Vol. 18 No. 9
Spring Spot Check
How are college applications
for the fall class of 2004 unfolding? What new trends did CB
spot? Is the process for admitting students changing? These are
some of the issues CB looked at and here is some of what we found.
Emory Hits Record High. Applications to Emory hit a
record high for the second year in a row. The number of applicants
for the fall of 2004 reached 11,155, up from 10,372 last year.
This represents an increase of 7.5 percent and 13 percent in
the last two years.
Dan Walls, dean of admission for the undergraduate college,
said there is no one definitive reason for another record year
of applicants, but does credit the campus' new facilities and
a broader recruitment effort.
"We have implemented some additional recruiting techniques
in the last few years," he said, "including starting
to reach out to high school sophomores instead of just juniors
and seniors. This incoming class is the first group of students
that we would have targeted as sophomores, so we have a sense
that the outreach is paying off.
"The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, the Math &
Science Center and the living-learning Claremont Campus, all
have opened within the last two years. It's hard to believe that
visiting students and their parents wouldn't be impressed by
these new facilities that are largely meant for undergraduates.
Of course, our location in Atlanta is a huge plus." Walls
Growth in applicants comes from every region of the country,
but the most dramatic rise is a 14 percent increase in the Southwest
(to 7 percent of the total pool). There also was an 11 percent
increase in international applicants after a slight dip last
year (6 percent of the total pool). Additional increases were
fairly evenly distributed across regions.
Princeton U. Accepts 12 Percent of Applicants. Of the
13,690 applicants to the Class of 2008, 1,631 were admitted,
or nearly 12 percent, according to the Daily Princetonian.
The overall acceptance rate is 2 percent higher than the rate
for the Class of 2007.
Princeton had a decrease in the number of applicants this
year. In early March, Janet Rapelye, dean of admissions, told
the newspaper that though the number of applicants to the Class
of 2008 was down this year compared to the previous year, the
number of "academic 1's" (students who received the
highest possible rank on the admission office's scale that rates
the academic quality of candidates) had increased while the number
of weaker candidates had decreased.
A total of 1,050 students were admitted under the University's
regular decision plan, nearly 9 percent of the 11,875 students
who applied under regular decision. A total of 581, or 32 percent
of the 1,815 students who applied under the University's early-decision
program were admitted.
Of those admitted, 35 percent are from minority backgrounds
and 11 percent are legacies. While the number of minorities remains
unchanged, the number of legacies is up a slight 0.7 percentage
points compared to the Class of 2007. Men, at 53 percent, make
up a slightly larger portion of the class than women. A little
over 9 percent of the students are from 50 foreign countries
including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Morocco, Peru and Zambia. The
Class of 2008 is targeted at 1,175 students.
Who's In at UC Berkeley? Included in the fall 2004
class of freshmen admitted to UC Berkeley this spring are students
ranked nationally and internationally in horseback riding, ice
skating and gymnastics; academic decathalon and debate team captains;
fine artists and musicians; and winners of prestigious science
Out-of-state students represent 11 percent of next fall's
admitted freshman class, up from 10 percent for fall 2003. International
students represent 2 percent of the class.
Overall, UC Berkeley received 36,725 applications from California,
out-of-state and international students. Comparing to fall 2003,
this represents 195 fewer applicants. The overall admit rate
was about 24 percent, up slightly from 2003. Campus officials
anticipate that 3,610 of these students will enroll.
The number of black students offered admission has dropped
from 298 students in 2003 to 211 for 2004. For Chicano/Latino
students, the number has dropped from 1,030 in 2003 to 955 for
2004. American Indian numbers have dropped from 51 in 2003 to
40 for 2004.
Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl said the current figures are
"just flat-out unacceptable." "I am profoundly
saddened and disappointed that so many of these students, especially
African American students, will not receive the exceptional education
and experience that this public institution has to offer,"
At UC Berkeley, statistics also suggest there were fewer offers
of admission to students from low-income families. This group
typically attends lower performing high schools. Financial aid
data show more than a 10 percent drop in admitted students who
qualified for federal Pell grants. There also was a 13 percent
decline in admitted students who qualified for the federal Supplemental
Educational Opportunity Grants reserved for students with exceptional
Women represent 55 percent of the class, the same as last
year. Asian American students represent nearly 41 percent of
the class compared to 40 percent for 2003; white students represent
36 percent of the class compared to 33 percent in 2003; Chicano/Latino
students represent 11 percent of the class compared to 12 in
2003; African Americans represent a little over 2 percent of
the class compared to nearly 4 percent in 2003; and American
Indian students represent 0.5 percent of the class compared to
0.6 percent in 2003.
