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College Trends Spring 2024

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  • User AvatarNeal Schwartz
  • 16 May, 2024
  • 2 Mins Read

College Trends Spring 2024

Costs, Admit Rates, Yield, Campus Protests, and Co-ops/Internships

Costs – Continue to rise

An April 5th NY Times article created quite a stir.  Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? – The New York Times ( It’s not surprising with inflation in the US economy that it would undoubtably wind its way into the cost of college.

For most families this heavy price tag is stunning. One family I worked with received the cost ramp up rate for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years: the 4th year itself was around $97,000. Colleges are beginning to prepare their future classes for the hard reality of cost.

Admission Rates – Continue to decrease

Class of 2028 Overall Admission Rates from some most selected colleges:

Boston University – 11%; Duke – 5%; Florida State 22%; Northwestern 8%, (source: College Kickstart)

As costs rise and admit rates drop at highly regarded schools, more applicants are looking at public state universities that have lower costs.  These public universities have become more than just a safety school. And because of this, State universities are seeing unprecedented application growth.  Admit rates will continue to decline as students get anxious and decide to apply to even more colleges.  Examples of qualified students not getting admitted to their reach schools is outlined in this NY Times op-ed article.

Yield – Continue to rise

Yield, the number of students who enroll from those offered admission,  has become the major player from the college vantage point. One only needs to look at the ratio of those who enroll as a factor of how many seats are available. Colleges want to know that the prospective student isn’t shopping around.  Early Decision has become the favorite tool for many colleges to boost yield. Last year at Middlebury College 70.2% of their enrolled students came from Early Decision applicants.  For the most selective colleges, yield continues to rise.  Yields for the Class of 2027: Boston College 41.36%; Brown University 63.10%, ; Cornell 66.01%; MIT 84.59%.  (source: Ivywise)

College Protests at the most selective colleges and their impact

We are watching a delicate “game” as protests on college campuses sprouted up across the country. It is probably fair to say that these are the first significant campus protests to occur since the Vietnam war era. I suspect that there will be a series of reactions as college administrations address what is happening. It has been distressing for some families who went from being thrilled with their children’s admission success to being somewhere between concerned and embarrassed. Weren’t these supposed to be the best and brightest students going to the best schools in the country? What has happened? What is the administration doing? But it is more than the current and prospective students who are affected: countless top-tier US. colleges are watching alums pull away their financial support. It is possible that the college name on a job applicant’s resume may negatively affect the candidate. This is an explosive topic right now. Parents and students must be comfortable that the campus will be safe. The definition of a “great school” is being questioned.

Internships and Co-op programs

For students who know what they want to study, these programs can be fantastic.

But there are pros and cons:

Can effectively land the job they want while still in college

  1. It extends the college years and
  2. If a student is off campus for an extended period, they may miss out on many social development aspects associated with the college experience.

In summary, the college landscape is seeing unprecedented change and the impact on parents’ pocketbooks and minds is substantial.