What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

Colleges may see a drop in applications

Amy Scott Dec 30, 2011

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.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.