Undergrad Applications Climb 15 Percent
By Daniel Hind
| Apr 18 2008
A record number of students applied to Georgetown this year, marking a 15.7 percent increase over last year’s totals.
According to Dean of Admissions Charles Deacon, 18,700 students applied through the early and regular decision admission processes, surpassing last year’s record number of 16,168 applicants.
Each of the four undergraduate schools witnessed a bump in the number of applications they received. The largest applicant spikes were in the McDonough School of Business, up 28 percent to 3,177 applications, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, up 32 percent to 1,093 applications.
Applicants to Georgetown College increased by 13.5 percent to 11,068 applications, while the number to the School of Foreign Service increased by 7 percent to 3,362 applications.
Deacon attributed the increase in Georgetown’s applicant pool to several factors, including the elimination of early decision programs at Harvard University, Princeton University and the University of Virginia, along with Georgetown’s newly available online application.
Deacon said the high number of applicants will necessitate a lower acceptance rate this year.
“Normally, we would take the admit rate of the previous year — about 21 percent — and use that number for the current applicant pool,” he said. But he said the sheer number of applicants makes the 21 percent standard impossible.
This year, Georgetown has admitted about 18 percent of both early and regular decision applicants, Deacon said.
After the committee review process, 3,371 students were offered a spot in the Class of 2012, Deacon reported. He added that the expected class size for the Class of 2012 is 1,580 students.
“This is the number we aimed for last year and will continue to use in the foreseeable future,” Deacon said. “There will be about 1,580 freshmen and anywhere from 170 to 200 transfer students. The Board of Zoning [Adjustment] has set our enrollment cap, so we cannot go any higher.”
Deacon said it is difficult to estimate what percentage of accepted students will matriculate. Last year, 48 percent of accepted students matriculated.
NHS Dean Bette Keltner said the applicant growth in her school reflects the nationwide growth of the field.
“Health care is the largest industry in the United States. The field is a critically important one, especially with the aging of the country’s baby boomer generation,” she said. “Our school’s undergraduate research opportunities, innovative experiential learning environment and strong faculty make our four health care majors very attractive to high school students.”
As a result of these record numbers, and in an effort to insure that there is not over enrollment, Deacon said the university placed approximately 10 percent of the applicants on the wait list, a departure given that “virtually no students were placed on the waiting list last year,” he said.
Elizabeth Andretta, SFS associate director and undergraduate studies director, said that the school of foreign service’s individual accomplishments have augmented its appeal.
“I believe that our ranking as number four in undergraduate programs for international relations in the United States, and our ability to produce a Rhodes scholar each year for the last three years has served to enhance our reputation among ambitious high school seniors seeking to further their understanding of the global arena,” she said.
The increase in applicants has been matched by the strength and quality of the applicant pool, Deacon said.
On average, they are in the top 3 percent of their high school class and scored nearly 1425 on the SAT.
“Class rank has risen to about 97.1 percent, while the SAT percentage rate has risen to the 96.6 national percentile,” Deacon said. “SAT scores are up from last year to about a 1421 average, about an eight point increase.”
The admissions committee aims to admit a diverse class both nationally and internationally, Deacon added. Students were admitted from every state and 7 percent of students were admitted from high schools outside of the United States.
Over 30 percent of the admitted class is comprised of students of color with 9 percent African-American, 7 percent Hispanic/Latino, 13 percent Asian American and 2 percent Native American.