Alarming: 265 American Colleges Still Accepting Applications for Next Year

Barry Lenson

Alarming: 265 American Colleges Still Accepting Applications for Next Year

You won’t find it mentioned on the front page of your home town newspaper or on the evening news, but The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has just released a document called The Space Availability Survey 2011. Considering the information that this document contains, it is surprising that it isn’t making front-page news.

Here’s the news, in a nutshell . . .

  • As we write this post in mid-May 2011, 265 colleges and universities still have space available in next September’s freshman class. Seventy-one percent of these schools are private institutions, and 29% are public. (Note that community colleges are not included.)
  • 278 American colleges and universities are still accepting transfer applications.
  • 279 of those schools are offering financial aid to attract students, and 270 of them still have housing available for new students.

And that’s not all . . .

View a list of schools that are still accepting applications for next year. You will see that some very well-respected institutions still have their doors open. They include Drew University, Elmira College, Marquette University, Marshall University, Mary Baldwin College, Morehouse College, Ohio Wesleyan, Randoph College and more.

If you are a student who got rejected from your top college picks last month, this could be good news for you. There is still time to apply to lots of other colleges.

But in the larger scheme of things, this news indicates that a growing number of expensive American colleges and universities are having an increasingly tough time attracting students.  Part of the problem, as StraighterLine’s founder Burke Smith has explained, is that most traditional colleges cannot offer classes at anything near cost. In other words, students who attend those schools are not just buying instruction, but buildings, sports stadiums, administrative services and a lot more extras that don’t really have much to do with education.

Is the NACAC survey a sign of an impending shakeout in American higher education? We don’t want to be the first organization to cry “wolf” about that issue. But what do you think? Please share your opinions by posting a comment.


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