6 major trends in college and university admissions

Many four-year colleges and universities are seeking to keep application growth on the rise by recruiting a greater number of transfer and international students.

transfer-international-studentsAccording to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 12th annual State of College Admission report, which examines the transition from high school to postsecondary education, many higher education institutions are reaching out to transfer and international students in order to sustain continued growth in applications.

More transfer students

Of the four-year colleges and universities surveyed, 58 percent indicated that the importance of recruiting transfer students will increase over the next three years, while less than 2 percent of schools stated the opposite. While the average acceptance rate of transfer students (62.6 percent) was slightly below the acceptance rate of freshman (64.7 percent) in fall 2013,  54 percent of transfer applicants who were admitted ultimately enrolled, compared to only 33 percent of the admitted freshman.

More international students

Additionally, many institutions are taking steps to enroll a greater number of students from other countries. The fact that 45 percent of private high schools and 4 percent of public high schools actively recruit international students has been a major help, as they often stay in the U.S. to pursue higher education.

One of the primary reasons for schools reaching out to these diverse groups (which are featured for the first time in this year’s report) stems from the plateau of high school graduation rates in the U.S., which grew for about 20 years before peaking in 2011-12.

“The landscape of higher education is changing, and that is prompting colleges and universities to look for new ways to serve students,” said Jeff Fuller, NACAC president and director of student recruitment at the University of Houston.

(Next page: Identifying trends in recruiting transfer and international students)

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