Georgetown received a record number of early applications for the Class of 2016 despite the reintroduction of early action application options at several rival institutions.
Last Tuesday, about 6,750 Georgetown hopefuls submitted early action
applications, a 1.4 percent increase from last year's total of 6,658.
This jump came as a surprise to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions
Charles Deacon, who said that he had originally expected the number of
early applicants to drop after Harvard, Princeton and the University of
Virginia reinstated early action policies this year.
While the two Ivy League schools recently adopted single-choice early
action programs, preventing their applicants from applying to other
schools before Nov. 1, UVA
initiated a policy similar to Georgetown's. Under this unrestricted
program, high school students may apply to multiple colleges during the
The university's increase in applications has left the admissions
office pleased, as the increase shows a visible rise in demand since
students must take the time to apply specifically to Georgetown, which
does not accept the common application.
"We're really happy with these numbers because it means people are
coming to us [as a serious choice]," Deacon said. "Georgetown has a
growing name recognition and is in higher demand."
This year's early application numbers compare favorably with those of
other schools. Georgetown saw 6.750 applicants aiming to snag one of
1,600 spots in the Class of 2016. In comparison, UVA
received 11,415 early action applications for the roughly 3,300 seats
in its freshman class, while while Princeton, with an average class size
of 1,275, saw 3,547 applications. According to Harvard University
Director of Admissions Marilyn McGrath, the college will not release its
early admissions data until next week.
For the early action applicants, the acceptance rate hovers between 17
and 20 percent, typically filling about 17 percent of the freshman
class. Deacon said that the university tries to ensure that the same
number of early action students enroll at Georgetown each year because
of restrictions in on-campus space.
Due to the rise in applications and the jump in yield rates that
Georgetown saw last spring, the admission rate of early applicants will
see a significant decrease.
According to Deacon, fewer than 17 percent of applicants were admitted
from the Class of 2015 early pool, totaling about 1,122 acceptances.
This year, Georgetown will likely have to lower the anticipated
acceptance rate to about 15 percent, admitting about 1,012 students.
Deacon added that the academic caliber of prospective students has
remained steady through each admissions cycle. Although the number of
applications jumped, the academic record of this year's round of early
applicants has a combined SAT Critical Reading and Math average of 1360,
a number similar to last year's.
The fact that the quality of the applicant pool held steady even as the
size of the pool increased means that more highly qualified applicants
are considering Georgetown as a top choice, he said.
"Georgetown is becoming more of a brand to [high] schools who don't know us as well," Deacon said.
The improved quantity and quality of these applicants will force the
admissions office to be more selective in admitting students.
The diversity of the applicant pool jumped along with its overall size,
with the number of Latino and Asian-American applicants increasing by 9
percent and 8 percent to 703 and 845, respectively. The number of
prospective international students rose by about 12 percent, from 417 to
Deacon said that the variety of prospective students in this season's
data shows that the university is succeeding in its goal to diversify
its applicant pool.
"The early applicant pool has been traditionally skewed to white
students from upper-income backgrounds and prep schools," Deacon said.
"But this year shows how Georgetown continues to follow the trends of
the country [in increasing early-action applications from minority
New York continued its tradition of sending the greatest number of
early applications, with 632. Californians took the second spot by
mailing in 583 applications, a 10 percent increase from the number for
the Class of 2015.
Deacon added that those requesting financial aid have applied in
greater numbers this fall, increasing applications from 62 to 68
"[We] want and plan to hold on to a need-blind financial aid policy,"
he said. "This is more of a challenge for us to meet the greater need,
but these are great challenges to have."