Application Inflation: When is Enough Enough?. It is a very good read, and it deals with an important issue in College Admissions. The main focus of the story is about the balance of recruiting and getting a large number of students applying to a college in order to either have a stronger freshman class or to make your college look more selective by having a smaller admit rate (or both). This is a serious issue in college admissions these days, and one that does not have an easy answer.
While I cannot speak for other college admissions offices, I will say that UGA does not want students to apply to us just to inflate the application numbers. If UGA is not a good fit for you as a college, I will not take is personally if you do not apply here. My belief has always been that a student should find a small number of colleges that fit their criteria, and they should not blanket the nation with admissions applications. While UGA wants to have a great pool of applicants to make our freshman class great, we do not want to mislead students about their chances, or use them as a pawn in the admissions guidebook ratings game. I am guessing that a majority of colleges feel the same way.
One of my earliest posts on this blog was about the comparison between admissions and dating, with a focus on finding the right match. When my daughter reaches high school in three years and hits that scary world of dating, I am not going to suggest that she try to get as many date requests as possible just so she can reject a lot of boys and seem more "selective". (On a side note though, I do hope that having a dad who works in UGA's admission office might make any potential boyfriends think twice about how they act!). Admissions decisions should not be about how either the college or the applicant is perceived by the outside world, but instead should be about how good a fit there is between student and university. The process should not be a contest about how many applicants a college denied, or about how many institutions a student was admitted to, but about what seems the best fit for both sides.
And just so you know, if UGA were to have a 43% increase in applications from last year like the U. of Chicago did last year (I do not expect this!), this would mean almost 26,000 applicants, which would scare me to death! In my area in operations and selection, we are running a fine line in how many applicants we can handle, so adding another 8,000 or so applicants to the pool would overwhelm our office.
UGA does want to continue to have great students consider us as a possible college match, and we would love to see our student body grow even stronger academically and personally. We communicate with prospective students, visit high schools, attend college fairs, etc., all to both help the prospective student know more about UGA and to recruit a strong class. But we do not want applications just for numbers sake. We want a good match, and so should you, and we wish you well in your college search!