• Michele Coleman

2017 Admissions Trends

Every year NACAC (The National Association of College Admissions Counselors) delivers a report that illuminates new and existing trends in college admissions. Here are some highlights adapted from the 2017 report.

College Applications

The increase in the number of colleges to which a student applies continues an upward trend. Between Fall 2015 and Fall 2016, the number of applications from first time freshmen increased 7 percent.


On average colleges accepted nearly 2/3 of Freshmen Applicants. The percentage of applicants offered admission at four-year colleges and universities in the United States was 66.1 percent for Fall 2015. (That’s good news!)

Factors in Admission Decisions

The factors that admission officers use to evaluate applications from first-time freshmen have remained largely consistent over the past 20 years.

1. Academic Achievement, by far, is still the most important factor in admissions decisions. This includes grades in college preparatory courses, overall high school GPA, admission test scores, and strength of curriculum.

2. Secondary factors include the essay, a student’s demonstrated interest, counselor and teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities, and class rank.

Access to High School College Counselors

For many students, particularly those in public schools, access to their college counselors is limited due to the high volume of students enrolled. According to US Department of Education data (2014–15), the average ratio of counselor to student was 1:482. Here is some frightening news for those of you in California. California ranks last in the nation as reported by the California Department of Education with a ratio of 945 students per 1 counselor. The American Counseling Association recommends a ratio of 1:250!

Questions on how the above affects the college search process? Contact me and let me know!


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