College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup

Access to Higher Education

By Catherine Gewertz — September 20, 2016 1 min read

As college-application season ramps up once again, an annual survey of college-admissions officers reiterates an important message for high school students who are worried about their SAT or ACT scores: The classes you take and the grades you earn are far more important than your test scores.

The survey found that in the fall 2014 admissions cycle, 79.2 percent of responding colleges and universities gave “considerable importance” to grades in students’ college-prep classes, and 60.2 percent assigned the same importance to the strength of the classes that students took. Only 55.7 percent of respondents said admission-test scores for entering freshmen were of “considerable importance” in their admission decisions.

The report also notes that the number of applications from first-time freshmen increased 6 percent between fall 2014 and fall 2015, and the number of applications from international students increased by 23 percent.

Colleges accepted 65.8 percent of first-time freshman applicants in fall 2014, up slightly from 64.7 percent in 2013. The 2014 number represents a stabilization after a decline: The acceptance rate was at a low of 63.9 percent in fall 2012.

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A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2016 edition of Education Week as Access to Higher Education

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