Data in NACAC’s 2014 State of College Admission report show that application growth continues for most colleges. For 10 of the past 15 years, more than 70 percent of colleges reported year-to-year application increases. In the midst of this application growth, colleges have increased outreach to transfer and international students, as student pathways to and through higher education have changed. Diversified outreach also comes at a time when growth in the number of high school graduates has leveled off for the foreseeable future.
The focus on transfer is evidenced by the 80 percent of colleges who reported community college partnerships on a 2013 NACAC survey. Seventy percent also reported holding recruitment events on community college campuses. Only two percent of colleges anticipate that transfer student recruitment will become less important over the next five years, while more than half (58 percent) anticipated an increased role for transfer student outreach.
Among other significant findings in the 2014 State of College Admission report, national data show that the average acceptance rate at four-year colleges increased slightly to 64.7 percent for Fall 2013, after a slight but steady decline from 69.6 percent in 2003 to a low of 63.9 percent in Fall 2012. Students' grades and the academic rigor of their courses continue to rank as top factors in the admission decision, behind standardized test scores, high school class rank, and demonstrated interest in attending.
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