Thursday, December 15, 2022

Emory Admitted 903 ED I Students to Class of 2027

 Senior year is the one of the most exciting and tense times for high school students and their families. By this time of year, they wait on pins and needles hoping that the demands of courses, clubs and competitions have paid off. Some 903 students breathed a sigh of relief when they received emails Dec. 14 announcing they had earned Early Decision admission to Emory University’s undergraduate Class of 2027.

From Georgia to China, they cheered with excitement. Out of a pool of 2,414 Early Decision I applicants, these students are the cornerstone of their class, ready to embark on a new adventure in their education and make the world a better place for themselves and others.

“We are delighted to see record levels of interest in Emory education,” says John F. Latting, associate vice provost for enrollment and dean of admission. “There has never been a pool of Early Decision applicants with such academic preparation, life experiences, talents and interests.”

In keeping with the trends of recent years, Emory’s Early Decision I applications increased roughly 10% over last year. The academic strength and diversity of students who apply also continues to grow, confirming that Emory’s reputation reaches far beyond the immediate area and attracts high-caliber students from around the world.

“It’s clear we’ve taken a step forward,” Latting says. “Early Decision I admission has been growing over the years, and what’s driving that growth is the presence of really strong students in the applicant pool.”

One unique aspect of Emory is that first-year students choose between two options for where they will begin their Emory experience: Emory College of Arts and Sciences or Oxford College. Emory College, which shares the Atlanta campus with the university’s graduate and professional schools, offers the experience of a liberal arts college in the midst of the energy and pace of a leading research university.

“I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome such an extraordinary group of students admitted in our Early Decision and QuestBridge selection process,” says Carla Freeman, Emory College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean. “These students have already demonstrated remarkable talent, creativity, curiosity, and a determination to excel academically and make the world better! I know they will bring terrific energy to our campus and flourish here.” 

Oxford College, located 38 miles east of the Atlanta campus, is set on Emory’s original campus. This campus, only for first- and second-year students, is a unique opportunity for students to join a close-knit community.

“Oxford students arrive from around the nation and world with open minds and a desire to explore, discover and grow,” says Oxford Interim Dean Ken Carter. “These first admitted students will form the foundation of our next class, and we look forward to welcoming them from their communities to ours.”

As juniors, all Oxford students continue to the Atlanta campus, earning degrees from Emory College, Goizueta Business School or the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

This year, Emory College admitted 722 students and Oxford College admitted 353 students for Early Decision I, with 233 applicants admitted to both campuses. These students may now select which campus they’d like to attend.

Early Decision students are a foundational first step in creating Emory’s Class of 2027 (students who apply to Early Decision commit to enrolling if they are admitted with adequate financial aid). Completing high school and preparing for college can be stressful under any circumstances and impacts of the pandemic are present in these students’ records.

While the pandemic began during these students’ freshman year, its impacts are still visible in their records through pivots in extracurricular activities, new emerging interests and recommendation letters from teachers who never taught the student in person. Initial indicators, however, show that these students are hardworking, compassionate and creative despite less-than-ideal circumstances — and they are eager to build on that foundation while at Emory.

Emory remained “test optional” for first-year applicants, meaning students were not required to submit ACT/SAT test scores. Those who chose to submit test scores still could, but removing the requirement alleviated one aspect of college application stress.

“Since going test-optional, we’ve seen that testing was playing a role we didn’t fully understand,” says Latting. “It was serving as a kind of obstacle for some students, especially in high schools with fewer resources. Not having a testing requirement has really broadened the gateway of students coming into our applicant pool in a variety of dimensions, including students who have been less well-represented here, such as rural and low-income applicants.”

This year, 38% of the admitted Emory College Early Decision class and 41% of the Early Decision class admitted to Oxford College applied without an ACT or SAT score.

Multiple factors guide the admission committee’s decisions as they consider applicants. Academic records are important, including whether the students made the most of the academic options within the context of their high school and community. Student interests and involvement are also considered, along with letters of recommendation from teachers and school counselors and three short essays from the student.

“We’re enthusiastic about the characteristics of this year’s applicant pool,” says Kelley Lips, assistant vice provost and dean of Oxford enrollment. “Not only are we having more students indicate that Emory is their first choice, the strength of the applicant pool and their academic excellence is really impressive.”

Like Latting, Lips has also noticed the shift in applicants. “This admissions staff has a real challenge ahead of them if this year’s Early Decision 1 applicants are indicative of the overall applicant pool, because we’re seeing some of the brightest and most dedicated students. The first students of the Class of 2027 are very diverse in many senses of the word — they’re ethnically diverse, and they also bring diversity geographically, socioeconomically, in their interests and in why Emory is attractive to them.”

