Colleges profit from surprising source

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Colleges require fees from hopeful applicants looking to be admitted into their student body, and unsuccessful applications can mean major money for those facilities.

In a study of more than 600 public and private universities, data indicates that the sampled colleges are making over $200 million annually from rejected applications.  Gathering information from U.S. News and World ReportUCEazy conducted the survey to further its goal of helping first generation immigrants with the college admission process.

“We conducted this research to show the struggle that first-year applicants are experiencing to get into college,” UCEazy’s founder Vinnie Gupta said.

By subtracting the number of accepted applicants by the total number of applications submitted at each university, they used the difference to determine the number of rejected applications.  They multiplied that figure by individual application fees to arrive at their final numbers.

All in California, the 5 highest earners are:

1. University of California-Los Angeles: $5,369,840

2. University of California-Berkeley: $4,681,320

3. Stanford University: $3,632,130

4. University of California-San Diego: $3,608,290

5. University of Southern California: $3,419,440

Although this might not be illegal or even shocking, Gupta is concerned that colleges are taking advantage of hopefuls who spend resources and time to apply to schools they probably won’t qualify to attend.

“Through our interactions with thousands of students, we realized that most students do not have the skills or information to make informed decisions about which colleges to apply to,” he said. “Further, they don’t understand the process well enough to be competitive. This problem is amplified for students from first-generation immigrant families because of the inability of parents to provide much help.”

The insinuation is that colleges are taking advantage of this lack of knowledge to profit from the rejections. For example, Harvard no longer requires applicants to pass the Law School Admissions Test. Yet the $75 application fee will likely not deter hopefuls who have new incentive to attempt admission to the school.  Currently, Harvard is clearing nearly $3 million in profits from failed applicants.

Gupta believes that with proper assistance, many applicants that were rejected may have been accepted.

USA Today College recommends that applicants consider professional assistance, especially when spending money “a long-shot application.”

H/T: USA Today College

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