As students across the nation mull over their college choices before decisions are due, online forums and kitchen tables are buzzing over record low acceptance rates at the nation’s most selective schools. In turn, popular schools are seeing increased revenue from the record number of applications they received this spring.

The college application process has become even more competitive since then as schools across the nation have paused or eliminated standardized exam requirements during the pandemic. Elite schools have seen application volumes increase as a result, though most institutions have not increased the number of students they enroll each year.

According to U.S. Department of Education data analyzed by The Business Journals, seven of the 10 most selective schools in Kansas and Missouri had at least a 10% increase in applications between 2019 and 2020.

William Jewell College, one of just seven local colleges and universities included in the analysis, was the most selective in the Kansas City area, with an admission rate of 36%. The Liberty-based private liberal arts college accepted 577 people from a pool of 1,585 applicants. Despite enrolling just 195 students, its applications went up 35.7% from 2019 to 2020.

With a 42% admission rate — 17 percentage points lower than the area’s No. 3 school, Avila University was a close second for the region’s most competitive college The Kansas City-based private Catholic university accepted 824 people out of 1,963 applicants and enrolled 151 students for the 2020-2021 school year. Its applications were up 14.7% from 2019 to 2020.