It's a chaotic year for college admissions

1. **Financial Aid Challenges**

   - The new version of the federal financial aid application, FAFSA, introduced technical issues and system glitches, causing only 29% of high school seniors to submit forms compared to 45% at the same point in 2023.

   - This inefficiency is leaving some students uncertain about their ability to afford college, leading to potential enrollment decisions without clear financial information.

2. **Standardized Testing Uncertainty**

   - Many colleges made standardized tests optional during the pandemic, but some elite institutions like Yale and Dartmouth are now requiring them again, creating confusion for students and college counselors.

   - The SAT has undergone major changes, becoming digital-only and about an hour shorter, adding to the challenges of preparation and performance.

3. **Affirmative Action Reckoning**

   - Colleges and universities have hidden applicants’ race from admissions officers and provided new training on disregarding certain personal essay information, as they navigate their first application season without affirmative action.

   - Students are unsure about how to address race in their essays, creating additional complexity in the application process.

### The Larger Context: A Higher Education Reckoning

1. **Enrollment and Trust Challenges**

   - Colleges and universities are contending with declining enrollment and decreased public trust in higher education, compelling students to question the worth of the increasing cost of college education.

2. **Government Intervention and Reality**

   - Data still supports the value of a college degree based on graduates’ future earnings, despite the chaos and debate surrounding the current college application season.

   - However, colleges need to make a compelling case to potential students for the continued worth of a college education.

In essence, the challenges in the current college application season not only affect immediate decisions for students but also prompt a larger debate about the future of higher education, reflecting the need for colleges to address these issues to maintain the value of a college degree.  

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post