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Class of 2020 admission results are out and they don’t look so good for the top schools…

Competition to get into good schools keep increasing and you don’t have to look too far to see how tough it is becoming to get into one of the good schools in USA.

Most of the top schools in the US admitted less than 10% of applicants to the class of 2020. The admit rate this year is less than the last year. Colleges such as Stanford and Harvard admitted approximtaley 5% of the applicants, and I am sure all the students applying to these colleges have excellent academic credentials and strong extra-curricular and leadership profile.

Richard Shaw, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Stanford, shared his thoughts with Nick Anderson of Washington post recently on why colleges such as Stanford are seeing huge applicant pool and low acceptance rate. His thoughts were 1) Top students are applying to more schools 2) Higher demand across the board, including International students 3) Questionable Counseling.

As the competition is increasing, top students do not want to give up on their aspirational and dream school while making sure they have a list of good fall back schools in case they do not get admitted to the top schools. Secondly, we all know, international applications to U.S. colleges are increasing and many international students want to come to U.S. for studies as they may not have access to good educational colleges in their home country.

Lastly, Richard’s point on questionable counseling is a very important one. I have seen advertisements from number of counselors gauranteeing parents and students admission to top colleges in U.S. Many of them have build their counseling brand on that marketing. I still have tough time comprehending how someone can make that statement when the chance of a top student to get into a good college may not be more than 10-15%. Good advice and objective counseling can save a lot of time, pain and unmet expectations for students and parents.

The only good news coming out of these admission reults is US has hundreds of good colleges and programs for everyone. If a student does not get into the top college they may have many other good options. Some of these top global brands may not be the best option or the first choice of number of students.

Data source: Washington Post article

About Author Ajay Singh

I graduated from I.I.T India and came to U.S. for higher studies in Engineering 20 years back. After working for a few years in Austin, Texas as a design engineer, I went back for a M.B.A at Harvard Business School. I have worked for number of global companies in senior leadership and management positions. Over the years I have advised number of students on college admission.

Author: Ajay Singh

Ajay is the co-founder of Stoodnt and spent 20+ years in senior leadership roles with companies such as American Express, Cendant and Intel prior to starting Stoodnt. He has a M.B.A. from Harvard, M.S. in Computer Engineering from U.T. Austin and B.Tech from I.I.T Roorkee (India).

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