随着COVID的减弱,大学招生出现了新趋势

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随着学校继续保持“可选考试”的模式,由于学生不再以标准化考试成绩部分评估,顶级学校的录取率将继续下降。申请将继续上升到顶级,因为整体审查将意味着对学生在课堂之外是谁的关注增加,鼓励更多的学生认为自己具有竞争力,如果他们证明自己有广泛的非学术经历,从而增加了精英院校新生的独特多样性。

此外,尽管学生们对顶级学校的兴趣越来越大,但对那些不太知名的学校的兴趣却在减弱。申请大学的人数增加了11%,学生人数超过2万人的大学申请人数增加了16%;申请人数的任何增加都意味着录取率的下降。也许是因为学生们现在意识到,他们在更多的精英学校可能更有竞争力(因为标准化分数是可选的),他们不太可能申请大量“安全范围”内的学校。然而,从积极的一面来看,当这些不太知名的学校开始在招生方面遇到困难时,它们可能会开始提供更多的激励措施来全额支付国际学生的学费(例如,奖学金)。我们已经看到一些不太知名的院校提供奖学金,或增加奖学金,以吸引国际学生。
新冠肺炎还影响了旅行,可能也导致了转学申请的减少。对于国际学生来说,这是一个需要记住的重要事实:在过去,新生申请总是比转学申请竞争更激烈。减少的转学生申请趋势将会继续,大学新生申请竞争趋势也将继续,学生可以通过转学路径到一个更高的排名学校,成为那些在较低排名学校的成绩优异的学生更可行的选择,转学申请大学二年级。
此外,在过去,与常规录取相比(在大多数学校),提前录取保证了学生更高的录取率,但在过去的招生周期中,提前录取率下降了,尤其是在顶级院校。
大学现在也开始比过去更有意识地评估环境,因为很多学生都是远程学习,同时还要应付无数的家庭责任。例如,哈佛在考虑学生的学业成绩的同时,也考虑学生的自我照顾。他们可能会考虑在课堂所学之外对某些技能和知识的掌握。然而,对申请者来说,问题是评估哪些学校有人员以真正全面的方式深入审查此类申请;在大型州立大学,招生官员可能只能花六到七分钟处理一份申请,因为他们要审查每个申请周期的6万多份申请。
最后,即使有考试可选的政策,学生也应该计划参加标准化考试。申请宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)的学生中,有38%的考生在提前录取时没有考试成绩,但只有24%的被录取学生来自这一类别。特别是对于那些课外背景不那么丰富的国际学生来说,这对于他们的申请审查是至关重要的。
对于国际学生来说非常重要的一点是,记住考试是可选择的,而不是盲目的。换句话说,当政策是“可选的”时,考试成绩在一定程度上仍然对入学有影响,所以我鼓励学生仍然参加SAT或ACT考试。然而,现在的招生办非常重视课外活动,所以课外活动现在比以往任何时候都重要,不仅作为一种建立简历的手段,而且学生可以从中突出他们的适应性、学习能力、领导能力,以及他们大学申请论文的叙事形式的弹性。

英文原文:

As COVID abates, new trends emerge in college admissions

COVID brought new challenges to students and college admissions officers alike.  With little notice, colleges needed to find new ways to evaluate students who could not readily access testing centers, and students needed to not only study in a remote environment, but shift their extracurricular and co-curricular activities to an online setting.  With the past assumptions that ‘online work’ was somehow less rigorous and valuable than ‘in person’ work, COVID forced institutions to reevaluate the past assumptions–for better or worse.  What are the new trends and changes we will see in this upcoming college admissions cycle?

As schools continue to remain (or test) the ‘test optional’ waters, admission rates at the top schools will continue to decrease given students are no longer partially evaluated by their standardized test scores.  Applications will continue to go up to the top tiers since holistic review will mean an increase in attention paid to who the student is outside and beyond the classroom, encouraging more students to consider themselves competitive if they evidence a breadth of non-academic experiences that add to the unique diversity of elite institutions’ incoming class.


Furthermore, while students have become more interested in the top tiers, interest has waned for the lesser known schools. Applications to college have increased 11% with universities that had more than 20,000 students seeing a 16% increase in applications; any increase in applications will mean a decrease in acceptances.  Perhaps because students now see they may be competitive at more elite schools (since standardized scores are optional), they are less likely to apply to a wealth of schools in the ‘safety range’. On the positive side, however, as these lesser known schools begin to struggle with enrollment, they may start to offer more incentives to full pay international students (e.g., scholarships). We have seen a number of lesser known institutions offer scholarships, or increase their scholarships, to entice international students.


COVID also affected travel, perhaps also contributing to the decrease in transfer student applications. For international students, this is an important fact to keep in mind: in the past, freshman applications have always been much more competitive than transfer applications. Should the reduced transfer student application trend continue and the freshman application competitive trend continue, the transfer path into a higher ranking school may become a much more viable option for students who achieve highly as a freshman at a lower ranked institution and then apply to transfer for sophomore year. 


Additionally, early decision had — in the past — guaranteed a higher acceptance rate for students compared to regular admission (at most schools) but during this past admissions cycle, early admissions rates decreased, especially at the top tier institutions.

Colleges have also now begun to assess context much more intentionally than they have in the past, as so many students learned remotely and juggled a myriad of home responsibilities.  Harvard, for example, speaks of considering student self care alongside an academic transcript.  They may consider mastery at certain skills and knowledge, outside of what’s learned in the classroom.  The question for applicants, though, is to assess which schools have the staffing to review such applications in depth in a truly holistic way; at a big state institution, admissions officers may only be able to spend six or seven minutes on each application as they review over 60,000 each application cycle.


Finally, even with test optional policies, students should plan to take standardized test scores.  Students applying to the University of Pennsylvania saw 38% of its test takers apply without test scores during early decision, but only 24% of accepted students came from this category.  Particularly for international students who may have less complex extracurricular backgrounds, this is essential for their application review. 

Summary

Very importantly for international students, remember that test optional is not test blind. In other words, test scores still matter to some extent for admission when the policy is ‘optional’ so I would encourage students to still take the SAT or ACT. However, admissions are now going to highly value extracurricular and cocurricular activities so activities outside of the classroom now matter more than ever, not only as a means to build the resume but from which students can then highlight their adaptability, learning, leadership, and resilience in narrative form for their college application essays.


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厚仁教育常春藤规划与公司培训总监,美国康涅狄格州出生,哈佛大学教育学硕士,加州大学戴维斯分校社会心理学博士。曾在宾夕法尼亚大学、达特茅斯学院等常青藤大学担任院长级别职位长达12年。在厚仁教育集团担任升学规划总监,主要负责学生规划导师招募选拔以及学生教学指导的质量提升,为当地以及国际学生申请进行能力评判,提升以及总体规划。
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