Niche launches Direct Admissions program, offering students clear path to college – no application needed

November 30, 2022 — PITTSBURGH — Niche, the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools, is pioneering a new Direct Admissions program that reduces friction for students in the application process while helping colleges secure enrollments they would not otherwise have gotten. 

Niche’s Direct Admissions program enables partner colleges to offer acceptance and scholarships to students based on their Niche profile, eliminating the need for an application. College-seeking students complete Niche profiles by answering about 30 questions about themselves, including biographical details, their programs of interest and their self-provided GPA. Provided they meet the criteria predetermined with Niche’s Direct Admissions partner institutions, Niche then sends real-time notifications to students informing them that they’ve been accepted to the respective college with an accompanying scholarship offer, without ever having had to go through the traditional application process.

“There’s an unhealthy power dynamic in higher education, where students are led to believe they are fortunate to be accepted to college — when in reality, 60% of colleges accept 80% of those who apply,” said Luke Skurman, Founder and CEO of Niche. “The application process is unnecessarily complicated, expensive and time-consuming. Students and families have more leverage than they realize, and they deserve a simpler process that more accurately acknowledges their position in the market. We’re thrilled to partner with these colleges on a proactive, student-first approach to admissions.”

As the market leader in school search, Niche offers a bigger base of high school students and more higher ed partners than any other direct admissions platform, with the potential to secure nearly instantaneous admissions and scholarships for thousands of students at their best-fit schools. One out of every two college-bound students has created a Niche profile, and more than 27 million people viewed Niche college profiles last year.

Niche COO Athena Meyers added, “We meet students where they are, and they proactively come to Niche because our platform makes searching and comparing colleges easy and transparent. Now we’re offering them admission and scholarships without submitting a single application — removing unnecessary stress from the process. We already have the trust of the students and our college partners — with Direct Admissions, we are a bridge that connects them.”

Niche piloted Direct Admissions with two partner colleges this spring. Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. secured an additional 22 deposits and ultimately 18 full-time enrolled students.

Following the success of the pilot program, 15 colleges are participating in the current phase of the Direct Admissions program, offering college acceptance and scholarships for the graduating high school class of 2023. Those institutions include:

“Niche already partners with one-third of four-year colleges in the U.S., and we’ve added more than 100 new college partners annually for the past six years. Direct Admissions represents the future of college admissions, and we’re leaning in heavily to scale the program to more colleges to benefit more students,” said Meyers. “With the success of our pilot program, we’re intent on building a blueprint for success around Direct Admissions as a core part of our strategy to address students’ greatest needs and help colleges embrace this modernized approach.”

Students interested in learning more about Direct Admissions can visit https://www.niche.com/about/direct-admissions/. Higher education institutions looking for more information about how to join the Direct Admissions program can visit https://www.niche.com/about/partners/direct-admissions/.

About Niche: Niche is the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools. We believe finding the right school shouldn’t be hard, so we’re committed to making it easy for our users to discover and connect with the best ones for them. On Niche, users have access to comprehensive profiles on every school in America — from the ones they know to the ones they have yet to discover. With unique ratings, honest reviews, personalized recommendations, and tools to guide users through every step, Niche is changing the way millions of people find and connect with their school.