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College Admissions: Getting Into College Is Now Easier, A Surprise For Most Students

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Replies to: College Admissions: Getting Into College Is Now Easier, A Surprise For Most Students

  • foobar1foobar1 Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    The number of academically qualified applicants to the top schools has gone up a lot in the last ten years. One example is the number of AP scholars or IB graduates. In most school districts, this number has gone up more than 50%. Even if the overall number of high school graduates has decreased the number of high school students with excellent academic records has increased substantially in the last 10 or 15 years. This doesn't even take into account the increased number of international applicants/students with solid academic records.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 57,816 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    MassDaD68 wrote:
    I would put middle class around the $150K annual income range

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States#Distribution_of_household_income_in_2014_according_to_US_Census_data indicates that $150,000 annually was around the 88th percentile household income for 2014. Median was around $55,000.

    Families with high school or college age kids are probably somewhat higher, since the parents are presumably in their peak earning year, but not so much higher that $150,000 annually is outside the high end of the distribution.

    Of course, if the middle class needs to have income that close to the top of the distribution, the implication is that the US is in or getting to a situation where most people are in the lower class, with only a few in the middle class and a tiny upper class. Countries with such social class distributions may have various social problems and/or political instability, particularly if those born into lower class families see no hope of moving up into the middle or upper class.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 8,253 Senior Member
    @Postmodern: Private schools charge what they charge because the demand is there. Plenty of rich and upper-middle-class folks in this country. And the tippy-top who care about getting the best can do so through fin aid.

    As for what can or should be done: Nothing? Why not public colleges or uni in Germany or through something like Harvard Extension School/University of London International? It's not like attending private college is a birthright of every American . . .
  • GearlooseGearloose Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    edited March 13
    It's hard to take the top-level article seriously when it is so badly written. And if you drill down to the cited report, it states: "while the most selective universities and colleges - those that accept less than 20 percent of applicants - have gotten even more competitive in recent years, the opposite is true for the much larger number that take between 20 percent and 40 percent." So while the "most students" headline may be generally true, for those targeting the top schools ("those that accept less than 20 percent") - which seems to be the majority of those who frequent this site - it is not.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 843 Member
    Yes - getting into Harvard is not the same as getting into college.

    There are plenty of college spots overall, just not at the very most popular institutions.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    @MassDaD68 Private school has all but abandoned this entire class of students.

    While list price has increased steadily, average net inflation-adjusted tuition has increased at a much slower rate: https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-net-price-over-time-full-time-students-private-nonprofit-four-year-institutions


  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 1,928 Senior Member
    While list price has increased steadily, average net inflation-adjusted tuition has increased at a much slower rate:

    While college tuition has gone up, median incomes have declined since 2008 when you include inflation in the calculations.

    http://college-education.procon.org/files/1-college-education-images/median-income-v-college-tuition-inflation-adjusted.JPG

    Increasing tuition coupled declining incomes are why the amount of outstanding student loans have increased dramatically.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,031 Senior Member
    @roethlisburger Thanks for sharing that chart. I do not dispute the numbers but I was shocked to the point of disbelieve. Do I read the chart right that the Net tuition costs have basically flat lined from 1996 to 2017? It seems to show net tuition cost to be around 11-12K in 1996 and increased to 14K in 2017. I find that very hard to believe. Sorry.

    And this is supposed to be just private schools!

    Something just does not feel right from how I have experienced is my research of private college costs.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 840 Member
    I agree that getting in to a top top school (like Ivy or another let's say top 25 or 30 school) is probably not any easier for many of the reasons mentioned. I do think however if you are a more average student not applying for aid, you can definitely get into a very, very decent school. But to someone's earlier point, you have to be able to afford it.

    I do a little college advising and I have a student that is not even in the top 50% of her class and her ACT score is so low she only applied to test optional schools. In fact, the official classification of her ACT score is "not college ready". Yet, this student has gotten into schools like Marist and Catholic....one of them even giving her money, even though she didn't apply for aid. And her high school is nothing special. Let's call it average.

    But I have another student that I am advising that is top 5% in his class and has very respectable scores, but not top notch (1340 new SAT?). This student definitely had no shot at one of tippy top schools because of his score, despite having a high rank and near perfect transcript. He was rejected ED at a top 25 (and rightfully so based on the stats of those that did get in). However, when he takes it down a notch and widens his net to let's say a top 100 school that has lots of name recognition and great pre-professional programs, he is getting in with money. Example: U of Miami gave this student 20K per year. Not a bad option!

    So I guess I am kind of supporting what has already been stated...despite there being less applicants overall (baby-boomers kids are out of college now?), the top top schools are no easier to get in. But if you are willing to go to a less prestigious school but still is well known and very academically strong AND IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY I do think that it is a bit easier to get in now.

    The top top schools (most of which are truly need blind) have such strong endowments that they truly can cover the costs of the strongest kids and this is great for them. But the next rung of kids that cannot afford or even get into a top top school but still have very strong applications may end up at a state school unless they want to graduate with 100K in debt.

    I wish I had a solution. I hope that the state schools remain strong or get stronger to give these deserving students a shot at a great education. Some state schools are better than others.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 57,816 Senior Member
    MassDaD68 wrote:
    I do not dispute the numbers but I was shocked to the point of disbelieve. Do I read the chart right that the Net tuition costs have basically flat lined from 1996 to 2017? It seems to show net tuition cost to be around 11-12K in 1996 and increased to 14K in 2017. I find that very hard to believe. Sorry.

    And this is supposed to be just private schools!

    Something just does not feel right from how I have experienced is my research of private college costs.

    Note that this chart is in inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars.

    It may be that the average net price across all private non-profit college behaved differently from that at the private non-profit colleges that people on these forums consider to be desirable. Many of the lesser known and undistinguished (academically or otherwise) private colleges are struggling financially due to lack of student interest and the consequent need to discount more heavily (i.e. more or bigger scholarships) to fill seats.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 8,253 Senior Member
    @MassDaD68: The dotted blue line is for publics. The dotted orange line is for privates.


    And yes, if a kid is in, say, the top quartile in HS, it's not that difficult to get enough of a discount (through merit money, etc.) whereby a non-elite private costs the same or less than an in-state flagship.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,031 Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan I thought the dotted line referred to a net number. the solid yellow being published Tuition, Fee, Room & Board and the dotted yellow being Net Tuition, Fees, Room& Board.

    I was referring to only the blue Tuition and fees. I would extend my same comments to the yellow lines as well. they just don't seem to have increased by what I would have expected.

    @ucbalumnus True that they used 2016 dollars but it still seems odd that they only increased a few thousand over 20 years? My understanding was/is that college costs have increased much more than inflation for years and years creating the problem now where nobody can afford to go to a private school.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 57,816 Senior Member
    edited March 14
    Less popular less selective private schools may have to offer bigger scholarships to fill seats. Those are probably not the private schools most people posting on these forums consider. Remember, HYPSM are not representative of private schools overall.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,031 Senior Member
    Possibly. But that has not been my son's experience. He only applied to non-ranked schools and they are still north of $45K a year. For myself and the middle class folks I talk to find this a bit rich for them. But I do understand that this country is full of very rich people who can easily afford a $45k/year college bill. It is the ones that cannot afford this that just have very little options. Private college (any college) is a privilege and not a right. I get where it is mostly for the privileged class. Thank god for the state schools and Community colleges out there that allow middle class smart kids an option for a college degree.
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