Why college acceptance rates are dropping every year

Image from DALL·E.

For many students, the college admissions process is worsening by the year. The student population keeps growing, causing more competition to arise. 

According to Washington High School’s college and career counselor Maria Ponssen, colleges still consider many different factors when determining admissions, such as “geographic diversity, demographics, choice of major, and location.” Students are unique and can increase chances of getting into certain colleges by being able to showcase that uniqueness. Ms. Ponssen says students can include things such as “academic achievements, sports, hobbies, [and] things students manage at home.” The options for what colleges to apply to is not a short list. Different colleges such as UC’s and CSU’s offer different opportunities to students who are applying inside of California. Each college can benefit each student differently because of programs that certain colleges are known for. Many students have to reconsider the colleges they are going to apply to and take into account the decreasing acceptance numbers.

“The huge decline in acceptance rates from colleges made me much more worried about the variety of schools I have decided to apply to,” says Ryan Tan. “Some schools aren’t as attainable this year. As decisions will come in, I have to continue to remind myself that my worth is not equal to the number of acceptances to colleges that I get accepted into or the college I end up committing to.” Students who are applying to colleges are much more self conscious about the schools that accept or deny them. This can make people feel insecure among their peers even though the colleges that students end up going to should be a fit for them personally and academically.

Finding the right college for students’ own future benefit is key. Some important things are whether the social environment would be an obstacle, what the commute to the college campus is like, or the question of the college’s affordability. 

Colleges also have difficulty admitting more people due to housing issues. UC Berkeley has more than 45,000 students but only 9,875 beds for this year. This is a factor in not being able to accept more people to the college. Numerous years ago this was not a problem but due to the rapid increase in applications the competitive aspect increased as well. The pressure on students goes up significantly because of the competition and the prestige of the Bay Area. Rahul Suthar, a student athlete that goes to Washington High School, thinks, “Colleges have increased in the competition with other schools making the candidates for the admission officers to accept much more impressive.” Each student now applies to an increasing number of schools on average. Students are compelled to apply to more schools as acceptance rates decline in order to increase their chances of admission, which raises the number of applications received by each institution and lowers the admit rate. This encourages students to submit even more applications. This creates the decreased acceptance rates for students that apply, but it’s not a reason to apply to colleges that are not in a students’ best interest.

Shane Whittle is a junior at Washington High School who was born and raised in Fremont, California. This is his first year being part of The Hatchet. He is interested in reporting about the school sports and teams, along with things going on in the local community. Shane is part of clubs including Kids4Kids and unitopia where he helps tutor kids in different subjects. He has been part of the Washington Track and Field team for 3 years now. He plans to go to a college in California and pursuing a career in business and finance.

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