With traditional systems and guidelines, most colleges and universities across the globe require students to apply based on their interests and various criteria for admission. This application process is designed so that students are able to choose their desired courses and institutions have the freedom to decide between candidates. With recent changes led by some companies, a new infrastructure is being created wherein students can avail admissions without having to apply.
Instead of having applications, the system focuses on introducing students and providing institutions with the option to choose between students they would prefer for courses. Not only does this reduce the stress of individual applications and deadlines, but it can also provide ample candidates. Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia is planning to begin approaching students who haven’t applied directly. With the institution admitting more than 70% of their 2022 applicants, this system can lead to suitable candidature and lower costs.
Before that, however, let’s understand who is leading the change and how this system works.
Who & How For Application-Less Admissions?
The primary company involved in profile-based admissions is Sage Scholars which has been helping students to afford higher education since 1995. Sage does this by creating a database of profiles for their students which contain a plethora of details ranging from interests and hobbies to test results and scores.
As a push to make the process even easier, Sage is planning to allow certain institutions, that are willing to follow the admission-less procedure, a look into the database. So, whenever a suitable profile is found, the institution(s) interested can reach out to the student directly.
According to Sage Scholars, they expect approximately 25 students to be admitted through this programme within the first year. Executives at Davis & Elkins College are eager to explore this route as it will reduce the burden on students and create a more open approach to admissions.
Apart from Sage, another company, Concourse, is also pushing for application-free admissions. Recently entering American markets, Concourse is a company that also aims to aid low-income students in availing easy admission to higher education. The management at Concourse is also in agreement that a shift to this system would allow a more open route to student applications, especially with the recent pandemic pullback.
Is It A Step Forward?
While the removal of applications may reduce the length and tediousness of the robust traditional American system, is it truly a beneficial step? Well, to understand this, let’s go over the pros and cons of application-less admissions:
Boost To International Student Enrolments
Such profile-based systems would make it easier for institutions with lower international popularity to approach international students for admissions.
Increased Comfort For Students
Noted by partner universities and colleges as one of the primary benefits of this system, the removal of the fear of rejection can make it easier for students to attain admission.
Considering the extensive paperwork and staff needed in the traditional system, reducing applications can make for a more simplified admission infrastructure.
Unnecessary For Low Acceptance Rate Institutions
For institutions that are known for their high applications and low admissions, this system would likely be unnecessary as there is no need for additional candidates.
May Not Be As Beneficial As Database Grows
As student databases grow larger, institutions may begin categorising them based on the same standards undertaken for applicants. For example, if only local and financially stable candidates are approached, the benefits of the system are limited.
With that, it can be understood that a shift in this direction has both ample benefits and disadvantages. While it is a boost to internationalisation and will promote international enrolments, many institutions tend to carry their selective admission rates as prestige. It’s these institutions that wouldn’t benefit from such a system. Whatever the case may be, it is a step towards simplifying a traditional and onerous process.