NEBHE conducted a Student Vacancy Survey every spring from 1960 to 2009 as a public service for New England residents still looking for college space as of the traditional May 1 admissions deadline and as a measure of college application trends.
A few years ago, we determined to ease out of the vacancy survey business and its vagaries; some respondents had noted that even if there were X-number of vacancies as of May 1, those seats would surely be filled given the new competitiveness of the college world; others complained that admissions people had perverse incentives to either minimize their reported vacancies in order to look more appealing or to inflate the number to attract more applicants).
We also note the availability of other sources such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) whose largest regional affiliate is the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC).
NACAC’s annual Space Availability Survey: Openings for Qualified Students polls NACAC’s member colleges and universities each year to determine whether institutions can still accept applications for prospective students for fall enrollment after the May 1. For fall 2012, 375 colleges and universities had either freshman or transfer space available as of the initial May 2 deadline for the survey. And presumably, most scurried to fill those spaces.
John O. Harney is executive editor of The New England Journal of Higher Education.