Here are 5 college admissions trends & what they mean for students

April 11, 2022

5 college admissions trends and what they mean for you

You’ve no doubt seen headlines about high school students reconsidering college, a dearth of applicants, and unconventional options like remote learning. Here are five college admissions trends and what they mean for students in 2022.

College remains expensive

Universities today charge more than twice the amount they charged 14 years ago. And that doesn’t factor in room and board, meal plans, books, athletic fees, parking fees, and so on. It’s more important than ever to make sure you’re choosing the school that’s a good fit for you. Most students are carrying tuition debt long after graduation, so it’s crucial to spend that money wisely. 

Students are working more

According to a Georgetown University report, 70% of full-time college students are employed. That’s about 14 million working learners. The internet opens the door to countless part-time jobs, gig work, or freelancing. Work opportunities for students abound, since so many organizations have become used to remote hires. You can find all sorts of opportunities within the spikeview platform. We help students discover the best-fit roles for themselves and then demonstrate how they fit. 

Test scores still matter

For most students, test scores still play a big role in college admissions. There is a growing movement of teachers going gradeless in high school, but things get complicated when it comes to university applications. When top colleges announced “test optional” policies, they got a surge of interest. But the admissions data for the Class of 2025 shows students who submitted test scores fared better. One major takeaway is that students need to find ways to demonstrate their skills and accomplishments. (Ahem…portfolio!)

Admissions offices have trouble reaching enrollment targets

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported over 40% of admissions officers fell short of their enrollment goals. This is happening even as some schools experience record numbers of applicants. There are several factors, including more people questioning whether a college degree is worth it. But this affords an opportunity for students who believe a particular school’s program is the right fit for success. If you see a clear path for yourself, your student portfolio is going to help your application stand above the crowd.

More students are submitting applications, and they’re submitting to more schools

At first glance, this might sound counter to the previous trend. Schools in 2021 saw about 22% more student applicants than the previous year. And on average, students are submitting 14% more applications. With the Common App and other online portals, college applications are much easier to complete. However, not all schools are feeling the benefit in terms of enrollment numbers. One way students can approach this trend is to focus on institutions that aren’t as hotly pursued. But no matter where you decide to compete for desk space, it’s imperative to show what makes you a great fit for the college you’re applying to. Don’t be satisfied with the minimum requirements. Use the power of your personal essay and include your student portfolio as additional information