Niche Resources
class of 2017 admissions report

2017 College Admissions Report

We surveyed over 14,000 of this year’s incoming college freshman, the incoming Class of 2021, to find out the status of college admissions in 2017: how they’re searching, how many schools they’re applying to, and how they’re paying for college.

The College Search Process

What’s important when choosing where to apply?

Percent of Class of 2017 who consider these ‘very important’

Our respondents seem to prefer their own research tools (student reviews, net price calculators, and rankings) over person-to-person contact.

What’s important when choosing where to attend?

Percent of Class of 2020 who consider these ‘very important’

About 90% of students are focused on choosing schools that have their major, while cost is still a huge concern with 85% of our respondents.

How many colleges are students applying to, visiting, and getting accepted to?

Almost 1 in 5 students are applying to 9+ schools, while only 8% got accepted to all nine. Still, about 1 in 4 got accepted to 6 schools, making decision time tough.

Median number of schools students apply to
Median number of schools students visit
Median number of schools students get accepted to

Which schools are the college Class of 2017 attending? Check out our Most Popular Colleges of the Class of 2017 list to find out the favorites.

Paying for College

More than 50%
of students are not confident that they'll be able to afford the college they've chosen
of students did not apply to certain schools because the tuition was too high

Do kids understand how much they’ll really need for college?

We compared the responses to “Did you fill out your FAFSA?” and “Will you be taking out loans?” to find out if kids understand their financial needs.

Although almost 100% of students filled out their FAFSA, more than a quarter of students are still unsure of whether they will need to take out loans.

How confident are students about repaying their student loans?

Median number of years students believe it'll take them to finish paying student loans
Number of years the average bachelor degree holder takes to pay back their student loans

In fact, according to The Atlantic: “Two-thirds of the nation’s student-loan debt is held by people over age 30. The economists found that 30- and 40-somethings have the highest loan balances of all borrowers—an average of about $31,000, compared with the overall average of $26,000.”

Search Colleges by Price on Niche

Author: Alex Caffee

Former Marketing and Business Analyst at Niche. Dessert aficionado. Currently living and working in New York City.