The start of a new decade offers the chance to guess what our world will be like in ten years. In a recent piece, I shared thoughts from college admission leaders about their predictions for the future
of applying to college. Many of those predictions were fairly technical, dealing with the massive financial challenges facing colleges, as well as the counterintuitive results of the Justice Department’s suit against the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). As I collected their wisdom, what occurred to me is that we also need levity as we consider the years ahead. As such, I offer a lighter take, one that is more aligned with how people outside the profession look at college admission and what might be coming.
You will know it is the year 2030 when:
In place of an application, a virtual reality Hunger Games
simulator allows students to battle each other for a coveted spot at an elite university.
At last, a college achieves a 0% admit rate
(and not because it is going under).
The first-ever Secondary School Report lists a student as last in their class. And to add insult to injury, the student is being homeschooled.
Advances in mobile brain scanning technology enable college admission offices to track how often a student thinks about their college, therefore allowing finer discernment of Demonstrated Interest.
Thanks to the repercussions of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit
, application incentives spin out of control with guaranteed free room service, personal scribes and 24/7 access to professors. The only catch is that students must commit to an Early Decision application in the spring of their 9th-grade year
The average cost of attendance
at colleges and universities exceeds $100,000 a year, but tuition discounting averages 99% and therefore it only costs $1,000 to go to college.
Due to a printing error with U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings
, the top 10 schools in the country are listed last and therefore no one applies.
The first college builds a “Parent Village” with on-campus housing so “invested parents
” can help “manage” their child’s college experience.
The Department of Justice bans the admission field from holding any professional conferences due to the potential for collusion
Faced with the realities of a standardized test-optional future, testing companies join forces to start a DNA (Definitely Need to Admit) testing program called “legacyadmission.com.” Needless to say, it is met with skepticism
Confusion erupts after colleges and universities sign an exclusive contract with Amazon to deliver admission decisions and notifications are stolen off doorsteps everywhere.
High schools develop new grading scales
that average the grade a student earns with the grade their parents think they deserve.
A college finally reports that it has been their most selective year
ever due to a 100% increase in applications.
Newly elected U.S. president, a former admission dean, declares a national education emergency and reverses the state and federal trend of divesting in higher education
. She immediately directs funding toward student debt relief, free college and student success initiatives to increase four-year graduation rates.
At last, acknowledging that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” federal funding for education is greater than military spending in an effort to outsmart our adversaries rather than out-gun them.
Thanks to technological advances, colleges send out admission decisions
via interactive holograms with messages of congratulations from the dean of admission.
Thanks to hacked holograms, the following year colleges abandon technology, finding is safer to deliver acceptances via carrier pigeons.