Thursday, February 21, 2019

Brown Received 44,957 Applications for Class of 2023

The University received 38,640 applications for the Class of 2023 — the most in its history, according to Dean of Admission Logan Powell. The applicant pool increased by approximately 9 percent from last year’s applicant pool of 35,438 students.

The number of applicants who identify as students of color increased by 12 percent, according to Powell. These students comprise 47 percent of all applicants for the Class of 2023, compared to 45 percent of applicants last year. The University also saw a 6 percent increase in students applying for financial aid, as well as a 16 percent increase in first-generation applicants.
“This is the most diverse applicant pool we’ve ever had, which is a testament to the strengths of Brown and the outreach we have done for years to try to attract the most interesting and talented students from all over the world,” Powell said. “It’s diverse in almost every way you can imagine.”

Powell attributed the growing interest in the University to the recent Brown Promise, which eliminated student loans from financial aid packages, The Herald previously reported. But he emphasized that attracting a large applicant pool was not the goal of implementing these changes.

“(The Brown Promise) is the right thing to do, and it also makes Brown a much more attractive place financially for many students and families,” Powell said. “Our policies are truly focused on demonstrating our values, and not explicitly on changing the size of the applicant pool.”

Along with the Brown Promise, recent on-campus developments such as the new Engineering Research Center, the expansion of the Watson Institute and the Carney Institute for Brain Science are appealing to prospective students, Powell said.

“We have an incredibly strong foundation of access and affordability and outreach,” Powell said. “That combination make us incredibly attractive to a much broader population of students than has ever been attracted to Brown.”

Physical sciences are the most popular category of academic interest among applicants, followed by social sciences. Additionally, the top three intended concentrations among applicants are engineering, biology and computer science.

The number of students interested in the physical sciences increased by 23 percent this year. This growing interest “mirrors a national trend,” Powell said.

All 50 states are represented in the pool, with California, New York and Massachusetts sending the largest number of applicants, respectively. In addition, applicants come from 157 countries, led by China, India and Canada.

The number of international students within the applicant pool increased by 7 percent, “where many schools in the country are seeing a decrease in international applicants,” Powell said.

Regular decision results for the Class of 2023 will be released on Thursday, March 28.

Penn Received 44,957 Applications for Class of 2023

Like most universities, Penn does not have a standard system for fact-checking applications. Admissions officers perform initial reviews in as little as four minutes, and a call to a high school guidance counselor or an email to an applicant is as thorough as checks get.

The New York Times reported in December that a student was admitted to Wharton after writing a compelling essay about the death of his mother. But after admissions officers called his home and his mother picked up the phone, Penn rescinded his acceptance.

Given the massive volume of applications the University receives — 44,957 applicants for the Class of 2023 — current and former admissions officers agree that fact-checking applications is not feasible and instances of outright fabrication seem to be rare.

“I don’t think rigorous fact-checking is necessary, but I also don’t think it’s feasible,” Elizabeth Heaton, a former regional director of admissions for Penn and educational consultant for College Coach, said. “A whole industry would have to spring up around that.”
Penn Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said rigorous fact-checking would involve extensive documentation and place an unwanted burden on both applicants and admissions officers. During his tenure, Furda said there has only been one enrolled Penn student whose acceptance was rescinded for false application materials.

“At what level do you put up such barriers for either students or the people that are on the other side of this that basically paralyzes yourself for what may be a handful of cases,” Furda added.

Kathryn Bezella, Vice Dean and director of marketing and communications for Penn Admissions, confirmed that following up with a guidance counselor or applicant is rare.

“Within my region I might do it, I don’t know, 20 to 30 times across a single cycle,” Bezella said, adding that she reviews applications from Washington, D.C. and South and Central Asia.

Bezella said these follow-ups are not necessarily intended for fact-checking purposes, and can also involve clarifying questions or requests for more application materials.

Despite the lack of a formal fact-checking system, former admissions officers say they have still caught applicants lying.

Heaton recalled an instance when a regular decision applicant plagiarized their essay based on an essay written by another student who had already been admitted early decision. The former Penn regional admissions director said when she noticed the stark similarities between the two essays, she decided to make a call to the student’s high school.

