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Weekly College Admissions News Roundup, April 20-24

Fri, Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:58 AM

College Admissions NewsArizona State Announces Online Freshman Year Program, Common Application to Allow Colleges to Ask Controversial Question

We’re a week away from May 1 enrollment deadlines, and as seniors enter the homestretch there’s a lot going on that can affect next year’s applicants. From online credit programs, to new Common Application questions and a rise in students going directly into college after high school, there were a lot of developments in higher education news this week.
At IvyWise, we think knowledge is power, and it’s important for college bound families to stay up-to-date on the latest college admissions news. Not only does it help families know what to expect, it also allows them to make informed decisions during the college application process. This is why we bring you the latest news every Friday!
Here are some of the top stories in college admissions and higher education from this past week:
  1. Arizona State University has partnered with edX to offer a full-credit, online freshman year program with no admissions requirements. Each credit will cost $200, but students will only have to pay upon completing the course. This is great news for college access and MOOCs, which have been criticized before for not translating into college credit. Don’t jump online quite yet, though. There are still some accreditation issues that need to be resolved.
  2. The Common Application will now allow colleges to ask students where else they are applying. Why is this a problem? Because some schools can use this information to discern whether applicants are likely to enroll if admitted, thus affecting some decisions. This is a big deal because it could potentially violate NACAC principles (of which many colleges are a member), and could also be a problem for applicants, as this question can add another confusing and uncertain layer to the already nuanced college admissions process.
  3. Oops! Another school did it again. Drexel University accidentally sent out acceptance letters to rejected applicants – 495 of them.
  4. Juniors: Now’s the time to start thinking about the college admissions process. Your essays are the first component you can brainstorm, so consider these great, and awful, essay topics.
  5. We all know students are all over social media, but a new paper finds that social media is a tool students often use to make the transition into college life smoother.
  6. Still not sure what to do with your waitlist decision? Take action before May 1! Here are some tips from Dr. Kat on what to do and what to expect.
  7. IvyWise counselor Levia also spoke with the Daily Pennsylvanian this week to give some insight on students’ chances of being admitted off UPenn’s waitlist.
  8. Not sure about the new SAT coming out in 2016? Here’s why you should skip it and take the ACT instead.
  9. Weighting multiple offers of admissions and different financial aid packages? IvyWise counselor Meg spoke with the Fiscal Times this week on what families should look for when comparing financial aid offers.
  10. Post graduate success isn’t about where you go to college. Instead it’s about what you study. Students should identify interests early and cultivate them throughout high school. Not sure how to do that? Here are some tips.
  11. College is getting more popular. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of high school graduates who went right into college went up to 68.4% (of 2.9 million students in 2014) from 65.9% in 2013.
  12. What an impressive Class of 2019! Another student was accepted to multiple Ivy League colleges – seven of them to be exact.
What do you think of ASU’s new online freshman year program? Do you think colleges should ask applicants where else they’re applying? Tell us in the comments below!

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