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    Application Inflation- Inside the Numbers...

    Application Inflation- Inside the Numbers...

    Enrollment Management annual series

    Part 1. Application Inflation- Inside the Numbers

    Application Inflation results from the admission strategies of colleges designed to boost their selectivity.

    Early Action is a preferred college application strategy that I use extensively to get my CollegeLogic students to submit applications in early October. In recent years, it was a strategy that yielded higher acceptance rates and increased scholarship offers. It also served well for students to learn earlier about their application decisions. But, the accelerated use of the Common App has changed all of that.  

    It's reflected in this season's admission results, disappointing tens of thousands of student families. Let's look at some of the numbers-

    Applications increased this year by 1.6 million over the number submitted in 2020 without an increase in the number of applicants. This is called
    Application Inflation! It results from college strategies designed to receive more applications, resulting in lower acceptance rates and an enhanced perception of their "selectivity".

    Many colleges received 30% more Early Action applications this year than in 2020. Some colleges implemented Early Action for the first time this year to alarming results.

    Clemson offered Early Action this year for the first time and received 26,000 EA applications along with 32,000 Regular Decision applications. That's 58,000 applications to enroll 4,500 freshmen students. 

    USC offered Early Action for the first time and received 40,000 EA applications along with 80,000 Regular Decision applications. That's 120,000 applications to enroll 3,500 freshman students. 

    The Univ. of Wisconsin received 45,000 EA applications along with tens of thousands of Regular Decision applications to enroll 8,500 freshmen students.

    These are staggering numbers!

    What does it mean to the colleges?

    It means that Application Fee income increased by over $120 million dollars, mostly received by the 50 or so most popular colleges.

    It means that those college offices had thousands more applications to sort through. They can preach all they want about taking a "holistic" view of their applicants, looking beyond grades and test scores. But that's mostly hogwash. I am 100% certain that thousands of applications at top schools were either denied or deferred within 10 seconds of a counselor's viewing of them. 

    It means that these colleges' perceived "selectivity" has been superficially enhanced by manipulating to show a lower "acceptance rate".

    It's Admissions Inflation. It's a well-designed strategy of the colleges. It serves them well, but it comes at the expense of student-family expectations, emotions, and outcomes.

    On the flip side, their "conversion rate of acceptances to enrollments" will decline accordingly, but we'll address that later in the series. 

    What does this mean to you and me?

    For me, I will continue to use Early Action to the benefit of all of my students. It's still the best way to go. We just have to be smarter and more aware in our approach.

    For students, it's more important than ever for you- 

    • to build relationships within the Admission Office, earlier and stronger
    • to build upon your personal skills
    • to be global-minded and able to express your viewpoints
    • to have a defined purpose for your major 

    These are the clear differentiating factors that create your own unique advantages. 

    For parents, it's more important than ever for you to be on top of your game; to be involved and engaged; to work from a knowledge-based position of strength.

    Gone are the days when a college visit is nothing more than registering and taking a tour, an activity in which there is no meaningful relationship built.

    Unless you're savvy to it, information sessions and tours are the time that colleges assume the strength position... and that doesn't bode well for you.

    My students are always required to meet an Admission Counselor at every college that they visit. The results are greatly improved by doing this well, though it's clearly not something that most students embrace.

    My parents work from a knowledge-based position of strength.

    It takes plenty of advanced work to become good at this. It's a whole lot easier not to. The results are predictable either way!

    Absorbing the College Experience

    Absorbing the College Experience

    Kids are made to absorb their college experience, good or bad.

    Give that a little thought, and then ponder this-

    What college experience do you want your child to be absorbed by?

    This is a life-defining question, yet, very few parents consider it.

    Rather, most parents proceed ahead under the false belief that the rankings and high cost of college with all of its glory and prestige assure parents that it's right for their child. 

    The reality is that college is a transformational bridge, taking a kid/ teenager into becoming a young adult. The successful journey of college will ultimately be determined by how the child absorbs the total experience. 

    When a child chooses a college or a parent directs their child's choice, they choose an experience the child is made to absorb. It's not just rankings and prestige that count, which I don't think counts for a dime.

    Rather, the college experience includes-

    • academics and learning opportunity
    • various influences and influencers
    • cultural and social settings of the college
    • its inspirational value, or possibly the weight of overwhelming expectations
    • good friends along with bad relationships
    • a student's successes and disappointments.

    When it's all done, rankings and prestige will not have mattered in the slightest. 

    What will live on forever is the experience. Good or bad, students are made to absorb their experience. 

    With all that's riding on the line, as college choices are being made, can we choose the best college experience over choosing college prestige?

    If you'd like to discuss what college experience is right for your child or a friend's child, let's talk!

    Celebrations, Excuses, Outcomes

    Celebrations, Excuses, Outcomes

    You can't distinguish yourself from others by doing what they do.

