Prepare to Weep!

It is that time of year again boys and girls. Top Colleges are sending out Regular Decision Letters for the Class of 2025! Get the Kleenex ready for the kids, vodka for the parents.

The big question: Who got accepted, rejected or waitlisted?

Unfortunately, the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions probably did not extend an invitation to you to attend their college. So sad.

Please do not be mad at me. I don’t make the rules, I am merely the messenger.

The college admissions cycle for 2021 was truly like none other. This year, early decision and now regular decision applications broke all previous records at most top colleges.

The eagerness of current high school seniors to apply to top colleges resulted in an avalanche of applications which took most, if not all, Deans of Admissions by surprise.

The COVID pandemic not only turned daily life upside-down, but also created a surge in applications. Who knew?

High School Seniors threw caution to the wind, rolled the dice, and applied to colleges that were longshots.

You betcha baby! These kids threw hail Mary’s to countless top colleges, praying that the Dean of Admissions would mistakenly accept them.

Ha! One small problem: The Dean does not make mistakes. True.

I for one cannot blame these students for at least trying to hit the lottery. One of my many mottos in the college application process is ‘Go Big or Go Home’. If a student is absolutely qualified to apply to a top college, then by all means do so. However, have a few ‘safe’ schools thrown into the mix.

These high school students suffered, along with the rest of us. Due to the pandemic, they lost a year of school and were stuck in the house for a year with their family. I pity them and their parents. What a tough year indeed. These kids get a high five for trying.

What to Expect this Admissions Cycle

MIT is always the first top college to release regular decision notifications on Pi Day. If you never heard of Pi Day, then I know you did not apply to MIT.

FYI, Pi Day is the annual celebration of the mathematical constant Pi observed on March 14.

This year, the ‘other’ top colleges such as Duke, Princeton, Harvard and Stanford (to name a few), will start sending their regular decision letters by the end of March through the first week of April.

You know it sister! This means everyone has to ‘sweat it out’ for a few more weeks until the regular decision letters are released.

My Acceptance/Rejection Prediction

I predict this year will be a ‘blood bath’; a disaster of epic proportions for students who truly aspire to attend a top college. Most students will get rejected. Trust me, a lot of tears will be shed when applicants receive their regular decision letters. These are not happy tears; these are sad rejection tears.

Why is my prediction so bleak? Way too many qualified applicants and not enough first year seats.

A brief review of MIT’s Early Action and Regular Decision stats for this year’s application cycle will be the precursor for how other top colleges will dole out acceptances/rejections.

MIT Class of 2025 Early Action Decision Stats

  1. In 2020, a total of 15,036 students applied Early Action to the MIT Class of 2025.
  2. 719 students accepted Early Action to MIT Class of 2025.
  3. Do the math: In 2019 for the Class of 2024, MIT received a total of 9,291 Early Action applications. In one year, there was a 62% increase in total Early Action Applications to MIT.
  4. Early Action Acceptance Rate MIT Class of 2025: 5%.

MIT Class of 2025 Regular Decision Stats

  1. In 2021, A total of 33,240 students applied Early Action and Regular Decision to the MIT Class of 2025.
  2. 621 students accepted Regular Decision to MIT Class of 2025.
  3. 1340 total students accepted for Early Action and Regular Decision to MIT Class of 2025.
  4. Do the math: In 2020 for the Class of 2024, MIT received a total of 20,075 Early and Regular Decision applications. In one year, there was a 66% increase in Total Applications to MIT.

It is important to note that MIT accepted over half the Class of 2025 via Early Action. The problem: More than 23,000 students applied for only 619 first year seats Regular Decision. Based on the number of applicants this application cycle, the odds for acceptance were already against students who applied regular decision to MIT. Look at the numbers!

Keep in mind, the above scenario will be played out at every top college this year. The only difference will be the number of total students that applied regular decision at each school. In comparison to other top colleges, MIT’s application pool is typically smaller. For instance, last year, Duke University receive 39,783 total applicants (MIT 20,075 total applicants) for the class of 2024.

It is conceivable that top colleges this year had in excess of 40,000 to 50,000 applicants apply regular decision. Remember, the amount of first year seats at all these colleges remain the same.

It is becoming statistically impossible for any brilliant, highly qualified student to get accepted to a top college, particularly this year. Look at the numbers!

MIT Standard for Application Review

Of course, you want to know… How did MIT admissions review the largest number of applications they ever received? According to Chris Petersen SM ’13 at MIT, ‘we carefully subjected all applicants to the same standard of attentive, empathetic, holistic review.’

Please note that all colleges will apply a similar review to all applications this year.


For additional insight on the college admissions process, please check out my book on Amazon!

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