Number Of College Applicants Is On The Rise

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

More than 3 million high school seniors will soon head into the college world and some colleges across the nation have students on hold as they try to go through all of the applications.

Officials with the National Center for Education statistics call the high school class of 2008 the "Echo Boom."

They say the children of the baby boom generation have set off a population explosion in the nation's public schools and now the "Echo Boom" generation is trying to get into college.

The dramatic enrollment growth, known as the Baby Boom echo, began in the nation's elementary schools in 1984.

This year nearly three and a half million students are graduating from high school.

It will be the largest class since 1977 when part of the baby boomers graduated.

Jerry Jackson is the dean of enrollment at Union College and he says the last minute college applicants are making it harder to get into college this fall.

Jackson says Union College is seeing the same rise in college applicants as other colleges across the U.S.

“Our applications are up about 55% in comparison to last year and we're up about 158% if you look at a five year trend,” Jackson said.

Tammy Baker is a guidance counselor at Knox Central High School and she says they start talking with students about college their freshman year.

“We encourage them to pick out 3 or 4 schools that they're interested in, make sure those offer the program they want to go into,” Tammy Baker said.

The higher number of college applicants are also grabbing up the financial aid available at a faster rate.

Baker suggests starting on the college and financial aid applications early to be one of the first graduating seniors on the application lists.

Both the college counselors and the high school counselors WYMT’s Heather Haley spoke with say it's best for teenagers to start looking into colleges as soon as their freshman year and for parents to get involved in the process from day one.>

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