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This Week in Admissions News | Week 27

22 JUL 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 University of California System has admitted its largest and most diverse freshman class between its 9 undergraduate campuses

Despite 2020-21 being the most competitive admissions year in history for many US universities, the University of California system — which includes UC Berkeley, UCLA and 7 other undergraduate campuses — this year admitted a collective 132,353 prospective freshmen, an 11% increase from last year. Acceptance rates at 7 UC campuses decreased compared to last year due to skyrocketing application numbers, but their freshman classes are nonetheless more ethnically and socioeconomically diverse across the board.

Crimson’s Take: At Crimson, our mission is to level the higher education playing field for students all over the world — so we’re always encouraged by news that universities are taking action to build more inclusive and diverse communities. We’re thrilled to know that not only has the University of California system made an effort to combat unprecedented application numbers by admitting more students than ever before, but they’ve also made diversity a top priority to help ensure that underrepresented students have access to the educational opportunities they deserve.

2. US universities prepare to enforce COVID vaccine requirements with the fall semester on the horizon

Over the last several months, hundreds of universities in the US have announced requirements that returning students be vaccinated against COVID-19 before moving to campus this fall. However, with the new semester just around the corner, a number of institutions are reportedly struggling to implement these policies as students drag their feet to submit proof of vaccination. To combat this, some schools are incentivizing students to submit their vaccine records well before posted deadlines, while others anticipate an influx of students submitting the required documentation in the final days leading up to their deadlines.

Crimson’s Take: For months we’ve been rooting for universities as they implement COVID vaccine requirements in an effort to make their campuses as safe as possible for students returning after more than a year away. Despite the reported delay, we’re optimistic that when the time comes for students to head off to school, universities that have announced a vaccine mandate will see a jump in documents submitted by their pupils. After all, we think the allure of returning to in-person learning on a vibrant college campus is incentive enough for most students to comply with these new policies!

3. Recent survey results shed light on university students’ top priorities and concerns regarding their education

Results of a recent survey conducted by Inside Higher Education and College Pulse indicate that students at US universities are concerned about the cost of higher education and highly supportive of free college and student loan forgiveness. Additionally, students support policies that seek to make admissions more merit-based, with a majority of respondents saying they approve of test-optional policies as well as the prospect of banning the consideration of legacy and race in admissions decisions. 

Crimson Education: As a company that works one-on-one with students from the beginning to the end of their university journey, we’re not at all surprised to learn that college students want to see a more affordable, diverse and accessible higher education system overall. Of course, we understand that these issues are complex — and we know that solutions to problems like the cost of college and equal access in admissions are not as clear-cut as they ought to be. Nonetheless, it’s encouraging to know that students recognize these discrepancies and are advocating for their solutions through informative surveys like this.

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