Acuity Insights Unveils Higher Education Admissions Trends for 2024

New report reveals top emerging admissions trends, including student recruitment, holistic admissions review, student retention, and AI in admissions. 

Toronto, ON/ Acuity Insights, the leading provider of admissions assessment, program management, and analytics solutions for higher education, announces the release of its first annual “University and College Admissions Trends Report” for 2024. In the rapidly evolving landscape of higher education admissions, this comprehensive report offers insights into the transformative impact of pivotal events in 2023, forecasting emerging trends shaping the admissions landscape in 2024 and beyond. The report also gives actionable tips for higher education institutions for successfully navigating the trends.

The report highlights four key trends influencing admissions strategies and decision-making processes. These include:

  • Student Recruitment: As higher education institutions grapple with the enrollment cliff and navigate challenges stemming from affirmative action bans, the competition for high-potential applicants is intensifying. It is crucial to proactively engage non-traditional students and differentiate institutions with compelling messaging to attract a broad, diverse pool of applicants.
  • Efficient Holistic Review: With an increasing number of schools adopting test-optional admission strategies and prioritizing holistic review methods, there is a growing need for reliable, efficient, and fair evaluation processes. Evidence-based review methods will alleviate staff burnout and ensure equitable assessment of applicants’ academic and non-academic skills.
  • Student Retention: Recognizing the significant impact of admissions strategies on student retention underscores the importance of selecting applicants with the necessary skills for in-program and career success. Addressing the impending enrollment cliff and mitigating student turnover are critical priorities for maintaining institutional stability and reputation.
  • AI in Admissions: As admissions teams seek to streamline the assessment of qualitative applications and reduce staff burden, artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as a promising solution. Acuity Insights acknowledges the complexities associated with AI implementation and emphasizes the importance of collaboration among institutions to navigate this new frontier responsibly.

To compile the report, Acuity Insights included feedback gathered through an admissions trends survey, which includes insights from senior leaders in higher education, including:

  • Chief Admissions Officers
  • Chief Enrollment Officers
  • Vice/Associate Provosts
  • Senior/Executive/Associate Vice Presidents
  • Deans and Associate/Assistant/Director of Admissions

The majority of respondents were from the United States, representing central university admissions and faculties/schools.

The report also analyzes data from about 800,000 individuals who have taken the Casper test to date. Casper, Acuity Insights’ admissions assessment, provides insights into applicants’ non-academic skills and helps admissions offices get a holistic view of applicants beyond their academic scores. Based on the demographic information provided by sixty-three percent of test-takers, the report looks at the impact of demographic factors on applications. The findings aim to aid programs in understanding applicant diversity and making strategic admissions decisions.

Acuity Insights’s Co-Founder and VP, of Science & Innovation, Dr. Kelly Dore, says:

“As a company that is deeply engaged with the evolving dynamics of admissions, we’ve seen how quickly and significantly the landscape has shifted over the past few years, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic. These shifts have created new and complex challenges for admissions teams across higher education. Through our new Trends Report, our effort is to provide critical insights we have gained from our work and discussions with our partner schools as they navigate these changes, enabling admissions leaders to learn from peers and anticipate future challenges for their teams and applicants.”

Read the full report now: 

About Casper

Casper is an open-response situational judgment test (SJT) that measures social intelligence and professionalism, and is backed by 20 years of data. Research consistently shows that demonstrating effective interpersonal skills contributes significantly to success during academic programs and in future careers.

Casper presents applicants with scenarios and questions that allow them to demonstrate these skills and the extent to which they can respond to challenging scenarios in a professional and socially intelligent manner, by using their diverse life experiences. Its open-response format, with both video and text, ensures it cannot be gamed by humans or AI, unlike most other SJTs, which use a multiple-choice format.

The Casper assessment tool measures skills such as:

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Empathy
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork

The evidence-based assessment is used by over 500 program partners worldwide in various fields, including the following educational programs:

  • Medicine
  • Health Sciences 
  • Teaching
  • Business
  • Engineering

Visit our website to discover how Casper can support your admissions goals.

About Acuity Insights

Acuity Insights is the leading provider of admissions assessment, program management, and analytics solutions for higher education. The company’s solutions help higher education institutions deliver on their mission holistically, considering the whole student, widening pathways into higher education, and ensuring both student and program success. Recognized as one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 companies for 2021 and 2022, Acuity’s solutions are used by nearly 600 higher education programs worldwide. Its Casper situational judgment test (SJT), taken by more than 150,000 applicants every year, is the most widely used open-response SJT in higher education and is backed by almost 20 years of efficacy research. For more information, visit

Media contact:

Brianna Bell, Content & Communications Manager