The State of College Admission Report

Examining the transition from high school to postsecondary education through survey data collected from colleges and universities across the country.

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2019 Highlights

In the 2019 edition of NACAC's annual State of College Admission report, you'll find up-to-date information about the admission process for first-time freshmen, transfer students, and international students in the US. Learn more about factors in the admission decision, acceptance rates for college applicants, common recruitment strategies, and the status of college counseling in secondary schools.

College Applications

Each year, US colleges and universities receive hundreds of thousands of applications from first-time domestic students, transfer students, and international students. Results of recent NACAC Admission Trends Surveys indicate that the number of applications has continued to increase across four-year colleges.

Recruitment and Yield Strategies

Results of NACAC’s 2018–19 Admission Trends Survey indicate that email, websites, and hosted campus visits were the most important recruitment strategies.

Factors in Admission Decisions

There is no definite plan or specific combination of factors that will guarantee a student admission to their preferred institution. Colleges and universities review many aspects of prospective student applications in order to determine which students will be admitted.

College Counseling in Secondary Schools

Using data from NACAC’s 2018–19 Counseling Trends Survey, this chapter explores student-to-counselor ratios and college counseling activities.

Additional Resources

Download a PowerPoint presentation about the 2019 State of College Admission report. Click here

A Closer Look at the Report


Percent Growth in Freshman Undergraduate Applications from Fall 2017 to Fall 2018


Average Acceptance Rate at Four-Year US Institutions for Fall 2017


Percent of colleges reporting grades are of "considerable importance" in admission decisions

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