The University has become an increasingly popular choice for students from California, likely due to overcrowding and financial uncertainty, a University offical speculated this week.
The number of applicants from California grew nearly 22 percent this year, making the state the second largest draw of applicants behind New York State. The increase now puts California ahead of New Jersey by 280 applicants.
Executive Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn Napper cited recent changes in California’s economy as a possible cause of this year’s dramatic increase in applicants from the state. Tuition at the University of California college system saw dramatic increases in tuition this year, drawing protests from students across the state.
“California is a large state with more high school graduates than in any other state,” she said in an e-mail. “This fact, coupled with the financial and enrollment uncertainties of high[er] education in the state, have influenced students to be more open to college options outside their state.”
The University has also been working to attract applicants from the West Coast, including a push to draw students from the Golden State.
Napper said GW’s regional offices in California better contact high school counselors, students and parents with GW representatives.
Regional admissions representatives have become more common among colleges nationwide as a way to attract a greater number of applicants and more diverse applicants. These offices can also save travel costs for recruitment officers, who can recruit within a particular region from a home base.
“Since the regional [office] knows well the state and the high schools, they are in a great position to connect prospective students with the University,” Napper said.
In addition to the regional office, Napper attributed the “number of loyal and dedicated alumni in the state” as a factor that made GW more attractive to California high school seniors.
Senior Molly Anixt decided to leave California because she expected to be surrounded by students from her high school if she were to attend the University of California.
“I think the number of applicants from California is increasing because GW is becoming more recognizable. I think a lot of students are looking to break out of the UC system,” Anixt said.