Posts by Eric Hoover
October 25, 2012, 01:55 PM ET
Miami — The application boom that colleges have seen over the last decade can’t possibly continue, right? Wrong. On Thursday morning here at the College Board Forum, Seth Allen, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Pomona College, suggested that several trends driving application increases were unlikely to reverse themselves. “As we get to a juncture where smart people … might say applications are going to level out or even decrease,” he said, “there’s some phenomenon that seems to push them up even higher.” For one thing, colleges are marketing more aggressively and recruiting more broadly than ever before. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for those recruitment e-mails to stop flooding Junior’s inbox.) Over the next decade, perhaps no trend will prove more significant than the rising number of international students applying to American colleges—and the colleges...Read More
June 20, 2012, 05:12 PM ET
Boston—Application essays are perhaps the most romantic fixture of the admissions process. Although many colleges do not require them, some selective institutions ask students to write two or more. Such requirements allow applicants to reveal their true selves and help admissions officers see inside students' heads and hearts. At least that's long been the idea. But has the personal statement outlived its usefulness? On Wednesday, several admissions officers and college counselors weighed that question here at the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions. In an era of application surges at super-selective colleges, one counselor predicted, application essays will soon become too much of a burden for some overworked admissions staffs. Others expressed concerns about the impossibility of judging authenticity. Some applicants have college consultants who coach them through each...Read More
November 18, 2011, 02:50 PM ET
October 13, 2011, 02:34 PM ET
March 14, 2011, 09:49 PM ET
February 13, 2011, 02:24 PM ET
October 3, 2010, 12:32 PM ET
St. Louis—The traditional admissions calendar is
changing. During a session here on “application creep,” Phillip
Trout, college counselor at Minnetonka High School, in Minnesota,
described the proliferation of early deadlines he’s seen in recent
There’s early decision (in which acceptances are binding) and there are various versions of nonbinding early-action programs, which, many counselors say, are increasingly popular among students. Some colleges have adopted “priority” deadlines for regular-decision applicants. And others have embraced “fast-track” applications, which promise a quick decision.
Mr. Trout recalled that he once promised to meet with every senior in his high school before Thanksgiving. Now, he said, some families wanted everything done by October 1. As of mid-January of this year, 582 of Minnetonka’s 746 seniors had applied to at least one...
September 30, 2010, 08:19 PM ET
St. Louis—People often talk about why students decide to apply to particular colleges, but perhaps it’s just as important to think about when they do so.
On Wednesday afternoon, Larry Erenberger, an enrollment consultant at the National Research Center for College and University Admissions, presented data on how high-school students’ awareness and opinions of colleges change over time. The research was based on information collected through the organization’s “My College Options” program, which asks students to state their top college choices. The study included 2.7 million “declarations” of interest in specific colleges made by more than one million students during the 2009-10 academic year.
A major finding was that big-name colleges lose “market share” as students progress through high school. During that time, students become more aware of lesser-known institutions—and find them...Read More
September 30, 2010, 02:57 PM ET
St. Louis -- Just a few blocks from the Gateway Arch,
everyone’s talking about college admissions. Today’s the first day
of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s
annual conference, and deans and high-school counselors from all
over the nation have descended on this city to discuss recruitment,
testing, financial aid, and the elusive notion of “fit.”
On my walk to the convention center early, two counselors talked to me about the challenge of getting colleges interested in students who are “good, but not great.” A few blocks away, two admissions deans traded tales of dealing with presidents who are never satisfied. Said one: “So I told him, ‘Look, we made our class. What else do you want?’”
Later this morning, I was a panelist in a session sponsored by TargetX, a higher-education marketing company. The topic: how colleges can meet enrollment challenges during a time...
September 29, 2010, 06:21 PM ET
On Wednesday, I caught up with James W. Jump, the departing president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, on the eve of the group’s annual conference, in St. Louis. Mr. Jump has been academic dean and director of guidance at Saint Christopher’s School, in Virginia, since 1990.
Q. Since taking the helm of the association, what insights have you gained from folks on the college side?
A. I think the job is getting harder for everyone. One of the things I worry about for us as a profession is that the pressures put on people on the college side and pressures put on people on the high school side are drawing us apart.
Q. Right. There’s a strong sense among some of NACAC’s members, particularly high-school counselors, that college admissions is in crisis, infected with commercialism, and that the sky is falling fast. Then again, people have been saying the same...Read More