Have you received flyers from prospective colleges recently? If so, should you take these flyers seriously?
Many parents are excited when they tell us “We received a flyer from Princeton University asking us to apply there!”
However, the reality is that colleges are marketing to prospective families to increase the number of applications they receive. As the number of applications increases, the university’s acceptance rate decreases. And the lower a university’s acceptance rate, the higher their ranking on many of the most popular lists of “best colleges”, including the annual US News and World report.
In a recent article detailing how student information is sold to universities, Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, says, “You get more people to turn down, which improves your standing”.
When we work with students, we sort through the complex nature of college admissions, including college rankings.