College applications dip, especially for low-income students

Fewer students are applying to U.S. colleges this year, with experts saying some schools could struggle to fill their incoming freshman class during the coronavirus pandemic.

a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Male teacher explaining female student at desk

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Male teacher explaining female student at desk

Through November 2, the deadline for early decisions at many institutions, the number of students filing the Common Application — the most commonly used method for undergraduate admissions — for the first time is down 8% compared with a year ago, according to Jenny Rickard, CEO of the Common App. 

Among students who qualified to have their application fees waived — also a proxy for their families’ income levels — the numbers are even lower. The number of fee-waiver students who applied to college using the Common App decreased by 16%.

“I am extremely concerned about first-generation, low-income students and underrepresented minority students applying to college,” Rickard told CBS MoneyWatch. “The pandemic

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