University not concerned with slight decrease in applications

A slight decrease in the number of freshman applications for the second year in a row does not have University officials worried.

Although not all of the applications have been processed, Kathryn Napper, director of Admissions, expects a 1.5 percent decrease in the number of applications compared to the number her office received a year ago.

She attributed the slight decrease in applications to the tendency of some students to not apply if they don’t think they’ll gain admission to not apply.

“It’s not that significant enough to worry about,” Napper said. “We are admitting a much stronger class.”

As of Feb. 10, 19,012 prospective students had filed applications to GW. Of those, 1,635 were early decision applicants, a decrease of about 45 early decision applications compared to a year ago. The 2006-07 school year can expect to see about 900 freshmen admitted through early decision, Napper said.

“Quality – both via SAT and class rank – are consistent with last year,” Napper said. “All in all, we are having a very strong application year and expect to repeat our success of last year.”

The SAT’s format has changed, so the average combined score of applicants is 1905 on a 2,400-point scale, Napper said. That score puts the average GW applicant in the 85th percentile of test takers, which is the same as last year, Napper said. The average applicant is in the top 15 percent of his or her high school class.

For regular decision applicants, the University is sticking to its 37 percent admittance rate, she said. “In terms of housing and classroom space, it’s related to what the freshmen class should be,” she added.

The latest round of applicants has also been more diverse than in the past. Numbers of incoming freshman who identify themselves as Asian, as well as those who do not report their ethnicity, are slightly up, while Caucasian applicants are slightly down.

In terms of geographical location, “some increase” can be seen in states where regional admissions offices are located, such as California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Virginia, Napper said.

Numbers are slightly down from some of the University’s typically most represented states such as Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Michigan and New Hampshire, Napper said.

The admissions office this year implemented the use of a new computer scanning system to help streamline the process of reviewing applications. In the past, admissions officers looked at hard copies of applications. This year the office worked to put everything online.

Napper said about 75 percent of applications were sent online, and the rest were scanned into computers at the admissions office.

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