I’ve just sent off my final college recommendations — for a couple of schools that have surprisingly late deadlines of January 10 or January 15. My spreadsheet shows that the students who asked me to write recommendations for them this year altogether applied to an average of 7.5 colleges apiece (ranging from 2 to 14). Last year’s seniors applied to an average of 10.4 colleges apiece (ranging from 5 to 16).
What accounts for this dramatic drop? Of course we’re talking about only a small subset of the senior class at Weston, so it might not be statistically significant. But I do wonder whether there is finally a reaction to the excessive number of applications that the Common App has encouraged, or whether this year’s senior class includes a lot more students admitted early (under Early Decision or Early Action), so they are less likely to apply to a lot of schools in round two, or whether there’s some other explanation I haven’t thought of.