A shock to the entire system of higher education. Admissions was hurt throughout, beginning as students were sent home and banned from campuses, making it impossible for students to see the campuses at which they would enroll.
In the fall of 2020, many campuses remained closed to in-person instruction (and campus visits by prospective students). Even as some campuses started to reopen in the spring of 2021 and vaccines started to become available, many campuses were operating on anything but a normal schedule.
With all of these challenges, how did admissions fare? And how did that the challenges of the last year reshape the landscape for admissions? In our survey of 206 admissions officials. Filling Their Classes For years, Inside Higher Ed has asked admissions leaders about their attitudes for the year just concluded and if and when they filled their classes. In terms of attitude, this year was one of extreme concern. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they were “very concerned” about meeting their enrollment goals for the fall, and another 32 percent were “concerned.” Only 5 percent were “not too concerned” and 4 percent were “not concerned at all.
While the respondents were granted complete anonymity in their responses, they are consistent with what is happening this fall. For colleges that are highly competitive in admissions, it was a good year in admissions. As in years past, we asked if colleges met their enrollment goals for new students by May 1, the traditional date to respond to an offer of admission. Only 32 percent of colleges reported doing so. We then asked the remaining 68 percent if they had met their goals by June 1, and found that 16 percent did. We then asked that group (the remaining 84 percent) if they had met their goals by July 1, and only 8 percent answered in the affirmative.
In terms of why so many colleges missed the May 1 deadline (and June 1 and July 1), obviously the pandemic changed many students’ wishes and many family members’ willingness to pay.
But colleges also blame the closing of campuses last spring.
Asked how much the closed campuses hurt, 34 percent said it hurt a great deal, and 38 percent said it hurt a moderate amount. That, and the reports that open campuses did well in admissions this year, may be influencing the officers’ views Film 2021.
Despite all the changes, most colleges (74 percent) said they didn’t admit students this year whom the college probably wouldn’t have admitted in prior years.
Test-Optional Sulla Giostra 2021 Film Italia
One way that college admissions was definitely different last year (and this year) is test-optional admissions. Colleges last year rushed to go test optional when so many people were unable to take the SAT and ACT due to test centers closing. The College Board estimated last week that about 1.5 million students in the high school Class of 2021 took the SAT at least once down Film from the Italiano of The Eyes of Tammy Faye Streaming. The Common Application reported that only 43 percent of students had submitted SAT or ACT scores. That’s down from 77 percent in 2019-20 — a dramatic change in the year of the coronavirus pandemic. Of colleges that responded to the survey, 52 percent had changed their policies to become test optional or test blind this year, and 44 percent were test optional or test blind before the pandemic.
Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of the College Board for college readiness assessments, said via email, “The College Board and the SAT were founded to increase access to college and that remains our core mission. During the pandemic, colleges have introduced more flexibility and choice into the admissions process. Some students may decide their application is stronger without test scores, while others will benefit from sending them, including the many thousands of underrepresented students whose SAT scores strengthen their college applications.
Evidence shows that when colleges consider SAT scores in the context of where students live and go to school, as with our free admissions tool Landscape, the SAT helps increase diversity. A recent report from the University of California shows this clearly (see below). As we emerge from the pandemic, the SAT will remain one of the most accessible and affordable ways for students to distinguish themselves. Preserving a student’s choice to submit scores is important. ACT released this statement on the results: “Enrollment and admissions officers continue to recognize the important and appropriate role that the ACT test plays in their holistic enrollment review process, even while test optional policies have become more common. More time and more data is required to fully understand the nature, extent, cause, and longevity of enrollment changes reported in this survey.