and how college admissions has been changed by our current world. Thankfully, we still have information to help us understand the current trends and assist students and families during this most unique college admissions cycle. First, let’s begin with some key updates regarding college admissions:
In-State Colleges & Universities
Admission to in-state colleges and universities is stable, and this year’s Randolph applicants have had similar successes to past years. I am grateful that our in-state institutions remain committed to Alabama students. The Common Application, that over 900 universities can receive applications through, reported on application data after January 15th deadlines. You can read the report here, but here are some highlights:
• Larger and more competitive colleges and universities are seeing increases in their applicant pools.
• Smaller and less competitive colleges are seeing declines.
• First generation students (those whose parents have not attended college) and low-income student applications are down.
"While things might look a little different when it comes to higher education right now, with increasing inequities and unpredictable decisions, I am thankful to work with Randolph students as we help them find their path to college."
Application & Enrollment Fluctuations
In some instances, undergraduate applications and enrollments have declined. This NPR article offers some insight about the reasons institutions are seeing decreases, including:
• The pandemic is forcing some students to postpone college enrollment, as families struggle with job loss or food insecurity.
• The longer a student postpones college attendance, the less likely they are to enroll.
• These declines in enrollment mean that some universities are furloughing employees, freezing enrollment to graduate programs, and cutting academic programs.
On the other hand, some institutions are seeing increases in application numbers, as discussed in this CNBC article, which include:
• Class of 2020 students postponed enrollment until the Fall 2021 due to the pandemic.
• Some students are applying to more schools due to uncertainty of the pandemic.
• Test-optional admissions policies allowed students to consider applying to universities that they might have previously felt were out of reach.
• Renewed interest from international students with a new U.S. administration.
While things might look a little different when it comes to higher education right now, with increasing inequities and unpredictable decisions, I am thankful to work with Randolph students as we help them find their path to college.
Randolph’s College Counseling Office consists of the Director, Jessica Forinash, and a Registrar/College Counseling Assistant, Jenna Pirani. Combined, they have more than 21 years of experience. Starting in 9th grade through graduation, the College Counseling team strives to give every student the preparation and individual guidance they need to find the right fit for their university experience.