As May 1 approaches, graduating seniors are busy mailing in their deposits for National College Decision Day. Many are still recovering from the toll of application season as they review their acceptances, rejections, and financial aid award letters. While they have a big decision ahead of them as they select their future home and academic path, rising seniors graduating in 2024 are just starting their college application journey.
Here at Moon Prep we have put together a few things students preparing for the application season should keep in mind as they begin making their college lists.
Test-Optional Policies Continues
In March 2023, Columbia University was the first Ivy League school to announce that they are going permanently test-optional. The university, along with 1800 other universities and colleges across the nation, have made submitting SAT or ACT scores optional.
Some schools, like the University of California System, California Institute of Technology, and Reed College, have gone to the extreme and are test-blind, meaning that even if students wish to submit their scores with their application, the schools will not consider them in the review process. It’s important to check the requirements carefully; Cornell University’s School of Agriculture and Life Science, Architecture, Business and Hotel Administration are all score-free, but other schools within Cornell do require SAT or ACT scores.
Optional Covid-19 Question Remains
For the past several years, the Common Application has had a place in the additional information section for students to share how the pandemic has affected them. You could share disruptions in housing or employment within your family, access to a safe and quiet study space, or new obligations such as part-time work or care for siblings or family members. This optional Covid-19 essay will remain for at least the 2023-24 application cycle.
Early Applications – Very Popular
Applying early through Restrictive Early Action, Early Decision and Early Action remains popular with students. These various early application deadlines tend to give students a boost in acceptance rates, with Early Decision usually providing the biggest advantage.
However, this year, early applications tended to skyrocket in popularity. New York University received 22,000 Early Decision applicants, an increase of 14% from the previous cycle. University of North Carolina’s Early Action applications increased by 10% to nearly 38,650.
You can read our article in full on Forbes here.