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The State of College Admission Report

Examining the transition from high school to postsecondary education through survey data collected from colleges and universities across the country.

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2018 Highlights

In the 2018 edition of NACAC's annual State of College Admission report, you'll find up-to-date information about the admission process for first-time freshmen, transfer students, and international students in the US. Learn more about factors in the admission decision, acceptance rates for college applicants, common recruitment strategies, and the status of college counseling in secondary schools.

College Applications

Each year, US colleges and universities receive hundreds of thousands of applications from first-time domestic students, transfer students, and international students. Results of recent NACAC Admission Trends Surveys indicate that the number of applications has continued to increase across four year colleges.

Recruitment and Yield Strategies

Results of NACAC’s 2017–18 Admission Trends Survey indicate that many of the recruitment methods used for traditional domestic high school students are also useful with other populations.

Factors in Admission Decisions

There is no definite plan or specific combination of factors that will guarantee a student admission to their preferred institution. Colleges and universities review many aspects of prospective student applications in order to determine which students will be admitted.

College Counseling in Secondary Schools

Using data from NACAC’s 2017–18 Counseling Trends Survey, this chapter explores student-to- counselor ratios and college counseling activities.

Additional Resources

COMING SOON! Infographics highlighting key data from the 2018 State of College Admission report
PowerPoint presentations about the NACAC data. Click here

A Closer Look at the Report

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Percent Growth in Freshman Undergraduate Applications: 2016-2017

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Average Acceptance Rate at Four-Year US Institutions in 2016

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Percent of colleges reporting grades are of "considerable importance" in the admission decision

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