U.S. News & World Report may no longer be much of a news magazine (just a monthly now and starting in January, only available on newsstands and not by mail as it emphasizes an online presence), but it still has those reports wrapped up -- as in its many guides to colleges.
Here's its latest take on admissions trends called "Eight Big Changes to College Admissions in 2010 and 2011." Much comes from the National Association of College Admissions Counselors' recent report, which we looked at a few weeks ago. But the findings are worth thinking about.
For instance, class rank isn't as important due in part to high schools no longer offering rankings to colleges. So the colleges look at how challenging the classes are -- and most would prefer to see a B in a challenging course than an A in an easy one. Essays remain a critical part of the application -- and that is paired with another trend: increased auditing of applications including the use of plagiarism software.
Another area that is getting more attention? Senior year. Schools are looking more closely at those last semesters; they want to make sure that the courses taken continue to get more difficult -- the best way to prep for college course loads.