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Ivy Day 2024: A Shift in College Admissions

Looking through the prism of Ivy Day 2024, this day shows the changing nature of college admissions and predicts what will happen in the near future. The changes introduced this year are transforming how students look at their university applications. These shifts are like other trends in higher education, influenced by factors such as developing admission criteria, greater attention to holistic reviews, and the growing significance of diversity and inclusion. By understanding these adjustments, students and teachers can become more savvy in the complexities of the admission process. So what’s happening right now?

Linear Thinking Dominates Always

A choice by institutions such as Dartmouth, Brown University and MIT to reinstate the SAT and the ACT requirements for College Admission shows that many Highly Selective Colleges may well go back to requiring standardized testing. But Yale has introduced a slight variation with its test-flexible policy that allows students to submit Advanced Placement (AP) scores or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores instead of SAT or ACT. 

This change could be seen as a response to falling levels of college readiness measured by an examination like the ACT, which posted a 30-year low in spite of rising GPAs in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies. This disparity underscores a gap between students’ perceived and actual readiness for college.

While many people anticipate more colleges will return to standardized test requirements, they also expect test-blind and test-optional policies to persist. These strategies expand the pool of applicants by including underrepresented and disadvantaged groups while helping financially struggling colleges increase their application rates. It also contributes to a wider outlook in admission processes where factors beyond scores are considered for an all-round assessment of a learner’s potential. This dual approach allows them to maintain selectivity standards while promoting inclusion and diversity among their applicant pools.

The Digital SAT

In other testing updates, College Board launched its first ever digital SAT, marking a drastic departure from its traditional format. This new version comes with adaptability features that change the difficulty level of questions on the basis of student responses, unlike previous exams that had fixed difficulty levels for all students. 

Notably, students say the math section was harder than expected – nowhere close to anything they experienced with simulated tests. On the contrary, the ACT hasn’t gone fully digital like the SAT but still offers both online ACTs and conventional pencil-paper options.

Choosing Between SAT and ACT

Taking diagnostic practice tests for both SAT and ACT is a good idea for students since such a strategy helps them ascertain which exam they best align with. However, if the scores are the same, we advise leaning toward the ACT. This is because of its unchanged format over time and the choice between computer-based or paper-and-pencil exams.

It is worth noting that there have been changes in testing policies including recent modifications to SAT. Thus students should adapt an approach that prepares adequately for standardized tests while being open to not turning in scores in test-optional schools.

How Important Is College Essay?

Duke University has undergone significant changes in its admissions process by discontinuing the assignment of numerical ratings to standardized test scores and essays from applicants. The university started applying this new policy during the current application season. Formerly, Duke awarded five points on essays and tests, which were converted into a holistic score on a 30 scale. Now, the university will pay more attention to curriculum strength, recommendations, academics, and extracurricular activities. The reason why numerical scoring was removed from essays includes increasing concerns about AI-generated entries as well as those that might be ghostwritten.

Christoph Guttentag, the dean of undergraduate admissions, underlined that while essays have been crucial for understanding an applicant’s profile, their effectiveness as indicators of a student’s genuine writing skills has diminished.

It does not mean you should forget about a college essay. This paper can still bring attention to your application. If you ask yourself, ‘And how should I write my essay if I do not know how?’, we have a solution for you. Writemypapers can provide you with a great example of how to write your college essay properly. Just give them your requirements and get your sample in one day!

The Role of Essays in Admissions

This change isn’t a reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling against the consideration of race in admissions decisions. However, essays have often been central to discussions about promoting diversity through the admissions process. Consequently, it’s anticipated that other institutions might also tone down essays. This shift would increase the importance of academic transcripts, the depth and quality of extracurricular activities, and the relevance and demand of the selected major.

The colleges aim to have a more accurate understanding of the applicant’s capability and contribution through their attention to such aspects. The de-emphasis on essay scores is part of a wider shift in college admissions, which has seen increasing weight placed on many other student accomplishments. As the institutions cope with these new hurdles, they expect an increased focus on multidimensional evaluation criteria that guarantee equitable and well-reasoned processes for selecting students.

Early Apply

According to the Common Application data cited by New York Magazine, early applications (both early decision and early action) were up by 1 million or 60% over the past five years, while regular decision applications rose by only 26%. This shows an increased inclination among high school seniors who are increasingly using early application options as part of their college admission strategy, indicative of how competitive it has become to get enrolled into top colleges.

What Should You Do?

After all these changes, you should be agile and smart. So try to apply multifaceted game to your admission. Be prepared that each university has applied different requirements and some has not change at all. If you get what each university needs from you in your admission, you will surely get at least one enrollment.