For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
David Hawkins

Melissa Clinedinst

Shanda Ivory

 High School Grades Matter Most in College Admissions, NACAC Report Reveals

January 30, 2014 (Arlington, VA)  - A student’s high school record is the most important factor in college admission decisions, according to survey results released today by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Data in the 11th annual edition of NACAC’s “State of College Admission” report show that students’ grades and the academic rigor of their course loads weigh more heavily in decisions to admit than standardized test scores, high school class rank, or demonstrated interest in attending.
“The results show that getting good grades in challenging courses is what college admissions offices value most,” said Joyce E. Smith, NACAC’s chief executive officer.  “This is valuable news for college-bound students and their families.”
The report also suggests that that U.S. postsecondary institutions are less able to predict enrollment trends today than they were 10 years ago, as evidenced by declining “yield rates” -- the number of accepted applicants that ultimately decide to attend a college—as well as the increasing numbers of students placed on wait lists.  The report does note that other trends, including a slight decline in the number of applications submitted per student, may indicate that colleges are starting to reach a new equilibrium in the application and admission process.
Among other significant findings in the 2013 “State of College Admission,” the data showed overall higher education enrollment declined for the first time since 1995. Declines in enrollment at for-profit colleges and two-year public colleges drove this trend, while enrollment at public and private, non-profit colleges continued to grow.
The report is available online.
About NACAC: NACAC is an Arlington, VA-based education association of more than 13,000 secondary school counselors, independent counselors, college admission and financial aid officers, enrollment managers, and organizations that work with students as they make the transition from high school to postsecondary education. The association, founded in 1937, is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice. More information about NACAC is available at

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