College admissions for the fall of 2019 is just about complete. Only students remaining on a wait list wonder if an opening will occur over the summer months at their number one dream college.
For some colleges there is a meltdown over the summer with enrolled freshmen changing their minds and wanting to accept another school. That leaves an opening and a new opportunity for another student who had been waitlisted. And, there are colleges that did not meet their admissions goals and are still hoping for more students to accept them.
See the graph from College Bound News for a sampling of fall applications for private colleges this year.
For applicants this fall, it may look scary. The question many ask is: “How in the world will I be admitted?” While many only admit a small number; that leaves students in a precarious position if they are applying to those colleges. Honestly, this writer has seen client acceptances to almost all the listed schools. But that is not the point.
The typical students, based on experience, are not aware of the many other top private colleges that exist. Famous graduates in many fields are products of these colleges. Some graduates are medical doctors, scientists, engineers, financial analysts, economists, politicians and everyone else you can name.
When looking at private colleges, some families and their child eliminate private colleges based on the sticker price. But that is most likely not the price they’d pay in the end. When I questioned the total cost for a year at one private college I visited, thinking that’s what it might cost for a large out-of-state public university, the admissions counselor told me, “Mark, very few students pay that price at our college. In fact, many pay half that cost.”
There are ways of finding out what any college may cost: the net price calculator mandated by law for every college to display.
College admissions scandal
Should the college scandal be something to worry about this year? That terrible incident involved very few families and colleges are acting to eliminate that from happening again. It was certainly embarrassing for the schools involved and some on this chart were named. Note that no admissions, high school or independent counselor belonging to a respected counseling association was involved. Independent counselors belong to one to three professional associations. Each group has a code of ethics and if you can’t adhere to that code, then you are no longer allowed to belong to them.
Who could be hurt by the scandal? Those students who use extended time on the SATs or ACTs or have other special needs. One aspect of the scandal was cheating on the SATs. In some cases, a person other than the student approved to take the test took it instead. Or a doctor recommended the student needed extended time, but the student was not eligible. The doctor was well-paid for his cooperation.
Now SAT officials will probably tighten eligibility and security for the test. And, there was a great deal of security in the first place. Most problems usually came from other countries, where cheating seemed to be more prevalent.
More colleges are making tests such as the SAT and ACT optional. It seems that every week another college becomes test-optional. Beware, while a college may make your submission of test scores optional, there may be cases where the optional is not optional any more. This may be for scholarships for which the colleges want the scores, or certain majors that don’t include the choice.
What’s some of the bad advice admissions officers have heard from families?
Choose the cheapest college you can find; don’t worry about your final high school semester; your life will be ruined if you don’t go to an Ivy; choose a high ranked school; haven’t heard of that school; a selective college is a great college; claim undecided on your major then stay close to home; remember the college sticker will be on your back car window.
How about a good college fit for you? That’s the idea of the entire process.
Mark Fisher is a college and career consultant at Fisher Educational Consultants, www.fishereducationalconsultants.com, and a consultant for the College Planning Institute www.GotoCPI.com.