Applications have now become big business and in a time of huge budget cuts due to the economy, it is not going away. Let's do the math at $50 an application.:
- Stanford: 32,022 applications = $1.6 million
- Tulane: 44,000 applications = $2,2 million
- UCLA: 57,670 applications = $2.9 million
So 1,200 universities - even if they each just have an average of 7,500 applicants is about $450 million in revenue plus the $25.6 million that College Board makes = $475 million dollar business.
Wow - I thought we were worried about for-profits making too much money off of the American dream of a college education. These are some pretty big numbers.
How to fix it - make it more challenging to apply to over 10 schools.
- Get rid of the common application - it is too easy to click a button and apply to more schools
- Eliminate selectivity as a measure of pride - focus more on graduation rates, completion rates etc
- Bring back the interview - if you haven't been to school, do you really want to go there?
- Increase the application fee - simple economics here