Colleges are increasingly allowing students to submit their applications past deadline, but they may not have students’ best interests in mind, according to a new Bloomberg report.
Both students and guidance counselors are confused by colleges’ more fluid deadlines, which some elite schools implemented for the first time this year, as Bloomberg education writer Janet Lorin reports. Critics say these colleges may just be trying to increase the number of applications they receive, in order to reject more students and increase their selectivity.
“More applications mean more rejections, which heightens a college’s prestige in the world of higher education,” Lorin writes.
Bob Morse, chief data strategist at US News & World Report, told Bloomberg that extended deadlines may help the colleges themselves more than the student applicants. “It’s another way the schools are definitely changing the rules of the game,” he said.
One high school senior told Bloomberg that he had received 35 emails from Bates College — a school he ended up not applying to — since October, including one offering an “exclusive extension” sent a day after the Jan. 1 application deadline.
“I did find it a little bit creepy,” the high school senior said. “I can admire their persistence, but after a while, it just got a little bit annoying.”
College representatives told Bloomberg they offered these extensions for a number of reasons, such as reducing student stress, anticipating potential technical issues, and letting applicants know of new financial aid policies.
“Our admissions office got extensive positive feedback from students, through social media and direct email,” University of Chicago spokesman Jeremy Manier said of the extensions.
A similar practice — known as “recruit to deny” — was detailed in The Hechinger Report earlier this month.
“Recruit to deny” is a little-known higher education admissions technique where colleges aggressively recruit students to boost their applications, while rejecting many of the high school applicants and lowering the school’s admissions rate. According to The Hechinger Report, many schools — including elite institutions such as Ivy League universities — engage in this practice.
Many higher education professionals link “recruit to deny” with college rankings, as schools with lower admissions rates rank higher on lists like US News & World Report.
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