Preparing for College

A "Secret" Admissions Trend?

Can the competition for college admission get any crazier? Ha! There's no need to ask that question since we already know the answer: Of course it can!

The economic "collapse" of recent years has spawned some interesting trickle-down outcomes. One of the most telling from the halls of ivy is the shortfall in revenue, which has caused all sorts of problems, from budget cuts to reduced financial aid. What's a university to do?


Well, according to a new Forbes article, creative university administrators have initiated an obvious (but not obvious to everyone) remedy: "admitting more out-of-state applicants than they ever have."

So, if you're looking for an inside track to getting into a cool state university, you may want to consider an out-of-state candidate or two. Of course, your expenses will likely be higher than they would be for an in-state university, but not necessarily.

Here are some highlights from the Forbes article:

The college admission season is gearing up in full- force, and it promises to be just as crazily competitive as last year.  Understandably, families are searching for any small edge they can find.  One of best-kept secrets in college admissions this coming year is that many top state universities will be admitting more out-of-state applicants than they ever have.

This opens up a whole new group of schools that were formerly much more difficult to get into.  We’re talking about great schools , sometimes lots more openings, and for a few campuses, slightly easier academic standards!

For example, at the University of Illinois last year, fully 27% of its freshman came from out-of-state.  That was up from 19% just five years ago.  (And it doesn’t include the 17% of the freshman class who were foreigners.)   Similarly, the University of Washington had an entering class in 2010 of 27% out-of-staters.  This too was up from 19% just three years earlier.

The University of Virginia tries to maintain a student body comprised of 30% out-of-state students.  But last year it edged up to over 33%.  And the University of Michigan is up to 40% out-of-staters, compared with 37% five years ago.

Even colleges that shunned out-of-state students for years are showing a marked receptivity.  The University of California’s top campuses – Berkeley and UCLA – have doubled and even tripled the number of out-of-state kids.  At UCLA, the total percentage of out-of-state kids is still relatively low:  only about 7% of last year’s entering class.  But at Berkeley, it was a whopping 19% and wit will grow to 20% this year, according to Janet Gilmore, a spokesperson for the University.   Five years ago, the percentage of out-of-state students at Berkeley was only 5% ...

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It's funny how economic reality can color an institution's long-held policy standards. Of course, there's not much to laugh about in the real economic world these days, is there?

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