US Universities Key Admission Insights

After an unprecedented early application round, Almost Essential recommended US University Advisor wanted to share some key admission insights. The A-List Advising Team has reviewed the data and recommends the following:

1 ) The data indicates that international students need standardized test scores in order to be favourably reviewed by selective US Universities. While many schools noted they would be test optional during the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, the early round results reveal that international students who submitted testing were more carefully, and more favourably, examined during the application process. Admissions offices still want to see this standardised metric from international students.

2 ) Application numbers were up across the board. Many schools in the top 30 saw a spike of 20%, or more, in their application pools. Some universities even reported a 70% increase in early applications, shattering any previous records. Surprisingly, even during the pandemic, schools became more competitive and thus more selective. Admissions committees were in the enviable position to accept students who had ample positive data points on all aspects of the US university application.

3 ) While the University of California system were not allowed to review ACT or SAT scores, they are allowed to consider SAT Subject Tests. This means we still strongly urge students to sit for the Subject Tests and select the topics carefully with an advisor for future application cycles.

Looking to the Fall 2021-22 admissions cycle, we anticipate that some schools will retain test-optional policies to aggregate data and inform admissions procedures. However, for international students, we strongly recommend sitting for the SAT or ACT and Subject Tests to be competitive in an increasingly selective admissions process.

The deadline to register for the March 13th SAT is January 27th! Test centres can fill up quickly and we recommend you register before this deadline.

If you would like to discuss how best to prepare for the SAT and ACT, please reach them out here.