May 1st is probably the most nerve wracking day for University Admission Officers. It’s the day they find out whether all of their planning and forecasting will meet expectations. Last fall they were frantically working through the mountain of paperwork typical of any admission season. Receiving thousands of applications, letters of recommendation, and of course Parchment’s favorite credential: transcripts. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Admissions officers work around the clock to process and get acceptance letters out the door. But once letters are out, they wait.
Until May 1: National Acceptance Day.
This is the day that students must make the choice between all of their acceptances and notify their chosen institution of their intention to attend. It’s a nervous time for all!
At Parchment, we were curious if students were waiting until the last minute before making their final selections. At Parchment.com there are many admission tools that help students find and evaluate postsecondary options. When students make their college list, they can track their admissions progress by indicating whether they are interested, applying, accepted, or ultimately accepted and attending. Once students make their choice the institution logo is added to their dashboard on Parchment.com:
And they can let their friends know on Facebook. Start sharing the good news!
We know students — millions of them — are using the tools at Parchment.com to help make their final decisions. But we didn’t if they were making colleges sweat it out to the last minute or not. To find out we asked our Data Scientist if he could let us know when students registered with Parchment.com finally make their choice.
It turns out that while students are regularly indicating that they’ve made a selection, we do see 5 Times as many students updating their Acceptance status on May 1.
One of our favorite authors, Jeff Selingo (College UnBound), has said that college is one of the only products you buy at 18 and even when you’re 60 you’re still wearing a sweatshirt showing it off. It’s a big decision, and we are excited for everyone heading off to their chosen institution this fall!