“I had the time and I guess the interest and I went back and looked and discovered that yes, in fact, that's what had happened,” Heaton said. “We denied the student who had plagiarized and the other kid was able to keep his acceptance.”

Without a formal system in place, the validity of a student’s application is almost entirely determined by an admissions officer's intuition. Bezella said because of the high number of applications she reads and familiarity with her region, she can typically identify false transcripts and essays written by college consultants.

“After you’ve read several thousand essays by 17-year-olds, you do have some sense of ‘this is not how a 17-year-old writes',” Bezella said.

Even if an applicant is caught lying, Penn cannot legally notify other universities. Antitrust laws prohibit colleges from sharing information about applicants with each other, and colleges are also barred from asking candidates where else they applied.

Daniel Evans, a former Penn admissions officer, also said he once found out an applicant falsely claimed he had Native American heritage after he reached out to his high school.

“It’s hard for me to say the college needs to spend more time [on fact-checking],” Evans said. “A lot of colleges are seeing really robust increases in applications, and their staffs are not necessarily growing proportionally.”

While outright lying is rare, applicants exaggerating on their applications is more common, Director of One-Stop College Counseling and 1986 Wharton graduate Laurie Kopp Weingarten said. As a personal consultant for students applying to college, Weingarten said she often corrects students who state unrealistic total number of hours spent each week on extracurricular activities. She added that she questions students who have "50 hours a week of activities" on their application.

“Though this year, I did have a parent say ‘so how much can we fabricate,'” Weingarten said.

Exaggerations are more difficult to fact-check, however, and admissions officers agreed that formally investigating them would not be an effective use of time.

“With an eight percent admit rate if we’re not quite sure about something, guess what, we don’t have to take the risk,” Furda said.

Staff Reporter Seth Schuster contributed reporting.

Northwestern Received 40,577 Applications for Class of 2023

After years of growing applications, the number of undergraduate applicants to Northwestern is beginning to stabilize.

The number of regular decision applicants for the class of 2023 was “flat” compared to last year, said Christopher Watson, the dean of undergraduate admission. The Office of Undergraduate Admission received a total of 40,577 applications by the Jan. 1 deadline, he told The Daily.

This is only about 100 more applicants than last year, when 40,425 students applied to NU in total, Michael Mills, the associate provost for university enrollment, told The Daily in an email.

“Overall, the numbers for the class of 2023 are only up slightly,” Watson said. “It’s a very tiny increase from last year.”

Watson estimated that the overall acceptance rate for first-year students is expected to be about the same as last admissions season, which was 8.4 percent for the class of 2022. Each graduating class is made up of just under 2,000 students.

“It’s hard to know right now whether the number is going to be higher or lower,” Watson said, “but it should not be dramatically off.”

Watson also mentioned that the pools of applicants for fall 2018 and fall 2019 are “almost identical,” and that there “really was no shift” in composition. He said most students applied to Weinberg, while McCormick was the second most popular school.

Despite nationwide concern about international students applying in fewer numbers, Watson said NU did not see this trend in the application pool. In an email, Watson said he does not know the reason for this, though University President Morton Schapiro has expressed confidence in Northwestern’s ability to attract top-tier international students.

In 2016, Schapiro announced a school-wide priority to have 20 percent of an incoming class be Pell Grant-eligible by the fall of 2020. This was achieved with the class of 2022, and Watson said it should happen again with this year’s admits.

“Our class of 2023 Early Decision admits were 20 percent Pell (Grant-eligible), so there is no reason to think that we won’t have 20 percent Pell (Grant-eligible) in regular decision, too,” Watson said.

Schapiro, an education economist, said in an interview with The Daily on Monday that the number of applicants matches what he had predicted.

“Once you hit 40-41,000 apps, you look at the peers … the changing demographics, and now with an 8 percent admit rate it scares away a number of people who were not remotely admissible, which is good,” Schapiro said.

The change in applicants, he added, is visible in the number of Early Decision applicants, which rose about nine percent in December 2018. Watson said 4,399 students applied Early Decision to NU for the class of 2023. Those who applied regular decision will hear from NU in the spring, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Elizabeth Byrne contributed reporting.

