This Week in Admissions News | Week 3

03 FEB 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. The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education deem Harvard #1 in the Ivy League, followed by Yale and Brown

Harvard took the top place in The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education’s annual collaborative College Rankings, with MIT, Yale, Stanford and Brown taking the remaining top 5 spots, respectively. The ranking is based on 15 factors in four main categories: student outcomes, academic resources, student engagement and environment. All eight Ivy League schools fell within the top 15 on the list of nearly 800 US colleges and universities.

Crimson’s take: It’s no secret that the Ivy League boasts some of the best schools in the world — which explains why their applicant pools are so competitive! Many of the most talented students across the globe set their sights on these leading universities and the WSJ/THE rankings help explain why. At Crimson, we’re proud to have helped nearly 300 students gain admission to these highly sought-after institutions as we know just how valuable an education from the Ivy League can be.

2. Cambridge adds an “over-subscription clause” to its terms allowing the uni to withdraw admission offers if too many students accept

In an attempt to avoid “last year’s A-level fiasco,” the University of Cambridge has resolved to withdraw places from students who were accepted in the event of “circumstances outside the reasonable control of the university and/or your college” when “the number of applicants meeting the conditions of an offer of a place on your course exceeds the number of places available.” For students it turns away, the university says it will try to find alternative colleges or courses, or let them defer. According to a Cambridge spokesperson, the uni “will do our utmost to ensure that all who meet the terms of their offer are admitted to the University this year.”

Crimson’s take: We understand that after a truly unprecedented year of challenges for students and universities alike, institutions like Cambridge are under immense pressure to ensure they are better equipped should the same trends carry through to the next admissions cycle. Cambridge is a remarkably competitive institution and we’re happy to know that the university is prepared to accommodate a potential surplus of qualified students with dreams of joining its ranks.

3. Kaplan Test Prep survey finds students’ social media pages are seen as “fair game” for an increasing number of college admissions officers

A survey of over 300 college admissions officers found that 65% of respondents in 2020 believe reviewing applicants’ social media profiles is acceptable when making admissions decisions, up from 59% in 2019 and 57% in 2018. However, despite this belief, only about half of those who said students’ social media is “fair game” actually do visit their profiles to learn more about them. Of those who check social media, 58% said what they found negatively impacted their view of the applicants in question while the remaining 42% said it had a positive effect.

Crimson’s take: In a world so intrinsically connected via the internet, it’s important to understand that anything you put on social media can influence the way others view you — be it admissions officers, friends and family, and even hiring managers. The increasing tendency for admissions officers to use social media as an evaluation tool for applicants emphasizes how important it is to be mindful about what you post online; and perhaps to even use it to your advantage in creating a positive portrayal of yourself!

4. Dartmouth reinstates all five athletic teams they cut last year due to admissions and budgetary constraints

After eliminating five sports teams — men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s lightweight rowing — in an effort to “increase flexibility in admissions and ease its budget deficit,” Dartmouth College reversed the decision and announced it will bring back all five teams through at least 2024-25. The college was threatened with a lawsuit alleging that the cuts left Dartmouth in violation of Title IX, which requires institutions to do one of the following: maintain a proportion of female student-athletes equivalent to the proportion of female undergraduate students; work to expand opportunities for female student-athletes; or accommodate the interests of female student-athletes.

Crimson’s take: Crimson was founded on a vision of equal opportunities for students everywhere, so of course we support Dartmouth’s decision to reinstate these teams as the college conducts a thorough gender equity review of its athletics programs. We’ve helped many talented student-athletes through the recruitment process for the Ivy League and revel in their ability to play the sports they love at the collegiate level. We’re glad the members of Dartmouth’s reinstated teams will be able to continue pursuing their passion for the time being.

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