A chaotic application cycle, punctuated by pandemic changes, led to some unique solutions that may remain in place heading into 2021-22.
What occurred during this year’s admissions cycle was almost impossible to predict.
Pandemic fallout, steep declines in first-year student enrollment and a lack of face-to-face time with prospective students led to unprecedented uncertainty that had higher education leaders nail biting from October through April. Some still are.
This perfect storm pushed colleges and universities to seek out new solutions, to surge into virtual spaces, to lessen the importance of standardized test scores and to offer loads of incentives to pique student interest.
For top tier and big brand public institutions, the results were quite positive. Applications rolled in. Harvard University received more than 57,000 and had to push back its deadline. MIT saw a 66% year-over-year jump in those who applied. New York University reported topping 100,000.