Harvard Received 43,330 Applications for Class of 2023

Applications for admission to Harvard College’s Class of 2023 reached 43,330, an increase of 1.4 percent from the 42,749 applicants for the Class of 2022.

“We are thrilled to once again see so many extraordinary students from throughout the nation and around the world apply to Harvard College,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid.

There are slightly more men (50.2 percent) than women in the applicant pool this year. Most regions of the U.S. demonstrated increases in applications, especially the South, while interest from international areas remained strong.

There were increases across the board in academic interests, highlighted by an 11.6 percent increase in prospective computer scientists, 5.1 percent increase in social scientists, and a 4.2 percent increase in humanities-intended concentrators. Minority applications also increased, with a 5.1 percent rise in applications from Asian Americans, and a 3.4 percent increase on the part of Latinx students.

The economic diversity of the applicant pool also increased this year. Those requesting an application fee waiver rose by 15.5 percent over last year and first-generation College applicants increased by 13.8 percent.

Since launching the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative in 2005, Harvard has awarded more than $2 billion in grant aid to undergraduates. Harvard’s undergraduate financial aid award budget has increased more than 138 percent, from $80 million in 2005 to more than $191 million in 2018. Further, Harvard’s net-price calculator makes it easy for families to get a sense of the College’s affordability.

Harvard costs the same or less than most public universities for 90 percent of American families. More than half of Harvard students receive need-based financial aid, and the average grant is $53,000. No loans are required. Families with incomes up to $150,000 and typical assets pay 10 percent or less of their annual incomes. Families with higher incomes receive need-based aid depending on individual circumstances.

Applicants will be notified of the admissions committee’s decisions on March 28. Admitted students will be invited to Cambridge to attend Visitas, a special program designed to familiarize them with the opportunities at Harvard. This year Visitas will be held from April 27 to 29, and students will have until the national reply date of May 1 to make their final college choices.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Cornell Admitted 1395 Students in ED for Class of 2023

Cornell admitted 1,395 out of 6,159, or 22.6 percent of the early decision applicants for the Class of 2023, down from the admission rates of 24.4 percent for the Class of 2022 and 25.8 percent for the Class of 2021, according to statistics provided by the University Friday morning.

Among the accepted students, 55.6 percent are women and 39.8 percent are students of color, which include African American, Asian American, Native American, Latinx and bi-multicultural students.

Legacy students — who the University said should apply early decision to show their commitment — constitute 22.1 percent of the admitted students pool, the same as last year, while the number of athletes rose two percentage points to this year’s 13.5 percent.

Despite the University’s concern that the current political climate will discourage international students from coming to the U.S., Cornell saw a total of 1,512 international early decision applicants this year, 1.5 percent more than the Class of 2022 and 21.3 percent more than the Class of 2021. With 171 applicants accepted, international students make up 12.3 percent of this year’s early decision admits pool.

Admission decisions for another 1,493, or 24.3 percent of the early decision applicants are postponed, which means these students will find out whether they get into Cornell on March 28, 2019, the same day for regular decision applicants.

The University said in a statement to The Sun that the decrease in the number of early decision admits is “planned in conjunction with” a decrease in Cornell’s target number of Fall freshman enrollment from 3,278 for the Class of 2022 to 3,175 for the Class of 2023, even though Jason C. Locke, interim vice provost for enrollment, said in an earlier interview that Cornell has been working to expand its class size.

Gillian Smith, a spokesperson for Cornell, declined to comment but said the University will provide explanations to this after the release of regular decision results.

Cornell currently has the highest early decision admission rates among the Ivy League. Harvard, Brown and the University of Pennsylvania all reached record-low acceptance rates at 13.4 percent, 18 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively. Princeton offered admissions to 13.9 percent of its applicants.

Yale Admitted 794 Students in EA for Class of 2023

Yale College admitted 794 students out of a record 6,020 early action applicants to the class of 2023 on Friday.

The number of admitted students corresponds to a 13.19 percent acceptance rate — the lowest early applicant acceptance rate since at least 2013 and a significant drop from the 14.7 percent of students admitted last year through the early action program. Last year, Yale accepted 842 students early action, while the year before 871 were offered a spot at Yale in December.

