The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

College admissions rates have consistently decreased over the past several years, often with dramatic annual drops. See here for the Top 100 Lowest Acceptance Rates in Fall 2010. [US News]

The Common Application is an online, standardized first-year application form and is currently used by 456 colleges across the the United States and internationally. Its widespread implementation has had palpable effects on college admissions trends, such as students applying to many more schools that they ordinarily would have. See here for the Common Application website, as well as an account of the effects the University of Michigan saw immediately following the form’s implementation in its admissions process. [Common Application] [Ann Arbor]

While the number of applications at many universities is continuing to increase, colleges are going to be seeing a smaller number of applicants as high school graduation rates are projected to decrease over the next four years from the 2009 record high. In fact, the number of schools seeing decreasing numbers of applications is growing alongside those seeing more. As more students consider two-year or only public colleges, the economy will perhaps take its toll on college admissions. [The Chronicle]

Social media is changing college admissions processes for both the applicants and admissions counselors. For the applicants, information about colleges is now more widely available through Facebook pages and blogs, and means of contacting current students have become much more accessible. For the admissions counselors, a new means of screening applicants is visiting a student’s Facebook page. See here for an article commenting on both of these phenomena, as well as a report conducted in 2008 by KAPLAN on the number of admission officers utilizing social media to evaluate applicants. [Politics Daily] [KAPLAN]

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