The lasting impact of the pandemic on higher education is undeniable. The number of high school graduates going straight to college decreased by 22 percent this fall, and higher ed lost about 400,000 students in the US. An upside to the challenges of the pandemic is the catalyst for change, and the ability to innovate and update long-standing processes.
For decades, the college admissions process has been way too complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. Higher education institutions are bureaucratic and slow to change, often adding more requirements to their applications and asking students to jump through hoops to be admitted. Ivy League schools take pride in their low acceptance rates, and the admissions process demoralizes those students who don’t get selected to their top schools. Simplifying the process would benefit students and universities alike.
The College Board recently announced that it is getting rid of the SAT Subject Tests and Essay, and the list of universities that are test-optional is growing daily. This is a step in the right direction, but so much more needs to change.
Here are some ideas driving college admissions reform:
Higher education should be accessible to all students. Every student should have access to the same kind of care and attention across the board in regard to university admissions, not just the select few who can afford extra support and resources, such as paid college counselors, and private college prep tutoring. The university admission process should be painless, simple, and universally available to students who need help finding and accessing the right university programs based on their academic interests, qualifications, and budget.