- More than 200 colleges, including several outside the U.S., have reported to the National Association for College Admission Counseling that they have open seats for fall 2022.
- The admissions trade group on Monday published its annual Colleges Openings Update, a database that also indicates availability of housing and financial aid.
- For the second year in a row, citing high demand, NACAC released its list ahead of May 1, the traditional deadline by which students select their colleges.
NACAC has issued its College Openings Update for more than 30 years to provide students a list of public and private colleges that are accepting applications past the typical May 1 deadline.
The list includes colleges that maintain rolling admissions throughout the year. And institutions often tell NACAC about open spots after the list goes public, meaning it is not comprehensive.
NACAC said the database will be continually updated as more colleges submit information to the association. It expects to release a fact sheet on the database in early May.
It will remain live on NACAC's website through the end of July. As of Monday afternoon, it lists 243 institutions, with 26 outside the U.S.
"Many terrific institutions are still seeking students for fall enrollment, due to ongoing COVID-related disruptions, as well as typical fluctuations in application and enrollment patterns," Melissa Clinedinst, NACAC's director of research and grants, said in a statement.
Last year, more than 530 colleges reported open seats, housing and aid, according to NACAC. Initially, not even 200 were listed when the association first published its list at the end of April 2021.
The tumult of coronavirus was reflected in numbers in 2020. More than 700 colleges were listed in the database in early May that year, and the list ultimately grew to more than 770. Colleges nationwide lost about 1 million undergraduate students from fall 2019 to fall 2021, a nearly 7% drop, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
The NACAC list's early release this year likely also reflects declining relevance of the May 1 deadline.
In 2019, NACAC eliminated provisions from its ethics code that set the tone for how colleges recruit students. This freed institutions to woo and enroll students after they had already committed to a college.
The changes in the ethics code stemmed from the U.S. Department of Justice investigating NACAC's admissions guidance. The association settled a related lawsuit with the department in 2020.