Will this year's College Admissions be any different?

Posted by Neal Schwartz on September 09, 2021

Following the toughest admissions year on record, will it be different this year?


Future college students might just be facing the most competitive year ever. This admissions season has been rattled with competition following the pandemic and increasingly fiery social justice battles, leading students to question their paths. According to a recent article, students should re-strategize in order to adapt to the new needs of colleges and universities. Here are some tips.


Adjust expectations

For those students dreaming of the Ivy Leagues, it’s important to understand the new context of competitive schools. Because of new test-optional policies, more students have felt like they could get into the highest-tier schools, and therefore, application numbers soared and admissions rates had to react to the influx of interest. So this means that the most competitive schools are driven to be even more competitive. In this case, it may be wise to adjust expectations and cast a wider net. Pay attention to smaller schools that aren’t yet brand-name, because these schools will be up-and-coming. Make sure college lists are weighted by safety schools. Then, transfers are always possible when the storm calms down.


Be honest

 Now is not the time to brag about accomplishments, but to be real. Admissions officers will be particularly sensitive to this generation of prospective students because of all the difficulties they’ve been dealt. So students should embrace modesty when writing personal statements and supplements. Admissions officers will be looking for a genuine voice, and will not be so easily won over by statements of grandeur.


Get great recommendations

 With the weight of testing going down as test-optional sweeps the nation, other parts of the application will bear more of it. That means that recommendations are going to have major impacts on swaying the judges. Instead of getting general recommendations from people that don’t know you that well, focus on making real connections with teachers and professionals that will be able to speak about your abilities and contributions.

 College Picture from Brown

Go for early decision

 If you have many selective schools on your list, you shouldn’t hesitate going for Early Decision, even if you haven’t necessarily seen the school yet. We know this sounds a bit scary, but it could end up really increasing your chances, showing your intent to enroll. For competitive colleges, an ED submission may provide anywhere from a 40 to 300% better admit rate. This is the time to be bold, even if you’re not entirely sure. College is what you make of it, and the hardest part is getting admitted. In this current climate, it’s wise that students pull out all the stops to get a step ahead of the rest.


For some help navigating the toughest admissions season ever, give us a call and get a free consultation!


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Neal Schwartz, Owner

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Topics: college preparation, college admissions, early decision, early action, early decision 2, college counseling, high school senior, high school junior, test optional, college lists, recommendations


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