Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

We’ve heard from many families about the challenges of applying to college this fall. With so much still uncertain and many students unable to visit colleges, many students are finding an already challenging process even more of an uphill climb.

With the early decision deadline for many schools at the beginning of November, we’re already seeing the impacts of these difficulties. Through November 2nd, the Common Application, through which students can apply to more than 900 colleges and universities, saw 8% fewer first-year applications when compared to the same time period in 2019. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is down 16% from last year.

One small advantage to students this year, however, is the robust availability of online information about schools. Many colleges and universities are offering more and more virtual visit and information session options, increasing access to learn more about schools when in-person visits are unlikely. Many colleges are relying more heavily than ever on metrics like demonstrated interest (how much interest the student shows in a given college) to help admit students more likely to attend, and students are able to demonstrate that interest in more accessible ways through these virtual engagements.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO