Record-Breaking Numbers of College Apps: What do they Mean?



Colleges annually celebrate their rising numbers in applicants. But those numbers go hand-in-hand with a drop in students who enroll. For the Chronicle, Eric Hoover considers what the numbers really mean.

Forget the blooming flowers and chirping birds. Spring’s the time for writing triumphant news releases about how many applications your college received. More than last year! More than ever!

The ritual has an air of redundancy. Many selective colleges that just announced unprecedented application totals this year did the same in 2015, 2014, and so on. All the record-breaking tallies have become a broken record.

Read on.