Colleges may see a drop in applications

A personal finance writer says that college is still worth it -- but only if colleges literally invest in their students' success.

Steve Chiotakis: The vast majority of colleges and universities have deadlines coming up in the next month or so for applications. After a few years of record numbers of applicants, things may be slowing down at some schools.

From the Marketplace education desk at WYPR, Amy Scott reports.


Amy Scott: Colleges have welcomed – often invited – the recent flood of applicants. The more students they turn down, the more selective they look. But it’s also harder to predict which students will accept an offer of admission.

Michael Bernstein is provost of Tulane University in New Orleans. He says in the last few years Tulane got so many applications, its admissions staff was overwhelmed. So this year the school added an extra essay to its application.

Michael Bernstein: Our goal was to increase the amount of information we have, and to discourage the less-than-serious applicant.

Other forces may shrink the application pool at many private colleges this year. Barmak Nassirian represents college admissions officers.

Barmak Nassirian: The slowdown has lasted long enough that people are beginning to have pretty significant misgivings about paying for private school tuition.

Nassirian says public universities will benefit. Though their tuition is rising faster, students still see them as a more affordable choice.

I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

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