Over the past decade, acceptance rates fell by half at top colleges across the country. As many colleges receive an increase in applications each year (one college now breaking 100,000), this trend is likely to continue.
What does this mean for you?
If you are applying to college next year, this trend is important to consider. As colleges become more selective, students must be thoughtful and strategic with their college lists—ensuring a strong balance of reach, target, and safety schools. Even a student with top grades and high test scores is not exempt from the need of safety schools. (However, with my Application Positioning™, you will be able to apply to more competitive colleges across each category.)
Students should not simply apply to as many top colleges as possible with hopes of getting accepted to at least one. With acceptance rates at all-time lows, this strategy risks getting denied from many, if not all, of the colleges.
Instead, students should craft a list of “best-fit” colleges for reach, target, and safety schools. Then, the student should focus on the quality—not quantity—of their applications. By submitting higher-quality applications, students are more likely to get accepted, increasing the number of college options after high school graduation.
Keep in mind, there are many safety colleges that are highly ranked, prestigious, and reputable. You will find many top-100 colleges with acceptance rates above 30, 40, and even 50 percent.
For more information regarding this trend in selectivity, you may read my recent Huffington Post article, here.