In our new FAQ series, Gregg Cohen Founder/CEO of CampusBound and ApplyRightCollege talks about the changes he’s seen in the last 20 years in college admissions process.

Today, I’m here with my friend and colleague, Gregg Cohen, founder and CEO of Campus Bound and Apply Right. And today we’re asking Gregg a frequently asked question about the college admissions process. And today’s question is what has changed about the college admissions process in the last 20 years?

Number of applications

The big thing that’s changed is just the number of applications that are out there. More students are applying to more schools. Colleges are having to try to decipher and figure out who might come, who might not come to their college. And so they’ve added layers to the application process to help them to figure that out. And so they receive more and more supplements. We’re seeing more and more ways of trying to get them to understand, are you really interested in their school? And are you likely to come?

So, you know, things like demonstrated interest have become more relevant. Things like visiting the schools have become more relevant. Other expressions, even opening up emails, they’re tracking that kind of thing because they’re using it as a measure of how likely they are to come. And they are trying to get more applications to increase their rankings, but they also have to understand who might come there. And so, what’s happened for the poor students is that they have more stuff to pay attention to. So that’s one thing that’s changed.

Students’ lives are busier

I think the other thing that’s changed over the years is students’ lives are busier and busier. The families’ lives are busier and busier. And I think what is the result is that the whole process is stretched out. We’re seeing students getting involved and getting started thinking about this earlier and earlier, because they have to find the time to do those visits, and to do that research, and to do the application. So, you know, end of sophomore year which, 10 years ago, I would have said it’s really early, that’s not so early anymore. At least just starting to think about it and exploring what you want.


And I think the third thing that’s really changed quite a bit is the finances. And of course, it’s gotten more and more expensive over the years. But we are starting to see that students are being more cognizant of the cost in making their decision. And so that’s influencing how colleges are giving out their merit scholarships, and are really being aggressive. They know that not everybody’s going to pay that full fare, and they have to be really strategic. And you have to be strategic as a student to make sure that it fits your budget as well as the other desirable factors about the school.

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode of FAQ series about what has changed about the college admissions process in the last 20 years?

Do you have any questions for Gregg Cohen and Alexis Avila?

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