College Applications Surge for Fall 2024 Admissions

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College Applications Surge for Fall 2024 Admissions

College applications for fall 2024 admissions have surged, with a 6% increase in applicants compared to the previous year, totaling over 1.3 million first-year applicants to 834 institutions.

Additionally, the total number of applications rose by 7% compared to last year, reaching 7,541,148. Applicants are also applying to slightly more colleges this cycle, with an average of 5.74 applications per applicant. This is up 1% from the previous cycle, according to data from the Common Application. This year, the surge in applications continues the upward trend seen since the 2019-20 admissions cycle, which was unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to that pre-pandemic year, there has been a 28% increase in applicants to four-year colleges, more than 285,000 applicants.


This is the first admission cycle since the Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action back in June 2023.

Underrepresented minority (URM) applicants, including Black or African American, Latinx, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students, have increased by 10%, outpacing the growth rate of non-URM applicants. Among the two largest URM groups, Black applicants have increased by 9% with Latinx applicants by 10%. White applicants have only increased by 1%.

Additionally, applicants from families living in below-median-income ZIP codes grew 10% compared to 3% for their peers from above-median-income ZIP codes. Similarly, first-generation college applicants saw a 4% rise, whereas applicants who were not first-gen experienced a 7% increase.


Applicants with citizenship in Ghana led the surge in international applications, experiencing a remarkable 93% increase. Overall, international applicants saw a substantial rise of 13%, outpacing the growth rate of domestic applicants, which stood at 5%. Other countries, such as Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan, also saw a jump in applicants of 61%, 57%, and 43%, respectively.


Applications to public schools submitted through the Common App increased by 10%, outpacing the 5% growth in applications to private institutions. Additionally, institutions with lower admission rates (below 25%) experienced a modest 3% increase, while those with higher admission rates (greater than or equal to 75%) saw a substantial 10% increase.

Sources: Forbes, Common Application, Supreme Court

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