    You can't distinguish yourself from others by doing what they do.

    Distinguish  to notice or recognize a difference between people or things. 

    It can work both ways- distinguish oneself well or be indistinguishable.

    Indistinguishable- not able to be identified as different or distinct.

    The world rewards people who distinguish themselves favorably, which is probably just 1 in 10 kids and adults alike.

    High school and college students who distinguish themselves favorably will win college acceptances and desired job offers. You will hear their celebrations.

    The others who default to being indistinguishable will be left wondering what happened. You will hear their excuses.

    To be certain of being distinguishable, adopt this mindset:

    • Get up early to get your day going
    • Live each day with meaningful intention
    • Have a defined purpose for your interests
    • Become a better writer
    • Become better able to express yourself
    • Validate others genuinely
    • Show up every time well-prepared
    • Follow up with precision timing
    • Become globally minded and aware of the world in which you are living   

    This is how you will become better recognized as worthy of additional consideration and improved outcomes

    Do you want improved outcomes? Be distinguishable. Let's talk!

    Where a Child's Successful Journey Begins!

    Where a Child's Successful Journey Begins!

    For our kids today, there are too many outside influences.

    A couple of days ago, I was asked by a prominent leader and highly regarded friend of mine, Fred K.- "Hans, how did you get into this work?"

    I said that 18 years ago while owning an indoor sports training center, I grew tired of hearing parents complaining when I asked them what their child was going to do for college. 

    Too often, their response was- "Nobody helped us, not the guidance counselor, not the coach, nobody."

    I thought that was a 
    sad excuse for not being involved or knowledgeable in the college process of one's child.

    Right then, I decided that I was going to spend the rest of my life teaching young people how to take ownership of their life and I would use college as the platform for doing so. There would be no such excuses any longer. 

    That was the day the concepts behind 
    CollegeLogic were born.

    I knew that If I could get kids to take ownership of their lives by internalizing their needs and accessing their deep internal passion, their pathway to success and satisfaction would be predictably good. 

    It's where a child's successful journey begins. It must come from within the child though, not from the parents or any other outside influence. That's where the challenge lies. There are too many outside influences! 

    Most often, the child follows the plan that others have for them. Why? Because they don't typically feel permitted to access and express their desires when they differ from other people's expectations.  

    Permitting kids to access their deep internal passion and desire is an everyday practice here.

    It's a game-changing approach to getting college right. It brings out the internal brilliance that lies within every young person that too often remains tucked away. 

    CollegeLogic students are continuously tasked with accessing their passion and desire for internalizing their needs. Don't think these are permanent responses though. Rather they are everchanging and evolving based on a child's exploration, self-discovery, and personal realization. 

    As a result, I awake every day to witness the brilliance coming out of these young people. What a true joy this is for me!

    College Rankings, what's in and what's not!

    College Rankings, what's in and what's not!

    Many college policies are in place to enhance their ranking, not enhance the student experience nor outcome.

    "Hans, we've done our homework. This college is ranked higher than..."

    Homework? That's not homework.

    I hear this way too often as the reason for choosing a college, and it's a wrong reason. Why?

    Because College Rankings are a farce! 

    Here's clear evidence for my point. Look at the Top 7 weighted factors that go into the U.S. News & World Report Rankings- 

    1. 20%- peer review from other colleges; really, peer review? #1 factor? 20% weight? No way!
    2. 17.6%- 6-year graduation rate;  6 years? Who does this serve? It's not the families!
    3. 10%- money spent per student; who does this matter to? Not me!
    4. 8%- average class size, smaller is valued more than larger; isn't this just a personal preference?
    5. 8%- 6-year grad. rate of Pell Grant recipients; where does this come into play for you? 
    6. 7%- faculty compensation... what does this matter to students and parents? 
    7. 5%- SAT/ ACT scores of incoming freshmen; SAT/ACT scores are still very important.

    These 7 items make up 75% of a college ranking; it's preposterous!

    Here are my top 7 factors. Wouldn't these much better represent a college's quality and value? 

    • The 4-year graduation rate
    • The college job-placement rate
    • The average salary of first-year jobs 
    • Internship opportunities
    • Research opportunities
    • Study-abroad opportunities
    • Breadth and depth of study programs

    Wouldn't these factors serve you far better? Shouldn't this list be the focus of college rankings?

    Here's the farce. You won't find any of these 7 factors in the calculation of college rankings.

    Yet, people continue to chase and pay premiums for a college's ranking. It's why colleges make it a focus of their attention. It's reflected in their policies and student outcomes.

    It's further reflected in parents' frustration as time goes by and expected outcomes are not delivered.

    Why are the rankings done this way? Because the powerhouse colleges can manipulate those numbers to their advantage. Whereas, they can't manipulate my top 7!

    Have I proven my point?

    Do college rankings influence your thinking? If so, let's talk!