What trends have you noticed in admissions?

As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the experts. Here are their answers.

Bill Pruden Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

In the over twenty years I have been involved in college admissions work, I have seen colleges move away from seeking well rounded students to seeking well rounded classes, so that a student who stands out due to a particular passion or skill is often a more attractive applicant. Too, I have also seen an increase in the impact of outside forces–especially rankings and concerns about public identification–on the admissions process. Indeed, there has been a marked increase in marketing with an eye to a school’s place in the annual media-produced rankings. The ever greater concern about selectivity has led to increased efforts to attract more appplicants even when they are admitting no more of them. To me these are disturbing trends for while there is no denying that there are institutional needs, these efforts seem institutionally self-serving, reducing the aspiring applicants to little more than pawns in a game of one upsmanship .

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