20 Things You Didn’t Know About College Admissions

By: Susanna Cerasuolo, M.Ed.
1. A UCLA study shows that 76% of students get into their first choice college.
2. Colleges pay the Common Application $4 per every application they receive.
3. Lots of kids who don’t need financial aid get it.  State schools give 50-55% of financial aid to attract affluent out of state students; private schools give 29% of their aid to non-needy kids.
4. 75% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. are East of the Mississippi River.
5. If a family makes 200K a year they may still qualify for some need-based aid, depending on their particular situation.
6. Being an athlete increases your chances of being accepted, so much so that at some of the nation’s elite private schools students are required to join two sports.
7.  The college-bound pool is low on testosterone: 42% boys vs. 58% for girls.
8. Two-thirds of all college students get some form of financial aid.
9. 85% of students attending private colleges are awarded merit aid.
10.  Tuition increases so that those who can pay full price subsidize the cost for those who cannot.
11.  College counselors do not esteem college rankings. Those publications are created for parents, and especially for international students, who use them as guides on where to apply.
12.  Ivy League colleges have great financial aid but don’t take many kids who need it.
13. Every year the government releases a list of the most expensive schools through the College Affordability and Transparency Center, at www.collegecost.ed.gov
14. Families should run the net price calculator for each college of interest as early as possible in the college search, before the college list is final, to see what the estimated cost of attendance will be. http://www.netpricecalculator.info/
15.  Top tier colleges buy PSAT scores (to send marketing materials to students) for the bracket of students they would actually accept and the bracket below that one, to encourage more students to apply.
16.  Less than 5% of American families have saved enough for college.
17. 53% of all international students in the US come from China, Canada, India, Taiwan, S. Korea and Japan.
18.  Most international students want to go to college in NY, TX, MA, IL, CA.
19.  Colleges send out “fast apps” or “priority apps” so that they receive more applications and their acceptance rate goes down.
20. A recent panel of Admissions Representatives said that the Early pool applicants are typically NOT stronger and more qualified.


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