Northwestern saw an increase in early decision applications for the Class of 2016 this fall, with the number of applications rising to 2,450.
This 15.2 percent increase builds on the trend from last year, when applications jumped by 26 percent, according to a Northwestern NewsCenter press release.
"The increasing number of applications via early decision is reflective of the increasing reputation of Northwestern University," said Al Cubbage, vice president for university relations.
Cubbage said the number of students admitted to NU remains fairly consistent, so an increase in early decision acceptances limits the number of regular application students the University can admit.
The Offices of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid did not return requests for comment Friday.
Of the 2,127 high school students who applied for early decision for the Class of 2015, 715 were admitted. For the class of 2014, 625 out of 1,776 early decision applicants were admitted.
In addition to the increase in early decision applications for this year's freshman class, the number of total applications for NU's Class of 2015 jumped by 12 percent from the previous year for a total of 30,975.
According to Dean of Students Burgwell Howard, many factors have contributed to the rise in early decision applications, such as NU's adoption of the Common Application, its opportunities for civic engagement, its location near suburbia and a metropolitan area and its specialized curriculum.
"The idea of the variety that's within the university in terms of specialization … it appeals to students," Howard said.
This specialization prompted Communication freshman Michelle Schechter's decision to apply early to NU last year. She said NU's theater program inspired her to apply early, and one of her role models was her neighbor who previously attended NU and became a successful actor.
"I was positive I wanted to come here," Schechter said. "I wasn't conflicted in any way with other schools."
Although Schechter said the financially binding aspect of early decision applications did not concern her, some students said they were worried about whether or not they would be able to afford attending the University.
Weinberg freshman Alex Dinos said she applied early decision to NU after taking a tour of the campus.
"It kind of shows we're more dedicated to the school," Dinos said.
However, Dinos said she did not receive as much financial aid as she would have liked and is now hoping to obtain a high-paying job after college.
"It could've worked out a little better in my favor," she said about her financial aid package at NU.
Many of NU's peer institutions also saw an increase in early decision applications this year, such as Duke University, which saw an increase from 2,207 to 2,716 applications, and Dartmouth College, whose early decision applicants rose by 2.6 percent to 1,800 applications.