Detailed information on UC Berkeley's fall 2004 admission
numbers is available online.
The California System at Large. The number of underrepresented
students offered admission has dropped at most campuses in the
University of California system. While university officials cannot
explain this drop, they note associated factors include a drop
in applications; state budget cuts along with proposed student
fee increases; actual cuts in funding for outreach; and, overall,
a more competitive pool of student applicants.
Northwestern U: Tougher Time. Even with 1,000 more
applications for admission this year than last, Northwestern
University accepted about 60 fewer students this year than last
year, anticipating that more accepted students will accept their
offer this year, according to The Daily Northwestern.
NU accepted 4,760 applicants for the Class of 2008, down from
4,819 last year, for an expected class of 1,925.
Fewer students got in this year, and with higher quality as
measured by standardized tests, officials said. The average SAT
score for admitted students this year: 1434, compared to 1425
last year. This year, 15,575 students applied versus 14,515 last
year and 14,800 in 2002. Early decisions increased as well. For
the class of 2008, NU admitted 545 ED students from 1,112 applicants,
up more than 100 over the previous year.
"Northwestern is hot," Keith Todd, NU's director
of undergraduate admission, told The Daily Northwestern.
"I think as the national admissions pool gets more and more
competitive, that benefits us as well."
U. of Michigan. Applications are down somewhat at U.
of Michigan. (See CB
March 2004.) UM received 21,002 as of the end of March and
to date have admitted 12,607. This compares to 2003 when it received
25,943 applications and admitted 13,052. The Summer/Fall 2004
freshman enrollment target is 5,545.
Michigan officials note that they are continuing to see an
increase in the percentage of applications that come in via the
web. Last year, it had received about half the applications online.
This year, online applications were nearly 60 percent of the
total. Applications from international students are down 12 percent
when measured against the same time period last year.
Yale Record. Yale College fielded a record number of
applications to the Class of 2008, while admitting a record low
percent of applicants, according to the Yale Bulletin.
This year, Yale attracted 19,674 and admitted 1,950, or 9.9 percent.
Early action accounted for 670 of those students.
"It was our most competitive admissions cycle,"
said Richard H. Shaw, Jr., dean of undergraduate admissions and
financial aid. "The quality of applicants was outstanding."
Median SAT scores in both math and verbal were 750. About
55 percent of the admitted students came from public schools;
42 percent are minority students. About 40 percent of Yale undergrads
receive financial aid; average grant, $21,500.
For the Record. Duke U. admitted 22 percent of the
16,702 applications this year. Duke admitted 3,679 applicants,
including 500 early, for a class of 1,602 students. Duke admitted
only 42 percent of the nearly 1,500 valedictorians applying this
year and about two-thirds of the 1,000 applicants ranked in the
top 10 in their class with scores 1500 or higher on the SAT.
See CB next month for more admissions stats.
Speaking of Summer....
With May flowers come thoughts of summer. Would students
rather spend their summer mountaineering in Colorado, researching
loggerhead turtles, learning Nepali in Kathmandu or working with
a nuclear reactor? These are the choices posed in The Princeton
Review's new book, The 500 Best Ways for Teens to Spend the
Summer by Neill Seltzer; 390 pages; ISBN 0-375-76372; $17.95.
Summer Discovery. This summer, high school students
can also discover life on eight college campuses throughout the
U. S. and in Cambridge, England, and Sydney, Australia. For info
or call Summer Discovery at 516-621-3939; rolling admissions.
Summer Frenzy? College admission prep camps are the
latest craze for college-bound students seeking an advantage,
according to The New York Times, April 18, adding "No
campfires. No hiking. Just hours a day of essay writing, SAT
preparation, counseling, mock admission interviews." The
Times identified three companies that are offering the new
kind of camp experience: Academic Study Associates, Musiker Teen
tours and Brighton.
For example, according to the Times, the Brighton program
at UCLA and Tufts lasts nine days and costs $2,295. The Musiker
programs costs $2,899 for 12 days at Northeastern or Georgetown,
for example. The Academic Study Associates offers an 11-day program
at Pepperdine, Amherst and Dartmouth for $2,695. The students
and parents who went through the program last year told the Times
they found the experience a positive one.
