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College applicants are down, especially among low-income students, Common App says

The number of college applicants is down so far this year, particularly among first-generation and low-income students, according to data from Common App, in what the college application company is calling an “alarming trend.”



a person walking down a sidewalk in a city park: Students walking to class on the California State University, Northridge campus in Los Angeles.


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Students walking to class on the California State University, Northridge campus in Los Angeles.

The organization, whose college admission application is used by over 900 colleges and universities, analyzed application data from its returning members submitted through Nov. 16 — the early decision and early action deadline for many institutions this year.

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The Common App found that when compared to the same period last year, the number of unique applicants decreased 4% this year (659,993 applicants, down from 686,866 in 2019). This decline was greater among first-generation and fee waiver-eligible applicants, which each saw about a 10% decline in applicant volume, it said. It was even greater than the decline

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Victoria coronavirus disruption causes leap in university applicants citing ‘difficult circumstances’

More than half of all Victorian Year 12 students have applied for special consideration in their university applications, due to the impacts of remote learning and the Covid-19 pandemic.



a public transit bus on a city street: Photograph: Picture Partners/Alamy


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Picture Partners/Alamy

Applications citing difficult circumstances have more than tripled this year as Victorian students struggled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, bushfires and remote learning.

More than 30,000 Year 12 students have applied for category four of the state’s special entry access scheme (SEAS), categorised as “difficult circumstances”, which applies to their university entry and includes the disruptions of remote learning.



a public transit bus on a city street: RMIT University in Melbourne. Sixty per cent of Victoria’s year 12 students applying for university are seeking special consideration because of Covid-related difficulties.


© Photograph: Picture Partners/Alamy
RMIT University in Melbourne. Sixty per cent of Victoria’s year 12 students applying for university are seeking special consideration because of Covid-related difficulties.

In 2019, only 10,016 students applied for the same category.

Related: Sydney university staff found to be working nearly a day a week unpaid

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