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Rutgers admissions growing slightly more selective

Probably the biggest negative consequence of all the budget cuts to higher education in New Jersey over the past decade was that Rutgers actively increased the size of its undergraduate student body in New Brunswick, hoping to make up for the difference by collecting more tuition. This had the side effect however of reducing the university's academic prestige. There are plans afoot to reverse that trend and increase selectivity again (hence, all the fundraising), but it won't be reversed in a year. Rather Rutgers is more likely to slowly tighten the spigot. Hence, the new admissions data from the New York Times shows a slight increase in selectivity from 2011 to 2012. Applications seem relatively flat, but this may not be the final data (which is also an important caveat for selectivity as well.) Tighter standards are one step of the way forward. Another, unfortunately, is that they need to start playing the US News games. That means aggressively recruiting applicants for the sole purpose of rejecting them (which is a dastardly way of increasing admissions standards), using accounting tricks to appear to have smaller classes, being more aggressive in soliciting even tiny donations from alumni to increase the alumni giving rate, and other chicanery along those lines that are frequently practiced by other universities.

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