US University Admission Trends for 2023 | This Week in Admissions News

31/03/20235 minute read
US University Admission Trends for 2023 | This Week in Admissions News
The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, the Ivy Leagues sent out their acceptances in what was another historic year for applications. Top universities saw some of the highest applications and lowest acceptance rates. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!

US University Admission Trends for 2023

The last week of March and the first week of April is one of the busiest for many American families. As parents file their taxes, seniors eagerly await their university acceptances. With Ivy Day falling on March 30, top universities sent out their acceptance letters. It was another year of record-breaking application numbers and low acceptance rates. 

According to Forbes, here are some trends that we can expect to see in college admissions in 2023:

  • One of the most significant trends this year is the “continued shift toward test-optional admissions.” Today, 96% of colleges do not require test scores and Columbia as well as William & Mary are now test optional indefinitely. However, universities like MIT asked for test scores this year.
  • The Common App delayed its 2023-2024 essay prompt announcement, possibly due to ChatGPT concerns. Universities may consider alternative methods such as video interviews or portfolio material instead of admission essays
  • Early admission is crucial, but high application volumes may lead to more deferment. Schools like UPenn have filled half their incoming class from the early applicants, significantly changing acceptance chances.
  • Legacy preferences may decrease due to the ongoing discussion around affirmative action and the forthcoming Supreme Court case
  • Direct admissions programs offered by Niche and Concourse Global provide new opportunities for students to receive offers from colleges without requiring them to go through a lengthy admissions process first. The programs allow colleges to make offers of admission directly to students, often with financial aid, without requiring them to apply to those universities beforehand

Among all this, Prospective Ivy League students and their families are facing sticker shock as the cost of attending the elite colleges surges toward $85,000 per year. Of the eight colleges traditionally considered part of the “Ivy League,” five have annual costs for tuition, room, board and other fees that climbed above $80,000 as of the most recent academic year — amounting to a tab of more than $320,000 for a four-year degree, New York Post reported. Brown University has the steepest price tag, with an annual cost of attendance of $84,828 including room, board and other fees, according to the most recent available stats compiled by Bloomberg. The University of Pennsylvania ranked second on Bloomberg’s list with an all-in-cost of $84,570, followed by Cornell University with a price tag of $84,568.

It will be interesting to see how the next year shapes up in terms of admission trends. Until then, you can watch this space for more admission news.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. The Common App released its latest statistics, showing a 21% increase in distinct first-year applicants to US universities. The number of distinct applicants residing outside the United States increased at nearly triple the rate of applicants in the United States since 2019–20 (55% versus 18%). China, India, Ghana, Nigeria, and Canada were the leading countries for international applicants. After a steep decline in standardized test score reporting rates from 2019–20 (74%) to 2020–21 (40%) and a slight rebound in 2021–22 (44%), trends through March 1 suggest a leveling-off of reporting in 2022–23 (43% of applicants have reported a score in an application this season).
  2. The U.S. Department of Education shared a draft of the new application form for its student aid application process. The complete overhaul to the Education Department’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, process is slated for December — a few months later than originally planned. The form isn’t as short or easy to fill out as many higher education advocates had hoped it would be, reported Inside Higher Ed, but demonstrates some progress toward making the form simpler, as mandated by the FAFSA Simplification Act of 2020.
  3. Times Higher Education revealed the 2023 rankings for Japanese universities. Tohoku University topped the list, followed by University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Kyoto University. International Christian University enters the top 10 for the first time (at number 10). Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) now tops the resources pillar, pushing the University of Tokyo down to number two. The metric on international exchange programmes uses scores from the 2021 ranking because of the instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  4. A new study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that if the US Supreme Court bans race as a factor in college admissions, minority enrollment in selective colleges will likely stall or decline, Reuters report. The study found that admissions practices that consider class but not race would still leave selective colleges without the representation of Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander students seen in US high schools. The article further notes that schools would need to overhaul their entire admission process, including eliminating factors such as athletic talent and connections to school alumni or donors, to increase enrollment of underrepresented groups without relying on race-conscious admissions.
  5. Many college and university marketing teams are now taking advantage of TikTok for their marketing efforts, Inside Higher Ed has reported. According to a 2022 Pew Research study, two-thirds of teenagers use TikTok, making it a vital recruiting tool for colleges. In recent months, however, some state governments and university systems have banned TikTok and the Biden administration is threatening to ban the app in the U.S. unless ByteDance, its Chinese owner, sells it.