GW applications jump eight percent

About eight percent more students applied to GW this year than last year, but the quality of applicants has remained about the same, said Director of Admissions Kathryn Napper.

While GW has not yet sent acceptance letters for prospective members of the class of 2005, Napper said she plans to follow February board of trustees recommendations for class size. This would increase enrollment by 680 students for a total undergraduate enrollment of about 7,900 students, according to numbers distributed at a February board of trustees meeting.

But GW’s planned enrollment jump is higher than the Board of Zoning Adjustment allows in GW’s new Campus Plan, which passed Feb. 13 after GW’s board of trustees met.

The BZA capped GW’s undergraduate enrollment at 7,380 – only about 200 students more than GW’s current enrollment. The BZA has not issued its final written approval of the plan.

GW will start sending acceptance letters for the incoming freshman class next week, Napper said.

Napper said the number of students admitted depends on the quality of applicants, which she said is similar to, if not slightly better than, last year’s pool in quality. GW’s acceptance rate will not exceed last year’s rate of 49 percent, she said.

About 16,000 students have applied for admittance in next year’s class, an 8 percent increase from last year’s 14,766 applicants, Napper said. She said applications to the Mount Vernon Campus, which will house men for the first time next year, almost doubled.

The priority deadline for applications was Jan. 15, but students can still apply.

The admissions office does not take any steps to improve the University’s status in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings, Napper said.

“(The ranking system) goes beyond admissions,” Napper said. “It’s almost impossible for us to do anything.”

Boston University officials also said rankings do not affect the admissions policies at their university. But the difference with GW is that BU does not participate in the rankings and refuses to provide the magazine with information, BU spokesman Colin Riley said.

Only five percent of college applicants will attend a top-50 school, and those students do not need rankings to decide where to go, Riley said

Riley said that BU does not plan to increase its class size and has reduced its recruiting efforts to reduce the workload on admissions official.

“It’s not a pure science,” Riley said, referring to the acceptance process.

Riley said BU’s acceptance rate is less than 50 percent.

Napper said she is confident about GW’s ability to enroll quality students.

“We feel like we can get the class the University wants,” Napper said.

She said GW received more applicants from some states than last year, but the overall geographic spread was the same. There was a slight rise in international applicants, and no drop in any areas.

Napper said she does not know when the admissions office will make its final decisions on acceptances. The deadline for students to accept offers of admission is May 1.

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