Prior to the Early Decision announcement, on Dec. 1 Emory welcomed a new group of 61 QuestBridge Scholars to the Class of 2027, five of whom chose to enroll at Oxford College. The university admitted the same number of scholars last year, reinforcing Emory’s commitment to providing access to higher education to talented, low-income students who might not have access to college through their own resources.

“These are the first students who are a part of the Class of 2027, and it’s also the most diverse group of students we have in our incoming class,” says Timothy Fields, senior associate dean of admission. “Some have dealt with homelessness or having parents who have battled drug abuse. Others come from families where they are first-generation Americans or the first in their families to go to college. The perspective these students bring goes way beyond their identity. They bring a different voice and perspective to the class.”

The QuestBridge National College Match program is a nonprofit that links highly qualified students from low-income backgrounds with 48 of the nation’s leading universities. Through this unique partnership, QuestBridge Match Scholars receive a four-year financial aid award covering full tuition and fees; room and board; and books and supplies.

This year, Emory reviewed 1,026 QuestBridge applications during the early admissions cycle, with the majority — 81% — being among the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college in the U.S. Across the entire admissions period, many more QuestBridge applications will be reviewed.

“These students come with great high school academic records, and they have a lot of great accomplishments out of the classroom,” says Fields. “There are students from urban and rural areas. There are students who are accomplished in community service and the arts. They are all so different, which makes Emory stronger.”

Emory boasts one of the largest QuestBridge Scholars Networks in the country, with 500 students currently enrolled at the Atlanta or Oxford campuses. Members include the previous years’ match scholars as well as other QuestBridge students who enroll through Regular Decision. This active student-run organization provides an authentic and supportive community, helping students navigate the transition to college.

“Emory's ability to attract students from all over the country speaks volumes about its commitment to providing a stellar education to students of all income levels,” says Fields. “Diversity is an institutional priority, and our relationship with QuestBridge continues to help us achieve that across multiple areas within a class.”

QuestBridge scholars fully appreciate the significance of the program and their future at Emory. It’s safe to say they’re excited about seeing their hard work pay off and ready for what comes next.

“QuestBridge gave me an actual, clear goal for what to do after high school,” says Leonardo Lazarevic from Boise, Idaho. “As a kid, I always heard, ‘Go to a school that can give you the best education and financial stability.’ It hit me in the beginning of junior year: ‘How exactly do I get into those schools?’ After some time panicking about how I literally didn’t know what to do next, a teacher recommended the QuestBridge program. From then on, I had a clear goal: apply to the top schools in the country through QuestBridge.”

Rouida Siddiqui from Riverside, Missouri, plans to double-major in Arabic and biology. She explains that the QuestBridge program has made her “more motivated than ever to pursue my education” knowing that she can attend a prestigious college and not worry about being burdened with student loans and interest.

“When we were hit with the match page, it was overwhelming joy,” says Siddiqui, who got the news while shadowing a team of residents at her internship. “It took a while to sink in, but I had been counting on getting matched for so long and it finally paid off.  When I got home, I had my dad open the email — he cried, and I hadn’t seen him cry. It was a whole family moment, I wish I could’ve recorded it, but it’s one to remember and we were all so relieved and joyful.”
For Athens, Georgia, resident Matias Campos-Ladinez, QuestBridge opened doors. “As a first-generation immigrant, college was something I was always aware might not be a possibility for me. When I got the notification that I not only matched with Emory but it came with a full ride, I felt like I could finally breathe,” he says. “Since I was young, I’ve had big dreams of leaving a legacy behind and becoming someone younger me could be proud of, but with the glass ceiling many immigrants face, I recognized I might not be able to. With the QuestBridge program, I finally saw a way to make my dreams a reality.”

With the world at their fingertips, what drew these bright students to Emory and Atlanta?

“I’m very passionate about philanthropic work and I run a lot of community programs in my mosque and my school,” Siddiqui says. “I wanted a school that would support my ideas and help me start other projects I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.” Emory’s connections to the rest of the world help, too — she’s particularly interested in the Arabic Study Abroad program, offered through Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.

Campos-Ladinez was impressed with Emory from the get-go, particularly with class sizes, location, the prestige of Goizueta Business School and dedication to community. He plans to study both business and computer science — and eventually start his own technology company — but knows that Emory offers more than a great education in the classroom.  “Apart from just getting a normal computer science degree, I wanted to attend Emory because they push students to find their true passion and relate it to making the world a better place.”

“I chose Emory and the Atlanta campus for the simple reason that I want to be close to the city,” says Lazarevic. “Being near the city, I’ll have a better chance to build connections and more opportunities to explore job paths and do things I like. I’m excited for Emory and the new environment. I can’t wait to go there and explore.”

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