By Patrick Carney ‘22

On the night I submitted my first college applications, my immediate family along with my grandparents went out to dinner. Conversation was jovial, and my grandparents asked me numerous questions about college applications. The most interesting questions came from my grandfather. He asked, “So how did you submit your applications? Did you mail them?”

At first, it almost sounded like a joke. Mail? Why would anybody mail documents? However, there was a time not too long ago when everything was done on paper. Colleges and universities have made substantial changes to the admission process over the past fifty years.

In an effort to understand some of the changes made, I talked with Mr. Creed, a Brother Rice counselor since 2014. He has been on the front lines of the admission process since he began at Rice, and he is a go-to for any student seeking advice about college admissions.

In his time at BR, Mr. Creed has seen countless nuanced changes to the admission process. He said, “The biggest change has been colleges stepping back from college admission tests such as the ACT or SAT.” This is in sharp contrast to only a decade ago where admission tests greatly affected an admission decision.

Now, in 2021, we are witnessing how a pandemic is altering the admission process. Mr. Creed said, “The pandemic accelerated these changes. In fact, now there is a state law requiring state universities to be test-optional. Because the pandemic continuously caused closures of testing centers, the state decided to implement a law to level the playing field.”

As for Mr. Creed, the biggest change he has seen since his own college application is the creation of the Common App. For those who do not know, the Common Application is a standardized application that is used by over 800 colleges and universities. It has revolutionized the admission process because it allows students to submit information in an efficient way.

The admission process is always changing, and it can sometimes be difficult. However, Brother Rice is lucky to have an extremely competent and knowledgeable counseling department led by Mr. Creed.