Bloomberg is reporting that the application numbers are up at all eight Ivy League Colleges. Harvard is up 5.6%, Yale is up 14% and Princeton is up 2 percent.
However, applications at many of the top liberal arts colleges have dropped this year. Williams is down 20%, Middlebury is down 12% and Swarthmore is down 10%. Other top liberal arts colleges that had fewer applicants include Amherst, down 1%, Carleton, down 3.5%, Pomona, down 2% and Bowdoin, down 1.6%.
It is not clear why the number of applicants are down at the liberal arts colleges, although even with the decreases, the admit rate of each of these colleges is still very low. But it may be slightly easier this year to gain admission to one of the top liberal arts colleges compared to last year.
Mark Truman says
I think the increase in Ivy League applications is absolutely dumbfounding. Why? Is it because of their new financial aid packages? Perhaps a push to reach for the stars?
And why the drop at schools like Swarthmore? At this point it’s probably a better buy than Harvard…
Todd Johnson says
I think a small part of the reason may be the financial aid policies at the Ivy League colleges but the policies at most of the top liberal arts colleges are just as good.
My best guess is that it reflects the “sheep” approach to finding a college. Apply to those colleges that you have heard of because everyone says they are the best. I would agree that for many students the educational experience at a Swarthmore will exceed that of any of the Ivy League colleges.
Mark Truman says
I’m not convinced that the “Sheep” method is the result. I agree that it’s a definite negative factor in the process, but 5% is an enormous jump.
I think there’s something going on that’s not immediately apparent. Perhaps Harvard has launched some new outreach programs via Facebook/MySpace that are happening to hit at the same time as the Recession?
Marc Smith says
Great article. Please note, however, that you are using my flickr photo in this post without attribution. Please attribute the photo to continue to comply with the license terms of the image.
Matt Cobb says
Todd, here are some additional stats to add to the discusssion: Stanford up 20% (same underlying cause as the ivies?), plus records at UVA, Vanderbilt and MIT. Easier to understand are increases at all the Georgia state schools, given the generous Hope Scholarship we have. I blogged about this here:
Definitely some cross currents!