2022 College Admissions Recap

The Atomicmind Blog

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  • Ivy League
Read 2022 College Admissions Recap

2022 has been a rollercoaster ride of a year for the college admissions process. Undoubtedly, no one feels more affected by this than parents and the applicants themselves. So, what has changed? How can we navigate this process going forward?

The Rise of Test-Optional

As mentioned in a previous blog post on test-optional admissions, many top schools are doing away with standardized testing requirements. This means that students can apply to schools like Harvard, UPenn, or the entire UC system without submitting an ACT or SAT score. Before applicants would self-select before deciding to apply to a certain school. They would take a look at the median scores of a respective school, and if their personal scores were nowhere near that, they would most likely choose not to apply. Test-optional admissions has changed this and has done away with the median standardized test score barometer. Now, many students who may have lower scores or no scores at all feel compelled to apply to top schools. This makes the applicant pool even larger, thus reducing admissions rates.

Emphasis on Social and Racial Equity

After the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, companies and institutions have tried to make their practices more equitable for black and brown people and people who come from lower socioeconomic classes. Universities are no different. Fifty-one percent of Brown University’s early admissions acceptees self-identified as Black, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, or Asian. The UC system also announced that its 2026 class is its most diverse ever, while the University of Pennsylvania  announced that its class of 2026 is its most diverse in terms of racial and ethnic identity as well as socioeconomic background.

Acceptance Rates – More Schools Will Not Release Them

For decades, a school’s admissions rate was used by applicants as the best way to gauge how prestigious a school really is. In 2022, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Cornell have decided to follow Stanford (which stopped releasing acceptance rates in 2018) and to not release an official acceptance rate. However, it just takes some basic math to calculate these rates. The University of Pennsylvania announced that it accepted 2,400 students out of a pool of 55,000 students. Other schools that did release acceptance rates made it clear that they were the lowest in their institutional history (Harvard: 3.1%, Yale: 4.5%, Brown: 5%).

Is It Impossible to Get into Your Dream School?

The new developments in the college admissions process seem to baffle the minds of students and parents alike. With historically low acceptance rates and no official acceptance rates at all, the dream of entering a top school seems increasingly like a fantasy to many. However, students and parents should still remain hopeful and encouraged. Most colleges do accept the majority of the students that apply, and the overwhelming majority of students finds the right school fit for them, even if it is not their top choice. We at AtomicMind are here to help! What matters most to colleges these days is the ability of a student to craft a personal story- one which proves dedication, curiosity, and grit. There is no one size fits all college admissions strategy. Each student possesses a unique set of qualities and talents, which we help to uncover and make stand out on their application.

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