Some top administrators are second-guessing the validity of a report released this month regarding the decline of "elite" freshmen attending GW.
The Faculty Senate report, called the "Decline of Elite Freshmen Admissions," said a lack of National Merit Scholars and a drop in early decision applicants meant less top-tier students were attending the University. Carol Sigelman, associate vice president for academic affairs, said it leaves out important information and should be redone.
"The report presents a damaging view of GW, especially at recruitment time," Sigelman said. "The purpose of the report is to inform, and there are some distortions and missing information in the report, such as the SAT scores of incoming freshmen."
Robert Chernak, vice president for student and academic support services, said the University has consistently admitted a better freshman class in terms of test scores and class rank every year - though the number of admitted National Merit Scholars has recently decreased.
Over the past three years, enrollment of students ranked in the top two admissions rating categories has declined, according to the report.
The University rejected 200 lesser-qualified students from the waitlist last spring, making them short of admitting the targeted 2,350 freshmen, according to the report. Focusing on increasing the number of National Merit Scholars or other measures of the freshman class are "easy things to correct if we set them as priorities," Chernak said.
"We are in a difficult market-niche," he said. "We need a mutual agenda about where we will be, how to get there and what we are looking to do."
Katherine Napper, executive dean for undergraduate admissions, declined to comment on the report, but wrote in an e-mail that the statistics "require a much further and sophisticated analysis than what might be apparent in (the report)."