College admissions rat race: Interest surges in top colleges, while others scrape for applicants
The pandemic seems to have exposed and perhaps worsened a recent trend in college admissions: Selective universities have seen extraordinary interest from applicants this year, after waiving test scores. But smaller and less recognizable schools are extending deadlines and expanding outreach to attract students. Students from less advantaged backgrounds are, predictably, being left behind.
But many of the state schools and small private colleges that educate a vast majority of college students in the United States suffered double-digit drops. And many of those have struggled for years. The pandemic has made it worse: American colleges and universities have endured losses of more than $120 billion and a few have even shut down. For those that remain, landing fewer students — and losing critical tuition dollars — could mean further distress.