Applicant Pool Down, Private Colleges Begin to Panic
Fears of high costs may be driving drop
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2008 7:19 AM CST
Private colleges are seeing a dip in applicants.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Private colleges are receiving notably fewer regular applications this year, sparking widespread concern among the schools that enrollment will plunge, the New York Times reports. Reasons for the drop may include families’ worries about soaring tuition and a general decline in the number of schools to which each student applies. A survey of 371 private colleges released last week showed two-thirds feared sinking enrollment.

Also behind the decline could be students turning to cheaper state schools, and an increase in binding early-decision acceptances, each of which can cut regular-decision applicants by 8 to 10. “There’s all this talk about how private colleges are unaffordable,” noted one admissions officer. “The truth is that a lot of private colleges have more financial aid available this year, but there’s lots of misinformation out there.”