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Top colleges are seeing an all-time high in applications, while lesser known ones struggle to attract prospective students. 

Feb 23 2021

Top colleges are seeing an all-time high in applications, while lesser known ones struggle to attract prospective students. Prestigious colleges have never had trouble attracting incoming students, but this year the decision not to require standardized test scores during the pandemic has driven record high applications to higher tier institutions. Cornell University saw 17K more applications than they’ve ever received before, applications to Penn State increased by 11%, while Harvard saw a whopping 42% spike, and Colgate University received 103% more applications. Haverford and Swarthmore increased by 16% and 12%, while large state schools like UCLA increased 28%. However, smaller and less recognizable institutions that didn’t waive test scores, and typically accept more low-income students (who have been hit hard financially by the pandemic), saw “precipitous declines:” Applications fell by 14% at the State University of New York, while freshman apps at Portland State were down 12% as well as transfers, which were down 28%. (NYTimes)