But the paper also quoted Bruce Poch, dean of admissions,
Pomona C., who said, "I can't imagine how it's going to
help, and it sounds like such a ridiculous waste of money that
it distresses me that the parents would be so obsessive-compulsive."
May is National Scholarship Month!
AT THE AGE OF 13, Quinn Nystrom
was diagnosed with diabetes. Once the reality sunk in, Nystrom
spent the next few months getting her disease under control.
She learned how to give herself insulin injections, which she
does about six times a day. It wasn't long before she began to
think of how she could use her knowledge and experience to help
others and work toward finding a cure someday. Nystrom applied
to be the National Youth Advocate for the American Diabetes Association.
She was turned down the first time, but persevered and earned
the honor in 2002. She has traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet
with senators and Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human
Services. She was there last year when President Bush announced
his health and fitness campaign.
Today, Nystrom is a senior at Brainerd High School in Minnesota,
and one of the recipients of the 2004 national AXA Achievement
Scholarships, sponsored by the AXA Foundation in association
with U.S. News & World Report. It is open to all high
school seniors who plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate
course of study at an accredited two- or four-year college or
university. (And AXA is also one of the sponsors of National
Scholarship Month, an annual event each May organized by Scholarship
America to raise awareness of the need for scholarships.)
AXA Financial, a nationwide financial services company with
67 branches, launched the AXA Achievement Scholarships in 2002.
Quinn's career counselor told her to apply because AXA looks
at community service and leadership qualities, in addition to
academics. She plans to use the scholarship to attend Minnesota's
Concordia College this fall and pursue a degree in public relations.
In addition, she will be given a laptop computer and the opportunity
for a paid internship with AXA Advisors in Minneapolis. According
to Pamela Gee, program director, AXA Foundation, "Our scholarship
winners are AXA Achievers young people who have accomplished
something special, who show the determination to set and reach
The AXA Achievement Scholarship awards $10,000 scholarships
to 52 students, one from each state, Washington D.C. and Puerto
Rico. From this group of 52, 10 students are selected as national
recipients and receive an additional $15,000. The program, funded
by the AXA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AXA Financial,
is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a program
of Scholarship America. For more information see www.AXAonline.com/axafoundation.
OTHER SCHOLARSHIPS FOR
STUDENTS IN THE GENERAL PUBLIC
The AXA Achievement Scholarship is one example of
scholarships that are open to the general public. Some others
The USA Funds Access to Education Scholarships totaling
nearly $6.5 million were awarded to 4,378 students for the 2003-2004
academic year. These scholarships are for low-income students
and assist students from families with household incomes of $35,000
or less. The program is open to financially needy students who
are high school seniors, undergraduates or graduate students.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents enrolled
at least halftime in college. See www.usafunds.org.
The Architectural Woodwork Institute Scholarship Program
sponsored by the Architectural Woodwork Institute is open to
high school seniors and undergraduates who plan to enroll or
students who are already enrolled in a full- or part-time undergraduate
course of study in the architectural woodworking field at an
accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical
school. See www.awi.scholarshipamerica.org.
Kohl's Kids Who Care, sponsored by Kohl's Department
Stores, Inc., is open to children ages 6 through 18 who reside
in Kohl's Department Store communities. Kohl's Store consumers
who nominate children for Kohl's Kids Who Care must be at least
21 years of age. (Kohl's Department Stores employees and family
members of employees are ineligible.) www.kohlscorporation.com.
Mervyn's Scholarships, sponsored by Mervyn's and Target
Corporation, is open to high school seniors only. Eligibility
criteria and the application form are available at www.mervyns.com.
ShopKo Scholars Awards, sponsored by ShopKo Stores,
is open to high school seniors and undergraduates who plan to
enroll or students who are already enrolled in a full-time undergraduate
course of study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university
or vocational-technical school. Applicants must be U. S. citizens
living within 100 miles of a ShopKo store in one of the following
states: California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan,
Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah,
Washington and Wisconsin. See www.shopko.com.
Simon Youth Foundation Community Scholarship, sponsored
by Simon Youth Foundation, is open to high school seniors attending
school and living in proximity of a Simon Property Mall or Community
Center. See simonyouth.scholarshipamerica.org.
Target All-Around Scholarship, sponsored by Target
Corporation, is open to high school seniors and undergraduates
who are U. S. citizens age 24 or younger. The scholarship is
based primarily on community volunteer service. See www.target.com.
