2016 in Admissions: A Year in Review

by Emilie Cushman on Dec 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM
winter image.jpg

Looking back at 2016, it’s remarkable how much has happened. The Turning the Tide report set us up for a year of important conversations regarding the admissions office’s role in shaping education, while investigations into standardized testing and external consultants raised difficult questions about transparency in the application process.

But it hasn’t all been so bleak. From the steamy on-screen library kiss from University of Moncton’s much-discussed student recruitment video, to the the hilarity of this year’s applicant parent horror stories, we’ve had fun this year.

Let's take a look back at the top stories this year: 

Turning The Tide on Admissions

A 2016 report released by Harvard’s Making Caring Common project advocated for an overhaul of the way colleges assess students. Turning the Tide marked the first time that over 80 higher education institutes have come together for sweeping change in admissions. 


Inside the business of standardized testing and college admissions

Reuters' ongoing investigation of cheating in the admissions world stretched through 2016 and continues into 2017, finding a significant number of issues in standardized testing and international admissions consultants. 


Cheat Sheet.png



How far is too far when it comes to making it easier for students to apply to college? Although applicant volume is on the rise for many schools with services like the Common App, the increase is watering down the pool of students who have genuine intent. This is making it harder harder for admissions teams to build their cohorts. Read The Atlantic's analysis of this issue from earlier this year.


“It’s gotten easier to apply to colleges, but now colleges get many more applicants. That changes the ‘signal to noise’ ratio.” It’s an ironic and unintended consequence of college admissions on the internet: The seeming efficiency of online applications means less efficiency overall."

Alvin Roth, author of  Who Gets What—and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design


And the Award for Best Higher Ed Recruitment Video goes to...

Forget the Oscars: This February, University of Moncton’s spicy recruitment video made waves across the web after winning the Kira Award for Best Higher Education Recruitment Video for 2015 and seeing a 22 percent increase in applicants. 

Want to see all of last year’s nominees? Click here.


The Bloomberg Job Skills Report 2016

Bloomberg’s 2016 Job Skills Report’s 2016 Job Skills Report  asked 1,251 job recruiters at 547 companies about the skills they want but can’t find. Communication skills, strategic thinking, leadership skills, and creative problem-solving stood out as the four most desired, least common skills. 


Examining Bias in the College Admissions Process  

The team at Kira started researching bias in admissions because we believe every student deserves a level playing field on the road to college. This year, we conducted a study on where bias occurs in the admissions process of 145 different programs.Bias-NoProcess.png


Happy Holidays from all of us at Kira! 

author avatar

Written by Emilie Cushman

Emilie Cushman is the Founder and CEO of Kira Talent. Cushman founded the company in 2012, and since launching Kira she has been named the HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow and one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Connect with Emilie