[Vision2020] Colleges Where Applications Are on the Rise

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Fri Oct 20 08:58:40 PDT 2017

Colleges Where Applications Are on the Rise


The U.S. job market is becoming increasingly competitive, and a college
degree may be more necessary today than ever before. Rising educational
attainment among American adults partially reflects the changing demands
of the workplace. The share the U.S. adult population with at least a
four-year college degree climbed from 27.5% to 31.3% over the last 10 years.

As more Americans are seeking higher education, some colleges and
universities are reporting tremendous spikes in the number of
undergraduate applicants. Dozens of four-year schools across the country
are reporting that applications have more than doubled in the last decade.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed 10-year changes in the number of applications in
over 1,500 postsecondary schools to identify the 100 colleges where
applications rose the most. Applications at the vast majority of schools
on this list increased by over 150% from 2006 to 2016.

The nationwide increase in applications is not solely a product of
rising interest in higher education. Young Americans also appear to be
applying to more schools.

The process of applying to multiple schools has become easier with the
wider use of the Common Application — a standard form accepted by
hundreds of higher education institutions. As more colleges and
universities adopt the Common Application, it is not unusual for a
single person to apply to more than a dozen schools.

The number of schools applied to per aspiring student has also likely
increased as students have become more strategic in the application
process. Today’s high school graduates are more likely to apply to both
top-tier institutions and also hedge their bets by applying to schools
with higher acceptance rates.

For many college applicants, getting into the best possible school is
the most important consideration. Though there are no Ivy League schools
on this list, there are a number of highly selective, top tier
institutions — including Vanderbilt and the University of Chicago, which
only accept 11% and 8% of applicants, respectively.

Other schools on this list, on the other hand, may be surging in
popularity exactly because they are far less selective, accepting most
applicants. Half a dozen of the schools on this list have acceptance
rates of 90% or higher.

College can be very expensive, and for some prospective students,
spending the least on tuition — or incurring the least amount of debt —
is the most important consideration when deciding which schools to apply
to. Over half of the schools on this list are public schools, many of
which have steep tuition discounts for in-state students.

For other schools on this list, the application spike may be
attributable to extra benefits and amenities not offered at competing
institutions. For example, Seton Hall University in New Jersey recently
started providing students with new, fully loaded laptops upon
enrollment. The number of applications to Seton Hall was 188% higher in
2016 than it was in 2006.

In other cases, schools have added popular programs in recent years that
largely account for the spike in applicants. One such school, National
Louis University in Chicago, has reported one of the largest jumps in
applicants since enacting Pathways, a program aimed at helping
historically underserved populations obtain a college education.

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 24/7 Wall
St. identified the 100 colleges with the largest 10-year percentage
increase in applicants from the 2006-2007 school year to the 2016-2017
year. Only schools with at least 3,000 undergraduates in 2006 were included.

By Samuel Stebbins

Source: Thinkstock

*77. Washington State University, Washington*
*> 10-year increase in applications:* 149.3%
*> 2015-16 applications:* 23,223
*> Total undergraduate enrollment:* 33,328
*> Acceptance rate:* 72%

Source: Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

*76. Boise State University, Idaho*
*> 10-year increase in applications:* 149.4%
*> 2015-16 applications:* 8,330
*> Total undergraduate enrollment:* 28,888
*> Acceptance rate:* 82%

Source: Wikimedia Commons

*69. Montana State University, Montana*
*> 10-year increase in applications:* 158.1%
*> 2015-16 applications:* 15,996
*> Total undergraduate enrollment:* 17,390
*> Acceptance rate:* 83%

Source: Thinkstock

*54. University of Washington-Seattle Campus, Washington*
*> 10-year increase in applications:* 173.3%
*> 2015-16 applications:* 43,517
*> Total undergraduate enrollment:* 50,374
*> Acceptance rate:* 45%

There are 4,726 Title IV degree-granting institutions in the United
States.  The University of Idaho is one of them, but it is not on this
list of more rapidly growing institutions over the last decade.



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