Tylenol Scholarship, sponsored by McNeil Consumer &
Specialty Pharmaceuticals, is open to residents of the 50 states
and the District of Columbia who are high school seniors, undergraduates
or graduate students majoring in a health-related field. See
For more info on national and
local events for National Scholarship Month, see www.nationalscholarshipmonth.org
or www.scholarshipamerica.org. Also, see U.S. News and World
Report, April 19, for a special report on paying for college.
Garfield Joins ScholarShop
for Young Students
As part of National Scholarship Month, GARFIELD the
cat is joining the ScholarShop program of Scholarship America
that teaches students in grades 4-12 to set goals for their future
and prepare for postsecondary education. It will use the Internet
to reach students. Called ScholarShop's Options for Kids, it
is an interactive, online program that helps fourth through sixth
graders think about and plan for college.
In a game-like environment, GARFIELD helps kids discover such
things as getting to know how they are smart; understanding how
their interests relate to future jobs; increasing their awareness
of postsecondary opportunities; and building the basic skills
needed to reach their goals.
ScholarShop's Options for Kids will be available for free
beginning in May via the Internet at www.scholarshop.org
and as a link from www.Garfield.com.
The Time Warner Foundation funded the program and it was developed
by Hobsons, the makers of CollegeView, and in partnership with
Paws, Inc., the creators of GARFIELD.
Marybeth Kravets and Imy F.
Wax have added info on colleges for students with Attention Deficit
Disorder in the 7th Edition of The K&W Guide to Colleges
for Students with Learning Disabilities. The 775-page reference
is published by The Princeton Review; ISBN 0-375-76357; $27.
Journal of Blacks in Higher Education Weekly Bulletin is
available at no charge by electronic mail. To sign up see www.jbhe.com and to subscribe
to the printed newsletter e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents of America is expanding its membership to advocate nationally
on behalf of college parents and to serve as a resource for parents
as they go through the college application process. For info
Private Admission Doors? How effective are expensive
private schools that often cost $20,000 a year or more to attend
and prestigious, but free, public secondary schools at getting
their seniors placed at the nation's elite colleges? What is
the relation between money spent in preparation and the chances
The April 2 Wall Street Journal examined those issues
by looking at how 66 private and public high schools did in getting
their students admitted to 10 exclusive colleges (Harvard, Yale,
Princeton, Dartmouth, U. Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brown, Pomona,
U. of Chicago, Duke).
The top ten high schools were: Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn,
N.Y., tuition $20,500, success rate, 41 percent; Winsor School,
Boston, tuition $23,800, success rate, 39 percent; Trinity School,
New York City, tuition $23,475, success rate, 37 percent; Horace
Mann School, Riverdale, N.Y., tuition $24,500, success rate,
35 percent; Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., tuition $23,400,
success rate, 30 percent.
Others included, Deerfield Academy, tuition $23.005, success
rate, 30 percent; National Cathedral School, Washington, D.C.,
tuition $21,850, success rate, 30 percent; Dalton School, New
York City, tuition $24,680, success rate, 30 percent; Hunter
College High School, New York City, tuition, $0, success rate
28 percent; St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H., tuition $31,125,
success rate 28 percent. An additional 28 free public schools
were near the bottom of the list of 66 high performing high schools.
For the complete list, see the WSJ.
A Look Inside One Admissions
Office. The University of Chicago Chronicle recently
took a look at the U. of C. admissions process. It noted personnel
spent three months, 10 to 12 hours a day, reading more than 9,000
applications from high school seniors this year. "It's certainly
the time of highest pressure for the staff," Ted O'Neill,
dean of college admissions, said. "We have to go through
an enormous amount of material in a short period of time."
All applications get a mandatory two readings, some times
a third or fourth if there is a dispute, before a decision is
rendered. In weekly meetings, admissions readers will get five
minutes to pitch a candidate. Debates follow. "It can be
a very emotional process," O'Neill revealed.
Disputed applicants often have their application read a second
time by someone with expertise in their special area of strength.
"You look at people with wildly different skills and talents,"
said Jenny Connell, assistant director of admissions, "and
you try to put together the ensemble." That's far from easy.
In addition, U. of C. staff spends time on the phone with
counselors or tracking down missing material, and responding
to a flood of daily e-mails. The hardest debates are at the end
of March and the end of the process, debating students who are
the "close calls." O'Neill said, "It's a top-down
process." The most-qualified get in first, then the process
turns to the harder cases.
