Elite U.S. colleges such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University are experiencing a slowdown or drop in applications for freshman admission after years of record increases.
Columbia reported an 8.9 percent decrease in applicants to 31,818 for the 2011-2012 year after surging 33 percent last year when the school joined the Common Application. MIT had 1 percent growth, the smallest increase in seven years, while the number of students applying to the University of Pennsylvania fell 1.7 percent after jumping 40 percent in the past three years combined.
Athletics programs, early-admission policies, competition for seats and other school-specific issues may be having a greater effect on student applications rates, counselors and admissions deans said. High school seniors are getting the message that it can be next to “impossible” to win a seat at these schools, said Jon Reider, head of college counseling at San Francisco’s University High School.
“There is a finite number of teenagers who have the credentials to make themselves competitive for schools like this and, at a certain point, that level is hit,” said Reider, a former admissions officer at Stanford University. “The supply of kids flattens out.”the original article from BloombergBusinessWeek, written by Janet Lorin