Board anticipates competitive freshman class

As the University prepares to structure next year’s incoming freshman class, complete admissions figures from last year show that GW has become an increasingly competitive school.

Last year, GW accepted 37 percent of the students who applied -a sharp decrease from 1997, when it accepted 49 percent of applicants, and 1988, when it accepted 76 percent of applicants. The Board of Trustees announced the figures Friday.

The board announced that the University will continue to choose what it considers an academically superb and socially and geographically diverse freshman class.

High school seniors around the country turned in their regular decision applications to GW this winter, and the University is set to make its final decisions on the second round of early decision applications this month. GW has already informed first-round early decision students of their acceptance, and the class of 2010 already has students from 42 different states. There are 910 early-decision students who have committed to GW already, a 2-percent increase since last year.

“This is a sign of the caliber of the education students receive at GW,” Cynthia Baker, chair of the Student Affairs Committee on the University’s Board of Trustees, said Friday.

The University plans to continue last year’s trend of selecting the best academically rated students who apply to GW, University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg told The Hatchet after the board meeting.

“You don’t just want more students. You want more students that are better than ever before,” Trachtenberg said.

At a Faculty Senate meeting earlier this month, GW Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said next year there will be a slight, planned decrease in enrollment to meet D.C. guidelines that cap the number of students on the Foggy Bottom campus.

“We cannot violate enrollment caps … this is just not just a city issue, it’s a community issue,” Katz said at the meeting.

The current freshman class enrolled at GW has the highest SAT scores of any class in school history, and 64 percent of the students in the class of 2009 were in the top 10 percent of their high school class. In 1997, 45 percent were in the top 10 percent of their class, and in 1988 about 22 percent were.

The University received 19,400 applications for the 2,400 spots in the class of 2009, though it received more than 20,000 applications for the class of 2008.

The current freshman class had a 5 percent increase in the number of black students and an 8 percent increase in the number of Asian American students, compared to the sophomore class. The number of white students declined by 5 percent.

-Ryan Holeywell contributed to this report.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.