College admissions rates are not what they seem

Colleges have sent out acceptances for the Fall, with marquee-name schools crowing about how selective they are (“Why Those Super Low College Admissions Rates Can Be Misleading,” The New York Times, Apr. 22).  But a closer look reveals that the single online application now used by more than 1,000 institutions is largely responsible.

In the past, qualified applicants made up about 75 to 85 percent of the pool.  But now with the common app, that number is only about 60 percent. You don’t have to be a math whiz to see that the larger the number of applicants there are, the more selective schools can be.  Moreover, binding early decision further makes colleges look better because it locks in their freshman class.

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