Entering the realm of college admissions can often feel like deciphering a complex code, with terminology that seems designed to confuse rather than clarify. Here, we aim to demystify the intricate language of college admissions, providing clarity on three terms that frequently crop up throughout the application process.

Holistic Admissions
One term that echoes across college campuses is “holistic admissions.” But what does it really mean? Holistic admissions is an approach that considers the whole applicant — beyond just grades and test scores. It involves evaluating extracurricular activities, personal essays, recommendation letters and other factors to gain a comprehensive understanding of the candidate.

Demonstrated Interest
Another often-heard phrase is “demonstrated interest.” Colleges are keen to know if you are genuinely interested in attending their institution. Demonstrated interest can involve actions such as campus visits, attending information sessions or engaging with the college on social media. By expressing your interest, you signal to the admissions team that their institution is a top choice for you.

Yield Rate
The term “yield rate” refers to the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll in a particular college. It’s a metric colleges use to gauge their popularity and desirability. Understanding this term can shed light on the competitiveness of a school and may influence your strategy when applying. It is often also used as a metric in college rankings.

Navigating the college admissions process becomes more manageable when you can decode terms and understand the nuances behind the language. When you unlock the mysteries of college admissions jargon, you’re empowered to approach the application journey with confidence and clarity. Remember, knowledge is your greatest ally!

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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