Private colleges across the nation are boosting the number of students they're accepting and the length of their waiting lists in case applicants can't write the tuition check when the time comes, reports the Washington Post. Applications are at a record high 3 million, but universities fear students planning on college may switch plans as families' financial situations continue to suffer. Private college officials are concerned that students may put off school or turn to less expensive public universities, where demand is particularly strong.
"I just don't know what's going to happen," said an admissions official at Johns Hopkins University, which accepted 250 more students this year and increased its waiting list by 10%. At Dickinson College, the number of early decision applicants who pulled out for financial reasons doubled this year. More than 90% of the students surveyed by a research firm said they were changing their college plans because of the economy.