According to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan, 56 percent of students who applied were deferred to the regular decision round of admissions, while 30 percent were denied admission and 2 percent were incomplete or were withdrawn.

“The Admissions Committee was very impressed with this year’s early applicant pool across every dimension” wrote Quinlan in a statement to the News. “We are pleased to offer admission to this first group of students in the Class of 2023, and look forward to admitting a much larger group of students through our Regular Decision process this spring.”
The class of 2023 will be the third of four classes to be part of the expansion of Yale College from approximately 5,400 undergraduates in 2016 to approximately 6,200 undergraduates in 2020. The planned expansion was designed to increase the population of Yale College by 200 students each of the four years.

On Dec. 3, Yale also offered admission to 55 students through the QuestBridge National College Match program, a nonprofit that helps low-income students apply to leading colleges. This is the largest number of students “matched” with Yale since Yale partnered with QuestBridge in 2007, Quinlan said.

QuestBridge scholars qualify for a financial aid award with a $0 parent share. Yale’s financial aid policy says that parents in families with less than $65,000 in annual income — and typical assets — are not required to make any financial contribution towards the cost of their child’s education, including tuition, room, board, books and personal expenses. Yale still requires these students to contribute $2,850 toward the cost of their tuition through on-campus work-study jobs, according to the Questbridge website.

Quinlan told the News that this year’s class will “take advantage of recent enhancements” to undergraduate financial aid policies. Starting in the 2018–19 school year, students who qualify for a $0 parent share will receive free hospitalization insurance coverage and will receive a $2,000 “startup grant” — to provide funding for computers, clothing and other expenses — as well as a $600 supplements in subsequent years. More than 200 first years in the class of 2022 qualified for the program.

“We know that the cost of a Yale education extends beyond just the cost of tuition,” said Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid Scott Wallace-Juedes. “The new start-up grants and hospitalization coverage ensure that our students with the greatest financial need have what they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom. I am proud that we are furthering our extraordinary commitment to making the Yale experience affordable for everyone.”

In April, as part of recruitment efforts, all admitted students in both early action and regular decision pools and their parents will be invited to Bulldog Days — events designed to showcase Yale to prospective students and their families.

Hannah Mendlowitz, the Admissions Office’s director of recruitment, told the News that this year, there will be one three-day event held on April 15–17 and a single “Bulldog Saturday” on April 20.

“We’re looking forward to working with campus partners and current students to help the newly admitted members of the class of 2023 get to know Yale,” she said. “We’ll

be welcoming admitted students to campus during … and always appreciate the time and effort that everyone on campus — from current students to faculty to staff — puts in to making those events a success.”

Earlier this week, Harvard University and Princeton University accepted 13.4 percent and 13.9 percent of early action applicants.

Penn Admitted 1279 Students in ED for Class of 2023

Penn admitted 1,279 students this year through early decision to the Class of 2023, just 18 percent of the applicant pool — the lowest acceptance rate to date.

For the Class of 2022, Penn admitted 1,312 students, 18.5 percent, of its early decision applicants, a significant decrease from the two prior years, whose ED rates were 22 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively.

Each year, the University admits approximately half of the incoming class through early decision. This year, the 1,279 students admitted account for about 53 percent of the expected enrolling class.

Thirteen percent of students are international, hailing from 48 different countries, compared to last year's 54 countries. The number of states with admitted students dropped from 45 last year to 42 this year. Students from Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico were also admitted.

Of students admitted to the Class of 2023, 23 percent had a parent or grandparent who attended Penn. Last year, 25 percent of applicants were legacies admitted in last year’s ED period. Eleven percent of the accepted students are first-generation college students, the same representation as each of the last two early decision rounds.

Forty-eight percent identify as students of a minority group, which is the same as last year. Similarly, 51 percent identified as women, decreasing from 52 percent last cycle.

Admitted students to the Class of 2023 saw high test scores, the middle 50 percent scoring between 1440 and 1550 on the SAT and between 33 and 35 on the ACT.

This year, early decision applicants to the Class of 2023 plateaued. After steady growth among ED applicants since 2011, the applicant pool grew by 15 percent last year. This year’s ED pool saw a 0.52 percent increase including QuestBridge applicants – growing marginally from 7,073 applicants to 7,110 applicants.