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27 JAN 2023
A new report from the Common Application suggests that this will be a better admissions year for more institutions than last year. The report covers applications submitted by Jan. 1, some but not all of which are early-decision applications. But Common App officials said they believe that this report includes many applications that are regular decisions as well. Through Jan. 1, 2023, 1,079,936 distinct first-year applicants had applied to 841 returning members of the Common App, an increase of 20% from 903,553 in 2019–20. Total application volume through January 1 rose 24% from 2019–20 (4,317,709) to 2022–23 (5,346,600).
Other key findings:
Elaborating on the last point, a report released by Brookings provided new information about why college enrollment has favored white, Asian and wealthier students. The report says academic preparation is the reason why. “We find that academic preparation explains a substantial portion of socioeconomic, gender and racial gaps in college enrollment,” the Brookings report said. “[Socioeconomic] gaps in enrollment, especially in four-year colleges, are enormous; 89% of students from families in the top SES quintile enroll in college compared with 51% of those in the bottom—a 38-point gap. Among students with similar academic preparation, the gap is much smaller though still notable. Students from the top quintile are 11 points more likely to enroll in college than students from the bottom quintile who have similar academic preparation.”
The Common App data represents just a slice of the total international-enrollment picture, documenting undergraduate applications at 841 participating colleges. But the numbers offer a nearly real-time glimpse into application trends, and they track individual applicants, meaning that the data are not distorted by students applying to more and more colleges.