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This Week in Admissions News | Week 28

JUL 28, 2021

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students planning to apply to universities, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. We’ve rounded up the latest news and given our take on what it means for future and current college students. Check back each week to see what’s new!

1. Admissions experts envision another year of record-breaking application numbers at US universities

The 2020-21 application cycle was the most competitive in history for many US unis — and with test-optional policies still in place at most schools alongside the elimination of SAT Subject Tests this year, authorities in the college admissions space are predicting that the next admissions cycle will be even more competitive. Admissions gurus point out that with relaxed testing requirements lowering the barrier to apply to universities, the barrier to get into universities becomes even higher, meaning that next year we could see even lower acceptance rates than the sub-4% stats that shocked the higher education sphere this spring.

Crimson’s Take: Reflecting on the last admissions cycle, it’s clear to us that test-optional policies had a massive impact on application numbers: in the absence of sky-high test score expectations, admission to top universities became more attainable to many students who may not have even tried to apply if their test scores seemed to low. This proved that admissions officers look far beyond test scores to determine who gets accepted — and with test-optional policies staying in place for at least another year, students will likely face similarly low odds in the 2021-22 application cycle. Nonetheless, our students’ success speaks for itself and we’re prepared to help the next class of applicants tackle another year of historically stiff competition.

2. New findings reject the notion that Asian Americans face discrimination in college admissions

Since March, a court case filed against Harvard has called into question the virtue of considering race and ethnicity in university admissions to promote diversity on college campuses. A new study conducted by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center of Education found that “the current holistic admissions system [actually] benefits Asian American applicants more than an alternative test-only system.” Further, the study found that at 91 elite US universities with Affirmative Action policies in place, Asian American enrollment has remained stable for the last 20 years.

Crimson’s Take: The topic of Affirmative Action has been hot in the world of college admissions for months. We see it as an appropriate means of establishing fair access to educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds — and especially those who face obstacles due to their race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. As a company founded on the belief that every qualified student should have a fair shot at a top-notch education, we support Affirmative Action and are reassured in that stance by studies like this one.

3. Association of American Medical Colleges urges medical schools and teaching hospitals to mandate COVID-19 vaccines

In a statement released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the group formally recommended that all member institutions require vaccinations “with the goal of protecting our patients and healthcare personnel nationwide.” Should AAMC teaching hospitals enforce a vaccine mandate, over 150,000 medical and graduate students would be required to get vaccinated before beginning their clinical rotations. The statement notes despite “the sensitive nature of this recommendation,” the AAMC is “not alone” in its thinking as several academic medical centers have already implemented vaccine requirements.

Crimson’s Take: We’ve always supported vaccine mandates on college campuses, which last year proved to be hotspots for COVID outbreaks. It only makes sense that medical schools and teaching hospitals would follow suit — especially given the vulnerable state of many patients — and we think it’s telling that the AAMC has such confidence in the safety and efficacy of the three vaccines available in the US. With COVID cases back on the rise in the US, we understand why medical facilities and higher education institutions alike are making a strong effort to increase vaccine numbers before the fall semester begins.

4. US foreign and education entities jointly express “a renewed US commitment to international education” in their latest statement of principles

In a joint statement from the US Department of State and Department of Education, both parties declared they are committed to “participate in a coordinated national approach to international education, including study in the United States by international students, researchers and scholars; study abroad for Americans; international research collaboration; and the internationalization of U.S. campuses and classrooms.” Media note the statement was particularly welcome “after four years in which the sector found itself in frequent battles with the Trump administration over travel and visa policies.”

Crimson’s Take: Given that the US is such a popular study destination for Crimson students, of course we’re uplifted by announcements like this! We help hundreds of students get into top US universities each year and we know how disheartening it has been in the past for them to face obstacles with visas and border security on the path to their dream university. We’re encouraged by news of this revived interest in “the robust exchange of students, researchers, scholars, and educators” between the US and other countries.

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