Increase in College Applications


Alex Reilly, Writer

This year, colleges all over the country received record-breaking applications. Forbes published that this year’s data shows “the number of applications being submitted is up 22% over pre-pandemic.”

 The surge in applications began when schools went test-optional in 2020. This decision made the college process more flexible for students as the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year showed expectantly low application rates. This led to an immediate increase in prestigious universities and Common App applicants. “According to data collected by the Common App, the total number of Common Applications submitted by November 13, 2021 was already up 20 percent from the same time period last year” according to College Confidential. 

Other factors are increased media advertising as many schools could not hold tours and other activities as they had pre-pandemic. Many universities used incentives such as an increase in grants over loans. 

The changes that have accrued within the last two years have made it harder for students to get into competitive universities. Los Angeles Times reported the prestigious schools had decreased their acceptance rates to make them more selective. As the increase of applicants has significantly impacted California schools, “Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators are providing UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego funds to enroll about 900 more California students in place of nonresidents by covering the loss of the higher tuition paid by out-of-state and international students.”

The increase of applications has shown promise to diversifying campus’. Los Angeles Times stated that minority students have significantly increased in enrollment in the last two years, with the number of African American applicants rising 25% nationwide. According to Forbes there has been a significant increase in “underrepresented minority students, first-generation-to college students, and fee waiver-receiving applicant.” Forbes reported that this year’s data shows that foreign applicants are up 40% over 2019-2020. 

At this time, the college application process will remain the same for the following year. Regarding California Universities, all UCs and the Cal States were significantly affected by the increase of applications. Gavin Newsom has provided the funds to allow universities to admit more in-state students. Newsom, alongside, lifted the freeze on Berkeley admissions that would have forced the school to declare 5,100 fewer first-year students. For students who wish to stay instate but fear the surge in admissions Cal States have assured that “if you are a California resident and not accepted to another California State University (CSU) campus, your application will be redirected to a non-impacted CSU campus.”