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Why are American university admissions applications skyrocketing?

According to a study abroad consultant, because the US opened early, schools no longer required the SAT, so the number of applications submitted increased to a record.

Eight Ivy League universities – the last in the US – have just announced their admission results for 2022. The acceptance rates of many of the top schools are record lows, making the 2021-2022 admissions season. fierce competition.

Having been with the US for nearly 20 years, Ms. Tran Phuong Hoa, founder and director of Summit Educational Organization, a member of the International Association of Study Abroad Consultants, anticipated the high number of applications. However, the published number still surprised her.

Harvard, Columbia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have acceptance rates of less than 4% – out of 100 applicants, just over three were accepted, a record low number. Yale and Brown also have historically low acceptance rates of 4.47 and 5.03%, down from more than 6 and 8% last year.

Nguyen Hung Lam has been accepted to master's programs from nine schools in the US and is currently studying at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Photo: Character provided

Nguyen Hung Lam has been accepted to master’s programs from nine schools in the US and is currently studying at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Image: Characters provided

Following closely the enrollment situation of schools in the US, Nguyen Hung Lam or Lam Python, a YouTuber who has a channel to share about studying in the US with 32,000 followers, also noticed that compared to previous years, the number of students applying to study in the US American universities skyrocketed. Many schools publish historically record numbers of applications.

Master of Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for example, in the Colby University (top 20 liberal arts) rejection letter, the first line says “number of applicants who applied.” This year’s record is the largest and most competitive in Colby history”. Amherst University also mentioned in its rejection letter that “it received a record number of applications, nearly 15,000 applications”.

Dartmouth College, in the Ivy League group, reported a 33 percent increase in applications from last year. The school only has about 1,130 places for freshmen but has to choose from 28,336 applications, Lam said.

Study abroad consultants analyze, due to the influence of Covid-19, most of the All schools change their admissions policies, change the requirement for standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT) from mandatory to optional. This means that candidates do not need to have SAT scores to submit.

Before the translation, most American universities considered grades from 9th to 12th grade, IELTS/TOEFL certificates, SAT/ACT standardized test scores, main and minor essays… as the first requirement. into the. But because it is not possible to conduct direct tests for these English certificates and standardized tests, schools in the US have accepted for students to take the Duolingo test (alternative to IELTS/TOEFL) online/at home and no obligation. required SAT/ACT (test-optional).

On the plus side, the removal of the well-regarded SAT requirement opens up opportunities for many test takers. But in return, this increases the number of applications, making the level of competition more intense.

Besides, through the online platform, universities reach more areas. The pandemic creates challenges but also presents opportunities. Unable to hold live information sessions, schools have taken advantage of Zoom, seminars and many other online tools to reach candidates on a large scale.

Dang Huu Phuoc, director of the study abroad consulting company Edu4life in Ho Chi Minh City, added that, for two years at home because of the epidemic, many students had to postpone their study abroad plans. When the epidemic was under control, the children returned to their dreams, causing a sharp increase in the number of applications for schools, especially in countries that are attractive to international students.

The US opening its doors early for international students is also a reason to attract applicants. The application period to schools in the US took place in November last year – when some familiar study abroad destinations such as Australia or New Zealand had not yet opened their borders – causing students to massively apply to the US.

According to Mr. Phuoc, the number of applications is increasing because a student can apply to 10-15 schools to increase their chances of being accepted and financial support. The ratio of financial aid granting of schools this year is lower than before the epidemic due to the heavy impact on revenue two years ago. Therefore, students tend to “spread” more applications, in order to have more options in terms of scholarships and financial aid.

Dang Huu Phuoc, Director of Edu4life study abroad consulting company in Ho Chi Minh City.  Photo: Character provided

Dang Huu Phuoc, Director of Edu4life study abroad consulting company in Ho Chi Minh City. Image: Characters provided

In addition to the main reasons caused by the epidemic context, Ms. Phuong Hoa said that the number of international candidates continued to increase at top US universities because of a number of traditional factors such as training quality, outstanding reputation. proven superiority over hundreds of years; the opportunity to be exposed to a rich multi-ethnic environment, to experience many new things; opportunities to practice, work and settle in the US – where many of the world’s leading companies are concentrated.

Binh Minh – Thanh Hang

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