Pandemic breaks US university application records (and delays results)

Harvard University recently announced that it has received more than 57,000 applications from students who want to pursue higher education there. According to Bloomberg , this increase of more than 40% in the number of applications that the institution received for the next academic year is a reflection of what happened to other prestigious universities in the United States - and has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. .

According to the website, the pandemic has led several higher education institutions to suspend the requirement for standardized exams such as the SAT and ACT . The grades of these exams are usually one of the factors measured in the application process. But due to COVID-19, many sessions of these tests were canceled, making it impossible for candidates to send their grades

Faced with this situation, universities no longer required candidates to send their grades - which made the application process simpler. Although many American universities are beginning to forgo exams in their selection processes, more traditional schools still required exam scores. Therefore, many students saw this change as an opportunity to apply.

Many more candidates

In addition to Harvard, Yale University also received many more applications throughout 2020 than in previous years. There were 7,939 in total, representing 38% more than in the previous year.

Princeton also went through a similar situation, receiving more than 37,000 applications. For the university where Einstein taught, the increase over the previous year was about 15%.

In addition to the change with respect to SAT and ACT, the fact that visits to campuses had to be canceled to avoid agglomerations made it difficult for students to visit new universities. As a result, the most famous universities ended up being the focus of applications for recently graduated high school students, which contributed to the increase in the numbers of these institutions.

Delay in the dissemination of results

This high number of applications was not accompanied by an increase in the number of study places at these universities. As a result, the task of selecting the best applications has become more difficult, and the dissemination of results will take longer than usual.

This is what the Ivy League universities (a group that includes Harvard, Yale and Princeton) recently announced. According to the institutions' announcement , “Ivy Day”, the day on which the admission results of the 8 schools that are part of the group are released, will be postponed 9 days, from March 28 to April 6.

According to The Crimson , a Harvard University newspaper, this delay in disclosure was necessary to ensure that applications could be properly evaluated. "More time is needed to ensure that all admission decisions can be conducted in the same careful and thorough manner as in the past," Harvard spokeswoman Rachel Dane told the newspaper.

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