Early Decision I applications are on the rise so far this year, following a 10-year trend of an increased overall applicant pool.
Admissions officials counted 1,015 Early Decision I applications as of Wednesday compared to 890 at the same time last year. Although the deadline for Early Decision I was Nov. 1, officials are still in the process of sorting paperwork.
Director of Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn Napper said GW plans to admit a freshman class of 2,400, the same as last year. She said 40 percent of students were admitted through Early Decision I or II plans last year but the percentage may change based on applicants’ qualifications.
This year’s Early Decision II deadline is Dec. 1.
Napper attributed this year’s application increase so far to student happiness.
“Students here are enjoying their academic experience and then telling their guidance counselors back home,” Napper said. “It’s a cyclical effect.”
Robert Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said “where students’ expectations are met or exceeded, that changes the reputation of an institutions.”
“Some schools are hot and some are not,” Chernak said. “GW is really on an upward swing right now.”
Napper said she is optimistic about the application increase but cannot be certain overall numbers will continue on an upward trend.
“My guess would be that we’re going to have more applicants this year but there’s always a possibility that it could even out by December,” Napper said.
But she said GW’s 92 percent student retention rate is an indication that students are happy.
The University’s retention rate has experienced an overall increase since fall 1996 when it was about 88 percent.
Although GW’s applications are up so far, Boston University saw about the same number of applications it did last year – 450. Boston University’s Early Decision deadline was also Nov. 1.
“It’s always kind of a crap shoot,” BU Admissions Coordinator Ari Wolf said. “This year we saw no increase in early decision applications.”