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Updated: Jan 21

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College Admissions 2022

Many schools moved to Pass/Fail grades for junior year, and many parents and students wondered how the admission committee would decide on college admissions. Definitely, the results have been as unpredictable as the year itself for thousands of students and parents.

The students have been surprised positively but a lot more have been disappointed. So, what happened, and what it means for the upcoming graduating classes.

1) Top colleges saw their application pool increase by 20-50%

With an optional test policy, most colleges saw a significant increase in the pool of applications. Students who would not have applied to these colleges because of their lower test scores decided to throw their applications into the pool if they were in the top 10% of their high school class. Suddenly, colleges got applications from schools and students who would not have applied in a normal year because of their test scores. The top trend of the year has been colleges got more first-generation, underprivileged, and under-

served students applying and joining the top colleges.

2) More students from the rural and underprivileged high schools applied to the top colleges, improving the diversity profile of the applicants

This year many top schools reported getting a significant increase in the number of applications from smaller schools from underrepresented areas or rural areas. This increased the diversity of applications, impacting some of the results of private schools and top public schools that had sent a lot of students to the top 50 colleges in prior years. This diversity in the applicant pool is here to stay and will impact the changing profile of admitted students over the years.

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3) Some of the majors such as Biology, Computer Sciences saw a large influx of applications and were highly competitive

If you are applying for some of the most competitive majors such as computer science, biology, economics, and electrical engineering, be prepared to spread your college list across the spectrum of schools. Some of these majors tend to get a lot of applications and have limited seats so the chance of admissions tends to be lower than for majors such as liberal arts, history, political sciences, psychology, tc

If you are focused on one of the competitive majors, maybe apply to some of the not-so-competitive colleges and you may see some good results. Most of these colleges may offer you as good of an education as any other college.

4) Schools still used grades and any test scores available to make the decision

Irrespective of the holistic admission approach, competitive colleges still use grades, GPA, and test scores as the baseline for selection. They primarily compare you against other students from your school or area when making a decision.

Other factors such as essays, recommendation letters, and extra-curricular only come into play if you meet their minimum academic rigor criteria. So, always good to stay focused on getting good grades and class rank before you think about the extra-curricular and holistic admission process.

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