New Survey: Students Overwhelmed Applying to College

Shot of a young woman looking stressed while using a laptop to work from home

The college application process is a painstaking experience. From letters of recommendation to standardized testing scores, applying to college in the U.S. can be overwhelming.

A new survey of over 2,000 Americans highlights the arduous process of the college application process. Grand Canyon University surveyed 2,213 people across the U.S. and found that 61.9% of respondents wish they were better prepared for the college application process. Moreover, 14.8% say that they couldn’t apply to a college because they couldn’t afford the application fee.

Among other findings in the survey, more than one in three applicants say affordable tuition is the most important decision factor in choosing a college and 35.2% feel that the college application process is mostly unfair.


Grand Canyon University also looked at how applicants in states differ when it comes to applying to college.

In terms of the number of colleges that state applicants apply to, California ranked first with applicants applying to almost seven different colleges each. New York came in second with the average applicant applying to nearly six colleges. On average, nationally, applicants apply to 3.72 colleges.

The survey also found that private high school students apply to 4.69 colleges on average, while public high school students apply to 3.52 colleges on average.

California also ranks the highest for states that apply to the most in-state colleges. On average, California students apply to 5.10 in-state colleges. This year, the University of California system received the highest number of undergraduate applications in its history.

For states that apply to the most out-of-state colleges, Connecticut ranked the highest with applicants applying on average to 3.04 colleges outside their state. New Jersey followed closely behind with an average rate of 2.54 applications to out-of-state schools.

Check out the full report here.

Sources: Grand Canyon University, University of California

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