Stinging Rejections. The
Washington Post account April 12 of the "stinging rejection"
by elite colleges of local high school "stars" also
notes that, throughout the country, many high school seniors
and their parents are coping with another wave of unpleasant
surprises that have become a part of the college application
ritual." The Post quoted David Hawkins, director
of public policy, the National Association for College Admission
Counseling as saying, "The fact is that there are so many
more kids in the pipeline." Hawkins sees no relief from
the growing admission crush until at least 2011. The article
further noted that applications at Colorado C. are up over 17
percent this year. They've soared 80 percent in the past four
years at Kenyon C. in Ohio. But this year they fell 3 percent
at Georgetown U. to 14,850, 80 percent of whom are not admitted.
Elite Colleges. More of
today's colleges are "elite" in more than just their
admissions practices, or perhaps because of their admissions
practices, according to a new report by the Higher Education
Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
And more and more students from upper-income families are edging
out those from the middle class, the report charges.
The trend results from both steep tuition increases of the
past two decades and the high pressure college-bound environment
in the nation's more prosperous families and high schools.
At 42 of the nation's most selective state universities, 40
percent of this year's incoming freshman class came from families
making more than $100,000 a year, up from 32 percent in 1999.
At the nation's 250 most selective private and public colleges
in 2000, 55 percent of the freshmen were from the upper quartile
of family incomes, up from 46 percent in 1985. The losses came
from the middle class. Only 33 percent of students came from
the middle 50 percent.
What's to be done? According to an April 22, New York Times
story, schools such as the U. of Maryland, U. of North Carolina,
U. of Virginia are among the schools that have stopped asking
its poorest students to take out loans, providing grants instead.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Where the National Merit Scholars Go. The National
Merit Scholarship Corporation released its annual report of freshman
Merit Scholars for fall 2003. The top ten colleges with the most
scholars awarded National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarships:
Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Duke, U. of Pennsylvania,
U. of California Berkeley, U. of Michigan Ann Arbor.
Grad School Rankings. The
U.S. News and World Report list of top business, law and
medical schools was released in April. Top five business schools:
Harvard, Stanford, Penn (Wharton), MIT (Sloan), Northwestern
(Kellogg). Law: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU. Medical:
Harvard, Washington U., Johns Hopkins, Duke and Penn. Copies
are available at your local newsstand.
Top Universities Balking at
Rankings. The business schools at Harvard and U. of Pennsylvania
announced that they would no longer provide as much information
to ranking surveys as in the past, such as e-mail addresses of
alumni, used in the evaluations of colleges surveyed by Business
Week, Forbes, Financial Times, citing privacy concerns and
costs. Other colleges may follow suit, according to The
Wall Street Journal April 7 which does not use such information
in its rankings. The universities say they will work with the
Graduate Management Admissions Council to create a new database.
Canada's New Loans and Grants.
The Canadian government has begun offering need-based grants,
providing up to $2,250 for low-income students and grants of
$1,500 for students with disabilities. In addition, it is increasing
its loans programs to $158 a week, up from $124 a week. It is
also beginning something called a "learning bond,"
$375 a year to help low-income parents save for their children's
education. The government contributes $75 a year for 15 years.
COLLEGE BOUND's Publisher/Editor: R. Craig
Sautter, DePaul University; Chief Operating Officer: Sally
Reed; Contributors: Marc Davis; Chris Tisch;
Circulation: Irma Gonzalez-Hider; Illustration: Louis
Coronel; Board of Advisors: Rosita Fernandez-Rojo,
Choate-Rosemary Hall; Claire D. Friedlander, Bedford (N.Y.)
Central School District; Howard Greene, author, The
Greenes' Guides to Educational Planning Series; Frank
C. Leana, Ph.D., educational counselor; Virginia Vogel,
Educational Guidance Services; M. Fredric Volkmann, Washington
University in St. Louis, Mary Ann Willis, Bayside Academy
In This Issue
Spring Spot Check
Speaking of Summer....
is National Scholarship
for Young Students
K&W Guide to Colleges
for Students with Learning
of Blacks in Higher Education Weekly Bulletin
Parents of America
Inside One Admissions
NEWS YOU CAN USE
the National Merit
New Loans and Grants
To place your advanced
order for copies of the 18th annual edition of Who Got In?
2004 COLLEGE BOUND's National Survey of College Admissions Trends,
available later this spring, send a check or purchase order to
COLLEGE BOUND, PO Box 6536, Evanston, IL 60204; call 773-262-5810
or see www.collegeboundnews.com.
(CB now has Paypal available on its web site for credit card
orders and renewals.)